(NECN: Brian Burnell, Hartford, Conn.) – Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy is urging lawmakers to help him prevent future tragedies like the Newtown shooting.
He made the plea during his State of the State address earlier Wednesday.
Legislators wore green and white ribbons, the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary school, as they began the 2013 legislative session less than a month after the shootings there.
An emotional Governor Dannel Malloy introduced the Newtown first selectwoman and superintendent and choked up while talking about the dark road the school, town and state have traveled.
"And yet in the midst of one of the worst days in our history we also saw the best of our state. Teachers and a therapist that sacrificed their lived protecting students. A principal and school psychologist that ran into harm's way."
Twenty students and six faculty members were killed. Governor Malloy said the attack demands a response, but the right response.
"Freedom is not a handgun on the hip over every teacher, and security should not mean a guard posted outside of every classroom."
So, tougher gun laws this session are a foregone conclusion with Sandy Hook casting a long shadow over the debate. Some might argue that makes it the wrong time to have that discussion, but you won't hear that in these halls.
"It was such a devastating, inexplicable, unprecedented catastrophe that we would be remiss if we just said, ‘hey, let's give it a year,’" said Rep. Larry Cafero, R-CT House Minority Leader.
Legislation on gun control will not be confined only to this legislative body. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal says it’s got to happen in Washington as well.
"If the state federal governments are working together gun violence prevention simply won't work because local and state police are the ones who do the enforcement of most of our gun safety laws and so there really has to be a partnership," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT.
Work on that in Hartford begins now.