Speech by Chris Murphy today: Connecticut senator asks for arms compromise after shooting at Uvalde, Texas school

HARTFORD, Connecticut — U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, coming to Congress representing Sandy Hook, asked his colleagues to finally pass legislation that would address the nation’s ongoing problem of gun violence, as Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas, the country’s most recent school shooting occurred.

A disappointed Murphy spoke up, urging lawmakers to do what they failed to do after the killing of 26 students and educators in Newtown, the area he represented as a congressman.

The Democrat delivered an impassioned speech, urging his peers to finally find a compromise.

“Our heart breaks for these families. Every ounce of love, thought and prayer that we can send, we send,” said Murphy, who represented Newtown, Connecticut, where Sandy Hook Elementary School is located, as a former US representative.

“But I’m here on this floor to beg, literally get on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues. Find a way forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass legislation that makes that less likely,” he said.

The Texas tragedy appeared to be similar to the 2012 mass shooting in Connecticut, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot himself into the locked building and then killed 20 first graders and six educators with an AR-15 rifle legally obtained from his mother. He then killed himself when the police arrived. Before Lanza went to school, he shot and killed his mother at her home in Newtown.

A Connecticut Children’s Advocate report said Lanza’s severe and worsening mental health problems, preoccupation with violence and access to his mother’s guns were “a recipe for mass murder.”

Advocacy groups that formed after the Connecticut shooting expressed their dismay at the news that Robb Elementary School was shot, where at least 14 children and one educator were killed.

“We are devastated by yet another heartbreaking school shooting in America – this time in Uvalde, Texas, nearly 10 years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy,” said Po Murray, Chair of the Newtown Action Alliance, in a written statement. “For the past decade, we have warned all Americans, including elected politicians across the country, that a Sandy Hook mass shooting could happen anywhere. We have asked Presidents, all members of Congress, governors and state officials to strengthen federal and state gun laws to protect our families and our communities.”

Murphy expressed hope that compromises on gun control measures are possible.

“I understand that my Republican colleagues will not agree with everything that I might support, but there is common ground that we can find,” he said, acknowledging that the gun violence problem cannot be solved overnight. “But by doing something, we at least stop breaking that silent message of affirmation to these killer brains who see the highest levels of government doing nothing, shoot after shoot.”

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Mascaro reported from Washington.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Dais Johnston

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