Gabby Giffords, mother of Orlando victim make passionate pleas at DNC

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PHILADELPHIA -- Victims and families of gun violence delivered emotional pleas Wednesday night in support of Hillary Clinton as a president who would act to curb mass shootings and press for new gun laws.

Speeches from former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head, and a mother whose son was slain in the Orlando nightclub shooting had audience members in tears.

"In Congress, I learned a powerful lesson -- strong women get things done," Giffords said, in stilted speech, the result of her injury. "Speaking is difficult for me, but come January, I want to say these two words: Madam President."

Christine Leinonen, the mother of one of the 49 people killed at the Pulse Nightclub shootings, was supported by two of her son's friends while she asked for "common sense" gun laws.

"It takes seven minutes and 48 seconds for a church bell to ring 49 times," she said.

Leinonen was a Michigan state trooper when her son, Christopher, was born.

"There were common sense gun laws the day he was born, but where was that common sense gun law the day he died?" she said, referring to the now-expired federal assault weapon ban that sunset in 2004.

As Leinonen spoke, delegates cried. Cameras panned to former *NSYNC singer Lance Bass, who was visibly shaken by her talk.

Erica Smegielski, the daughter of the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal who was killed in the 2012 massacre, teared up as she said that she was angry and demanded action.

"I should not be here tonight. I do not want to be here tonight," she said. "My mom was murdered so I'm here, I'm here for the mothers and the daughters who are planning weddings so that you get to watch your daughters walk down the aisle."

Former Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey reflected on the recent police shootings as part of his push for gun control.

And Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who commanded the national stage in the wake of the Orlando shootings with his 15-hour filibuster in the Senate, spurred the crowd to begin chanting "enough is enough."

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