‘It takes about five miutes for a church bell to ring 49 times,’ Christine Leinonen, started her speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
‘I know this because last month my son Christopher, his boyfriend Juan and 47 others were murdered at a club in Orlando.’
With her powerful speech, the mother of Christopher Leinonen, who died in June’s terrorist attack on LGBTI nightclub Pulse, moved the audience to tears.
‘Christopher was my only child,’ she said.
‘As I used to tell him, you can’t do better than perfect.’
In High School, he won the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award, Leinonen explains, because he funded the gay-straight alliance.
‘‘Christopher’s paternal grandparents met and fell in love in a Japanese internment camp,’ Leinonen said.
‘So it was in his DNA that love always trumps hate.’
He was also a strong Hillary Clinton supporter, his mother said, which led her to speak at the conference.
Throughout Leinonen’s speech, the audience repeatedly broke into spontaneous applause, with many attendees offering standing ovations.
But Christopher spoke about more than her loss, deciding to also speak on gun control – something the former Michigan State Trooper came in contact with on the day her son was born.
‘When I went into labor, the hospital put my off-duty gun in a safe. I didn’t argue,’ she said.
‘I know common sense gun policies save lives.
‘The weapon that murdered my son fires 30 rounds a minute. And Orlando’s city commissioner pointed out the terrible math.
‘One minute for a gun to fire so many shots. Five minutes for a bell to honor so many lives.
‘I’m glad common sense gun policy was in place the day Christopher was born. But where was that common sense the day he died?
‘I never want you to ask that question about your child.’
Watch the full video below:
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