Speed Reads

'What are we doing?'

Sen. Chris Murphy begs colleagues to 'find a path forward' on gun control legislation

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) went to the Senate floor on Tuesday following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and pleaded with his fellow lawmakers to do something to stop the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.

"What are we doing?" he said. "I'm here on this floor to beg — to literally get down on my hands and knees — to beg my colleagues. Find a path forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely."

Murphy said he understands that Republican lawmakers "will not agree to everything that I may support, but there is a common denominator that we can find. But by doing something, we at least stop sending this quiet message of endorsement to these killers whose brains are breaking, who see the highest levels of government doing nothing, doing nothing, shooting after shooting."

Since the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 20 students and six educators dead, Murphy has pushed for legislation to address gun violence. "I just don't understand why people here think we're powerless," he told reporters on Tuesday. "We aren't." Murphy added that he is specifically reaching out to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to try to create bipartisan legislation.

In 2021, the House passed one bill that would close a loophole for private and online sales and another that would have extended the background check review period. Both bills have stalled in the 50-50 Senate.