Click here or the image above to view video of Murphy’s opening remarks.
WASHINGTON – In wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) demanded action on Wednesday on the floor of the U.S. Senate to close the terror gap – which would prevent individuals on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List from purchasing guns – and to expand background checks. Murphy will continue to hold the floor of the U.S. Senate until Republicans are willing to work with Democrats to take meaningful action to pass commonsense gun reform laws that will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and make our communities safer. Murphy, who speaks regularly on gun violence prevention, has delivered 45 Voices of Victims speeches since joining the Senate in January 2013.
Highlights from Murphy’s opening remarks are below:
“Our heart breaks collectively in this country for the citizens of Orlando and as I’ll speak in a moment, in particular in Connecticut. Our heart breaks for the people of Orlando because we know in a very real way the pain that exists there today, but we also know how that pain is really never ending, how the ripples of that pain are unceasing and unrelenting and they span generations. They span neighborhoods. They span years. Newtown is still putting itself back together, probably will be for a long time, and Orlando the same.
“But this is a different moment today than it was at the end of last week. There is a newfound imperative for this body to find a way to come together and take action, to try to do our part to stem this epidemic of gun violence, and in particular this epidemic of mass shootings that plagues this nation and no other industrialized nation in the world.
“…it won't surprise you to know that for those of us that represent Connecticut, the failure of this body to do anything – anything – at all in the face of that continued slaughter isn't just painful to us. It's unconscionable. I can't tell you how hard it is to look into the eyes of the families of those little boys and girls who were killed in Sandy Hook and tell them that almost four years later we've done nothing, nothing at all to reduce the likelihood that that will happen again to another family.
“Every set of facts is different, but what unites all of these shootings – from Littleton to Aurora to Newtown to Blacksburg to Orlando – is that the weapon of choice in every case is a gun. Often a very powerful gun, an AR-15 or AR-15 style gun that was designed for the military, for law enforcement to kill as many people as quickly as possible. What unites all of these incidents is our failure to do anything about it.
“I don't think that we should proceed with debate on amendments to this [Commerce, Science, Justice, and Related Agencies Appropriations] bill until we have figured out a way to come together on, at the very least, two simple ideas that enjoy the support of 80% to 90% of Americans. Two ideas, two pieces of legislation that would have been potentially impactful with respect to the case in Orlando. That is one piece of legislation that Senator Feinstein has introduced that would simply say that if you are on a terror watch list, that you shouldn't be able to buy a weapon. Second, in order to make that protection meaningful, you also need to make sure that whenever a would-be shooter buys a gun, he goes through a background check.
“By acting, by coming together and finding a way to act on these two noncontroversial measures, I think we also send an important signal to the American public and to would-be murderers that we're serious about stemming this epidemic.
“And so I’m going to remain on this floor until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together on these two measures, that we can get a path forward on addressing this epidemic in a meaningful bipartisan way.
“Orlando is the worst mass shooting in American history.…Having come through the experience of Newtown, I’ve had enough.”