Yesterday, an 18-year-old gunman killed at least 19 kids and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The tragedy comes after many, many other school shootings: in Santa Fe, Texas, in Parkland, Florida, in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and in Columbine, Colorado, as hundreds and hundreds of kids in America have died while trying to learn math or eating lunch with their friends or going to gym class.
As the details of the most recent mass shooting were unfolding last night, Senator Chris Murphy took to the Senate floor, who represents the community where the Sandy Hook tragedy took place almost ten years ago, to beg his colleagues to change something.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut literally begged his colleagues to do something about the nation’s gun violence problem on the Senate floor. Since Sandy Hook, Murphy has made it his mission to push for gun control and advocate for reform. And this latest tragedy highlighted his fight, and it was clear he was angry that this continues to happen.
“What are we doing?” Murphy asked. “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 also called to task the point of his colleagues whatsoever. “Why do you go through all the hassle of getting this job, or putting yourself in a position of authority if your answer is that, as this slaughter increases, as our kids run for their lives, we do nothing?” he asked his colleagues.
“What are we doing?” he said again. “Why are you here if not to solve a problem as existential as this? … This isn’t inevitable. The kids weren’t unlucky. It only happens in this country.”
He continued, “Sandy Hook will never ever be the same. This community in Texas will never ever be the same. Why? Why are we here if not to try to make sure that fewer schools and fewer communities go through what Sandy Hook has gone through, what Uvalde is going through.”
Murphy pleaded and urged fellow lawmakers to take a stand and come to some form of compromise on gun control measures while acknowledging these changes can’t be done overnight.
“I understand my Republican colleagues will not agree to everything that I may support, but there is a common denominator that we can find,” he said. “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,” Murphy concluded.
“Shooting after shooting. What are we doing? Why are we here? What are we doing?”