Janet Robinson, the Superintendent of Schools in Newtown, testified about gun violence before a congressional committee on Wednesday. (Published Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013)
Newtown School Superintendent Dr. Janet Robinson made a trip to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
She testified before a House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Robinson was one of four panelists joining Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, the chief of police from Chaska, Minnesota as well as the mother of a shooting victim.
Robinson gave powerful testimony recapping the events of December 14 when 20 first graders and 6 staff members were shot and killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary. She spoke of the heroism of the staff members.
"Their first response when confronted by this terror was to protect their students," Dr. Robinson said.
Some were wiping away tears as Dr. Robinson spoke.
She help up a consolence card that was made by a student. She said hundreds are hanging inside Newtown's municipal center. She said the same 4-year-old girl sent Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi a letter. Dr. Robinson read it outloud.
"What everyone in Newtown wants is for you to ban semi-automatic weapons and high capacity magazines," the letter said.
The superintendent says she needs the help of lawmakers to make sure her kids are in a safe environment.
"What do I say to parents who want to be assured that when they put their kids on the bus, they'll come home?" she asked lawmakers.
Representative Elizabeth Esty introduced Dr. Robinson. Esty represents Newtown.
"This is about protecting our children," Rep. Esty said "That is a fundamental committment we should make as Americans."
Robinson's testimony comes on the same day President Obama unveiled his sweeping package on gun control reforms.
Asked by NBC Connecticut outside the hearing what she thought of the President's plan, she said, "I think it's very moving and very close to where our country wants to go."
"I have no issues with all with people's Second Ammendment rights," she added. "I will tell you, I have no locks, I have no areas I can put up to withstand an AR-15."
Representative Rosa DeLauro is a co-chair of the committee.
"To prevent another Sandy Hook we'll all have to work together to prevent gun violence," Rep. DeLauro said.
No pro-gun groups spoke at the hearing.