by Susan Haigh and Lisa Mascaro
Hartford, Conn. ( Associated Press) — A U.S. senator in Congress representing the Connecticut community, where 26 elementary school students and teachers were murdered nearly a decade ago, begged his aides Tuesday, as the latest school shootings surfaced. It came to pass laws addressing the problems of the country. The problem of gun violence.
The mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, about 2,000 miles (3,200 km) from Newtown, Connecticut, felt very familiar to residents and officials, who saw many similarities to the attack of a lone gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School. . 2012.
A frustrated Sen. Chris Murphy took to the Senate floor on Tuesday and demanded that lawmakers address 20 children, mostly after the age of 6 or 7, and six teachers in Newtown, Connecticut who died on December 14, 2012. Do what they failed to do. Congress has been unable to pass substantial gun violence legislation since the collapse of a bipartisan Senate effort following that massacre.
“What are we doing?” Murphy asked. The Democrat, who represented Newtown during his time as a US congressman, urged his allies to find a compromise.
“I’m here on this floor to beg – literally to get down on my hands and knees – to beg my allies. Find a way forward here. Join us in finding a way to pass such laws.” Do work that makes it less likely,” he said.
“I don’t understand why people here think we’re powerless,” Murphy later told reporters. “We are not.”
He said he was working with allies — and specifically reaching out to Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas — to see if he could garner any bipartisan support for the gun violence law.
Although Democratic President Joe Biden’s party has little control over Congress, bills on gun violence have been stalled in the face of Republican opposition in the Senate.
Last year, the House passed two bills to expand background checks on firearms purchases. Someone must have closed a loophole for private and online sales; Another would have extended the background check review period. Both ended up 50-50 in the Senate, where Democrats need at least 10 Republican votes to clear objections from a filibuster.
Tuesday’s tragedy in Texas appeared similar to the Sandy Hook shooting, where a 20-year-old man shot at a closed school on December 14, 2012, then killed 20 first graders and six adults with an AR-15-type rifle. Legally bought by his mother. He committed suicide as soon as the police arrived. Before leaving for school, he shot his mother at their Newtown home.
“My son never came home from Sandy Hook. My heart bleeds for Texas as I survive Dylan’s murder,” Sandy Hook’s parent Nicole Hockley wrote in an op-ed for USA Today.
In February, the families of nine Sandy Hook victims settled for $73 million in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the rifle used in the shooting. The case against Remington, filed in 2015, was closely watched by gun control advocates, gun rights advocates and manufacturers because of its potential to provide a road map for victims of other shootings to prosecute firearms manufacturers.
The families and one survivor argued that the company should never have sold such a dangerous weapon to the public. He has said that his focus is on preventing future mass shootings by forcing gun companies to be more responsible with their products and how they market them.
“I hope more people will stand up and demand action and demand change and stop accepting tweets of thoughts and prayers. It is not going to save lives. It is not going to bring people back,” Sandy Erica Lafferty, daughter of Hook’s slain principal Don Lafferty Hochsprung.
“It’s really just a gun lobby talking and something that people think they need to say in return for action,” she told the Associated Press.
Lafferty, program manager at Everytown for Gun Safety and attorney for Universal Background Check, said she decided a few years ago to step back from talking to the media, which had become a succession of mass shootings.
On Tuesday, struck by the familiarity of aerial news shots of an elementary school and the fact that the victims included second-grade children and teachers like her mother, Lafferty thought she was trying to digest what had happened in private in Texas. Will do ,
it did not work.
“I think it lasted maybe five minutes before I heard my mom’s voice in my head: ‘Get off your butt, baby. It’s definitely your time,'” Lafferty said.
Advocacy groups formed after Sandy Hook also expressed dismay as news of the shooting spread.
“For the past decade, we have warned all Americans, including elected politicians, across the country that if a mass shooting in Sandy Hook could happen it could happen anywhere,” Poe Murray, president of the Newtown Action Alliance, said in a letter. ” Statement.
Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, tweeted how “senseless violence will stop only when Congress mixes thoughts and prayers with action.”
Murphy acknowledged that the problem of gun violence would not be solved overnight. But, he said, it can be addressed.
“I understand that my Republican allies will not agree to everything I can support, but there is a common denominator that we can find,” Murphy said. “But by doing something, we at least stop sending this quiet message of support to these killers, whose minds are breaking, who see the highest levels of government doing nothing, shooting after shooting.”
Mascaro reported from Washington. Associated Press writer David Collins contributed to this report.