After a thirteen year struggle to achieve this new public safety law, I want to first dedicate this victory to my daughter, Melissa. Melissa, this one's for you. You always cared and did good things for others in your life. May your death also bring some good to others through this new law.
Winston Churchill said that government's first duty is to protect the physical safety of its citizens. Melissa's Law will begin to save lives, and save innocent people from injury, as soon as it's signed.
To violent criminals and their apologists who complain that this law is too harsh, I say: "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime". If you don't want to go to prison under this law, take responsibility for your actions and refrain from committing multiple acts of violence. It's that simple.
There are so many people to thank for the achievement of Melissa's Law.
First, thank you to Governor Deval Patrick. He kept his promise to me that he would sign a fair and balanced bill. We have disagreed at times about some aspects of this legislation, but there is no doubt that the Governor is a man of personal integrity.
Thank you also to Speaker Robert DeLeo and President Therese Murray,without whose leadership this day would not be possible. Thanks to Rep. Brad Hill and DA Gerry Leone,the original sponsors of this legislation who stood with me when few others did. Thanks to Sen. Scott Brown who was the main sponsor in the state Senate before 2011. . Thanks to the chief sponsors, Sen. Bruce Tarr, Rep. Jim Dwyer,and former Sen. Steve Baddour who did incredible work to craft and pass this law. And thanks to members of the conference committee who worked diligently for months to produce a compromise bill. . Thank you also to WBZ's Dan Rea who always had faith that informed citizens working effectively can accomplish good. Thanks to Fox News, NECN,and the Boston Herald especially, which gave the highest levels of coverage to our story. And thanks to my assistant, Mike Scully, who contributed his sharp organizing, lobbying, and media skills to this effort. . Thanks to the state's law enforcement community and organizations for their support, especially members of the Woburn PD and Chuck Maguire,brother of Officer Jack Maguire. . And thanks to the thousands of ordinary citizens who demanded passage of this common sense legislation, and all the legislators who listened to their constituents and put the needs of public safety above the interests of the criminal defense industry. . This victory just goes to show that it's still possible for the good guys to win, and that good things can still come out of Beacon Hill! . Thanks to everyone who helped in any way. I'm sorry if I've left out any names. So many helped, and I hope to thank everyone personally in the days and weeks ahead.