The Democratic senator representing Newtown, Connecticut, site of arguably the most heartbreaking massacre in modern U.S. history, took control of the Senate floor today and promised to continue talking about the issue of gun violence and mass shootings until the problem was addressed. The Newtown shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary claimed the lives of 26 in 2012, 20 of whom were small children.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) launched a filibuster-style takeover of the Senate floor today, according to The Huffington Post, demanding that the Senate do something tangible about gun violence:
‘Newtown is still putting itself back together, probably will be for a long time.’
He further added that Congress could not continue as usual after this weekend’s shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which resulted in 49 deaths and 53 injuries. Murphy said:
‘This is a different moment today than it was at the end of last week. There is a newfound imperative for this body to find a way to come together and take action … in particular this epidemic of mass shootings.’
Murphy interrupted current discussion of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Act that funds the Justice Department. Democrats in the Senate were planning to ammend the act to address gun violence, including a measure to bar individuals on the terrorism watch list from buying guns.
Murphy’s blockade began around 11:20 a.m. and was still in progress at 2 p.m.
Murphy defiantly stated:
‘I’m going to remain on this floor until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together … that we can get a path forward on addressing this epidemic in a meaningful bipartisan way.’
I am prepared to stand on the Senate floor and talk about the need to prevent gun violence for as long as I can. I've had #Enough
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 15, 2016
Other Democratic senators joining in the debate in support of immediate action include Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Al Franken (D-MN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Ed Markey (D-MA).
Democratic presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, also weighed in from Twitter with support for Murphy’s bold stand.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 15, 2016
The Democratic senators have not indicated how long they plan to hold the floor, but a spokesman for Murphy, Chris Harris, has stated that the Connecticut senator will:
‘No longer accept inaction or half measure in the face of continued slaughter.’
As a senator representing Newtown, Murphy is known for his support of more stringent gun laws, and Democrats have renewed efforts for more effective gun control legislation since the shooting in Orlando.
Featured image screenshot via WRLDTV