WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Thursday authored an op-ed in MTV News about the growing power of the youth-led gun violence prevention movement. In the op-ed, Murphy highlights the importance of the youth movement in the face of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal for the past year to bring up House-passed legislation to expand background checks for debate and a vote on the Senate floor.
“The Parkland shooting was the last straw for a lot of young people, some of whom had already been working for years to curb gun violence. They saw how lawmakers did nothing after Newtown, and Aurora, and Charleston, and Pulse, and Las Vegas, and Sutherland Springs, and countless other shootings. They watched the people who were supposed to fix things offer empty thoughts and prayers, followed by absolutely no action. They saw politicians who were more accountable to the National Rifle Association than to their own voters. And they were done with it. It was time to take matters into their own hands and hold their elected officials accountable,” Murphy wrote.
Murphy continued: “So they marched. And they walked out. And most importantly, they registered to vote. Young people went to the polls, and they got their parents and friends and relatives to vote with them. They added enormous strength to the growing movement to end gun violence, bringing new voices into the fold and amplifying the ones who had sounded the alarm for years. And it worked.”
“There is no great social change movement in this country that has not been led by the youth of America. Creating big change is not easy. Tearing down the status quo is a process filled with setbacks. But the social change movements we read about in our history books succeeded because they continued to persevere in the face of adversity — and because young people were almost always at the frontlines of those charges. The movement to end gun violence is no different. And because of the young people leading this fight, I am confident that we will win,” Murphy concluded.
This week, Murphy held a press call to discuss the Senate’s failure to act on universal background checks and Mitch McConnell’s allegiance to the NRA rather than the American people. Over 90% of Americans support comprehensive background checks and research indicates that nearly a quarter of all gun sales in the United States may occur without a background check. In January 2019, Murphy led 40 Senators in introducing the Background Check Expansion Act to expand background checks to all gun sales.
Read the full op-ed here.