Six weeks since the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting claimed the lives of 20 elementary school kids and six educators, hundreds filled the local high school auditorium, nearly all raising their voices for tougher gun control laws before a state task force.
Victim's dad: "we don't need those" guns
Newtown victims' family members testify
Newtown victims' families speak out
How '96 UK school shooting changed laws
For six hours, they poured out their hearts, their losses and their tears.
"We all recognize December 14 as the day hell came to Newtown," said Nicole Hockley, mother of 6-year-old Dylan, who was one of the children killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Dave Wheeler, who also lost his son Benjamin that day, calmly told the legislative panel that the government's priorities need to be set straight.
"The liberty of any person to own a military-style assault weapon and a high-capacity magazine and keep them in their home is second to the right of my son to his life," he said, noting that the Constitution says Americans are endowed with the inalienable rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
"Let's honor the founding documents and get our priorities straight," he concluded, to a standing ovation.
Other parents called for the community to rally before the hearing, which focused on gun violence, mental health and school safety.
"Together we can turn this tragedy into the event that turned the tide. That empowered us, as individuals, a society and the world, to choose love," said Scarlet Lewis, mother of Jesse.
While calls for tougher gun laws far outnumbered those arguing against them, several speakers said the weapons are not the problem.