“I Never Want You To Ask That Question About Your Child.”

If you don’t watch any other convention speech, watch this one from the mother of a victim of the Orlando shooting.

“It takes about five minutes for a church bell to ring 49 times. I know this because last month, my son Christopher, his boyfriend Juan, and 47 others were murdered at a club in Orlando.”

That’s how Christine Leinonen, the mother of an Orlando Pulse shooting victim, began her speech at the Democratic National Convention today. In a heartbreaking speech against gun violence, Leinonen spoke of her only son’s long fight for gay rights and how his grandparents had met in a Japanese internment camp. “It was in his DNA that love always trumps hate,” she said, as two survivors of the Pulse shooting stood beside her.

Leinonen, a former Michigan state trooper, recalled how when she went into labor with Christopher, the hospital put her off-duty gun away in a locker. “I’m glad common-sense gun policy was in place the day Christopher was born, she said. “But where was that common sense the day he died?”

“I never want you to ask that question about your child.”

Watch the full speech below.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.