WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Sunday joined CBS’s Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan to discuss gun violence prevention in the wake of another horrific mass shooting in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I don’t understand why we choose to live like this. Why we choose to make our kids fear their lives when they walk into their schools. Why we choose to have children who grow up in violent neighborhoods fear for their lives when they walk to and from school. Only in America does this happen. And you can't explain it through a prism of mental illness or a lack of school security,” said Murphy.
Murphy continued: “The thing that's different in the United States is the number of guns, the number of high power weapons of mass destruction, and the ease with which we allow criminals and dangerously mentally ill people to get those guns. So we've got to change the nation's gun laws. We've got to put more trauma resources into our schools. But doing nothing cannot be an option when there are more [mass] shootings than days in the year so far in 2023.”
On red flag laws and the $750 million in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to support implementation of those laws, Murphy said: “What we know is that in states that have red flag laws, they are used responsibly and frequently to take guns away from people in crisis…My hope is that this new federal funding that we passed on a bipartisan basis last year will prompt states like Tennessee to take a look at red flag laws. They're wildly popular - 80% of Americans want them. There's no political risk in enacting a red flag law. If Tennessee had it, maybe this wouldn't have happened.”
On Republican proposals to arm teachers, Murphy said: “My constituents in Connecticut, they want school security, they want door locks, they want more physical protection, but they do not want their teachers to be handed AR-15s and schools loaded up with weapons. What we know in this country is that more weapons don't equal less crime. If more weapons equaled less crime, then we would be one of the safest places in the world."
On the path forward, Murphy said: “Things change pretty quickly in Washington. My goal is to try to find that common ground that John Cornyn is talking about, and I'm not going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We've got to show parents and kids and families in this country that we can make bipartisan progress to try to make our country safer… I'm open for any discussion with Republicans about how we can show this country that we take their kids’ protection seriously.”