PHILADELPHIA — An emotional U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy slammed the Republican-led Congress and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for their positions on gun control in a fiery speech Wednesday evening at the Democratic National Convention.
Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat who staged a nearly 15-hour filibuster in the Senate last month on gun control after the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, said Republicans have done nothing on gun control since the deadly Sandy Hook School shootings.
“I am furious in three years, in three years since Sandy Hook, three years of almost daily bloodshed in our cities the Republican Congress has done absolutely nothing to prevent the next massacre,” he said referring to the Dec. 14, 2012 massacre. “It stokes inside me a sense of outrage that I have never felt before and that’s what drove me to stand on the floor of the U.S. Senate for 15 hours to demand change.”
Losing a child to gun violence is “unimaginable” Murphy said.
“In Newtown, Connecticut, families of 20 first-graders and their six teachers they live with it every minute of every day. And across the country each day, unbelievably, 90 families join them.”
Murphy said he is “outraged” that the gun lobby wants to keep loopholes that could allow “a suspected terrorist can walk into a gun store and walk out with a military-style semi-automatic style weapon.”
He praised Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for backing gun control even if it wasn’t politically expedient.
“But she held firm. She stood up to the NRA and Hilary Clinton pledged to take Washington back from the gun lobby.”
Murphy turned to Trump and accused him of using gun violence as an opportunity to stoke division and back the gun lobby.
“He sees it as an opportunity, another opportunity to convince Americans that they should fear one another,” Murphy said. “Another opportunity to do the bidding of the gun lobby.”
Trump is going against the sentiment of 90 percent of Americans who want to see increased background checks and tighter gun control, Murphy said. In fact, he accused Trump of deliberately trying to weaken gun control if he were elected president.
“Trump said that in his first hour in the Oval Office he will rollback safeguards that we already have,” Murphy said. “Even more sinister Trump said that by the end of his first day in office he will mandate that every school in America allow guns in their classrooms.”
Murphy urged the delegates inside the Wells Fargo Arena to be optimistic even in the face of “the horrifying trajectory of cascading massacres” as he told them there can be smart gun policies implemented that will make the country safer.
He praised Clinton for her strong stand on gun control.
“She is a leader who has the empathy and the guts to declare with every fiber in her being that we have had enough,” he said as he closed his five-minute speech to the Democratic National Convention.