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The mother of one of the Orlando victims had the DNC crowd chanting “love trumps hate!” when she took the stage on Wednesday night.
Christine Leinonen, the mother of Pulse nightclub shooting victim Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, was joined onstage by Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf and Drew Leinonen’s ex-boyfriend Jose Arriagada, when she delivered a moving speech that had many in the room in tears.
“It was in his DNA that love always trumps hate,” she said while in tears, spurring the crowd to erupt in a chant echoing her words.
Speaking of the weapon that killed her only son, a gun that fired 30 rounds in one minute, she said, “it takes about five minutes for a church bell to ring 49 times.”
“Common sense gun policies save lives,” she continued. “One minute for a gun to fire so many shots, five minutes for a bell to honor so many lives. I’m glad common sense gun policy was in place the day Christopher was born, but where was that common sense the day he died?
“I never want you to ask that question about your child. That’s why I support Hillary Clinton.”
The theme of gun violence continued with stirring speeches from Empire‘s Lee Daniels and Angela Bassett.
Christine Leinonen was one of the first on the scene the morning of the shootings. Her son Drew, 32, a gay rights activist and Clinton supporter, was one of the last victims to be identified. His boyfriend, Juan Guerrero, 22, was also killed.
The third night of the four-day convention will also see a performance by Lenny Kravitz and headlining speeches from Vice President Joe Biden, Clinton’s VP pick, Tim Kaine, and President Barack Obama.
Earlier, Sigourney Weaver introduced a film on climate change directed by James Cameron that took aim at Donald Trump, featuring the GOP candidate referring to global warming as a “hoax.”
The DNC has had no shortage of A-list support in Philadelphia. Last night, Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham and America Ferrera and Tony Goldwyn spoke, while Elizabeth Banks hosted and former President Bill Clinton headlined.
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