“I Never Want You To Ask That Question About Your Child.”

If you don’t watch any other convention speech, watch this one from the mother of a victim of the Orlando shooting.


“It takes about five minutes for a church bell to ring 49 times. I know this because last month, my son Christopher, his boyfriend Juan, and 47 others were murdered at a club in Orlando.”

That’s how Christine Leinonen, the mother of an Orlando Pulse shooting victim, began her speech at the Democratic National Convention today. In a heartbreaking speech against gun violence, Leinonen spoke of her only son’s long fight for gay rights and how his grandparents had met in a Japanese internment camp. “It was in his DNA that love always trumps hate,” she said, as two survivors of the Pulse shooting stood beside her.

Leinonen, a former Michigan state trooper, recalled how when she went into labor with Christopher, the hospital put her off-duty gun away in a locker. “I’m glad common-sense gun policy was in place the day Christopher was born, she said. “But where was that common sense the day he died?”

“I never want you to ask that question about your child.”

Watch the full speech below.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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