On Wednesday (July 28) Christine Leinonen delivered an emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia about gun safety and losing her son, Christopher 'Drew' Leinonen in the terrorist attack at Pulse Nightclub, Orlando
Christine became the heartbreaking human face of last month's atrocity, which left 49 people dead, after footage of her distraught plea for information
about the whereabouts of her son and his boyfriend, Juan Guerrero, went viral on social media in the aftermath of the attack.
Addressing delegates at the convention yesterday, Christine moved the audience to tears as she paid tribute to her late son.
"It takes about five minutes for a church bell to ring 49 times," she said. "I know this because last month, my son Christopher, his boyfriend Juan, and 47 others were murdered in a club in Orlando."
She praised her son's political activism, noting that he was "a big Hillary Supporter" and spoke about how he "brought people together, and started a gay-straight alliance in school".
"Christopher's paternal grandparents met and fell in love in a Japanese internment camp," she said. "So it was in his DNA that love always trumps hate."
Calling for greater action on gun control in the United Sates, Christine recounted her experience of going into labour with Drew during her time as a Michigan State Trooper, explaining how the hospital put her gun in a safe place.
"I didn't argue", she said. "I know common-sense gun policies save lives". She then went on to advocate for greater gun control, pointing out that the gun used in Orlando shoots 30 rounds in one minute.
Watch the moving speech below:
You can read our special feature on Orlando and its aftermath in the new issue of Attitude, available to download now from pocketmags.com/attitude.
It’s in shops next Wednesday (July 20), and print copies are available to order from newsstand.co.uk.
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