In a powerful interview, Elba Márquez, the grandmother of Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, one of the young victims of the Newtown massacre, offered a scathing indictment of the country’s political leaders after Senate leaders announced last week that they would not seek to limit the ban on 157 assault weapons proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
Márquez, a well-known former Hartford, Conn., educator, now retired and living in Humacao, Puerto Rico, told Univision anchor Jorge Ramos that the lack of movement in enacting stronger gun laws is more about the love of money by politicians, dirty politics, and political debt than anything else. She said that seems to be more important to elected officials than the lives of the little ones, teachers and other innocent people lost at Sandy Hook.
In the interview video, Márquez speaks in a shaking voice filled with anger. She warned that more tragedies like this will take place again, adding that when that happens, “The blood of all the innocent will be on the hands of the politicians who are not interested in saving lives.”
The emotional Márquez questioned why the gunman had access to what she described as an “arsenal of war weapons.” And U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s announcement that the votes weren’t there for an automatic weapons ban left Márquez saying, “Why do we need these weapons of war in our homes? What is their purpose?”
On the Second Amendment, which advocates for gun rights repeatedly cite as protection against tougher gun laws, the 33-year-veteran educator said, “That was a different time when that was enacted. We can’t risk the lives of the innocent. The world changes. There are changes in technology. Why can’t we change this law, too, so we catch up? We have to change with the times to protect the innocent.”
In a plea to Latinos across the nation, she asked they add their voice and speak out for tougher gun control laws. Márquez said, “Today she and her family are suffering, tomorrow it could be you. We are a hard working, church going family; I never imagined this could happen to us.” The angry Márquez added “our spirit will not be broken. We have to fight for the children who are still alive, but not just schools, but how about movie theaters? How do you send your child to one and not worry?”
She talked about how she knew that on Dec. 14, when no word came about her granddaughter for so many hours after the early morning shooting, that she was with seriously wounded or dead. Márquez had just spent time in Newtown with her daughter’s family in the weeks preceding the shooting.
She also spoke of her daughter’s anguish and struggle to move forward – her faith keeps her going. But Márquez said it’s just not her daughter, “All the mothers of the victims of the massacre are suffering; the pain is so immense.“
The grandmother’s wrath was especially harsh against political leaders. “What else do we need? We put them there. I voted for some of them.”
Watch the entire video (in Spanish) by clicking on this link.