HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Gun violence was the focus of an event on the UConn Law School campus on Monday, and one accidental gun violence victim’s story made a very big impression on first-year law students.
Fighting to keep her composure, Kristin Song, of Guilford, told the students about the day her son died.
“The ER doctor literally slid down the wall and…umm…told us that Ethan was dead and….umm, your world shatters.”
On Jan. 31, 2018, Song’s 15-year-old son, Ethan, was killed by an accidental gunshot. She said Ethan was handling a .357 Magnum pistol at a neighbor’s house. It was one of three guns in the house.
The firearms were stored in a cardboard box inside a large Tupperware container. While each of the weapons was secured with operable gun locks, the keys and ammunition for the firearms were located inside of the same box.
“I am pre Jan. 31 Kristin, and I am post Jan. 31 Kristin,” Song explained.
UConn Law School students listened as Song explained helping to usher a new gun storage safety law — Ethan’s Law– through the Connecticut legislature.
In 2019, Governor Ned Lamont signed the bill, requiring gun owners to safely store guns if someone 18 or under is in the house. Now, Song and her husband, Michael, are working to make it a federal law.
“We have about 110 co-sponsors so far and we have a Republican in the House and a Republican in the Senate who are going to be signing on.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), who was also at the event, said, “I think Ethan’s Law, which I’ve introduced in the U.S. Senate, has an enormously good chance because it makes such eminent good sense.”
For the first-year law students that put the event together, Song’s story was an inspiration.
“I think her story and what she’s doing is really important to what’s happening right now with the movement,” said Molly O’Connor, of Fairfield.
“It’s hearing these close to the heart stories that really compel me to go into a legal field where I can advocate for families who have been victims of gun violence,” added Luke Reynolds, of West Hartford.
Their student organization (the Public Interest Law Group) aims to encourage law students to perform work in the public interest field while in school and after.
Senator Blumenthal also said now with the impeachment trial over, he’s planning to resume the political battle over background checks in the U.S.Senate next week.