Senator rips his colleagues after Texas church shooting: ‘No one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing’

Chris Murphy.

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Chris Murphy.
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Zach Gibson/Getty Images

    In the wake of a mass shooting at a Texas church, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut criticized gun lobbyists and his colleagues in Congress for not doing enough to prevent gun violence. “No one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic,” he said. Murphy represented Newtown, Connecticut, the site of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, before he became a senator.

Hours after a gunman killed more than 20 people in a Texas church, Sen. Chris Murphy issued a scathing statement blasting his colleagues in Congress for accepting money from gun lobbyists and what Murphy said was not doing enough to prevent the attack.

“The paralysis you feel right now – the impotent helplessness that washes over you as news of another mass slaughter scrolls across the television screen – isn’t real,” Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said in the statement. “It’s a fiction created and methodically cultivated by the gun lobby, designed to assure that no laws are passed to make America safer, because those laws would cut into their profits.”

He continued: “As my colleagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets.

“Ask yourself – how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents,” he said.

Murphy is one of the Democratic Party’s most outspoken proponents of preventing gun violence. Before he was a senator, he represented a district that includes Newtown, Connecticut, where a 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School left 26 people dead, including 20 children.

He and other Democratic leaders have previously criticized Republican members of Congress for failing to pass gun-control legislation after mass shootings.

In his statement, Murphy mentioned several other recent shootings in the US, including those in Las Vegas last month, at Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year, and at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

“The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic,” Murphy said. “The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something.”

Read Murphy’s full statement:

“The paralysis you feel right now – the impotent helplessness that washes over you as news of another mass slaughter scrolls across the television screen – isn’t real. It’s a fiction created and methodically cultivated by the gun lobby, designed to assure that no laws are passed to make America safer, because those laws would cut into their profits. My heart sunk to the pit of my stomach, once again, when I heard of today’s shooting in Texas. My heart dropped further when I thought about the growing macabre club of families in Las Vegas and Orlando and Charleston and Newtown, who have to relive their own day of horror every time another mass killing occurs.

“None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America. It is uniquely and tragically American. As long as our nation chooses to flood the county with dangerous weapons and consciously let those weapons fall into the hands of dangerous people, these killings will not abate.

“As my colleagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets. Ask yourself – how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents.

“My heart breaks for Sutherland Springs. Just like it still does for Las Vegas. And Orlando. And Charleston. And Aurora. And Blacksburg. And Newtown. Just like it does every night for Chicago. And New Orleans. And Baltimore. And Bridgeport. The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic. The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something.”