Senator slams Congress' inaction on 'epidemic of mass slaughter' after Florida shooting

Zach Gibson/Getty ImagesSen. Chris Murphy.
  • Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy called out Congress for not doing enough to prevent mass shootings.
  • His speech comes as 17 people were killed and over a dozen more were injured at a Florida high school on Wednesday.
  • Murphy has long been a staunch supporter of gun control.

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy lashed out at lawmakers on the Senate floor Wednesday as authorities were still investigating the scene of a deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school.

“This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America,” Murphy, the senator from Connecticut, said. “This epidemic of mass slaughter – this scourge of school shooting after school shooting. It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction.”

At least 17 people were killed and 14 injured on Wednesday, local authorities said.

Murphy has long been a staunch supporter of gun control measures. He was a congressman representing Connecticut’s 5th district when 20 children were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. He has served as a US senator for the state since 2013.

Three days after an ISIS-affiliated gunman killed 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016, Murphy filibustered on the Senate floor for nearly 15 hours urging a vote on gun control legislation.

Last November, Murphy and a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would improve the federal government’s background check system, making it harder for criminals to access firearms through inefficient loopholes in the present system.

That bill has stalled in Congress.

Gun control remains a hot-button political issue on Capitol Hill. Although mass shootings tend to elicit increased support from lawmakers, that support usually dies out in the subsequent weeks and months.

“As a parent, it scares me to death that [Congress] doesn’t take seriously the safety of my children,” Murphy said Wednesday, “and it seems like a lot of parents in South Florida are going to be asking that same question later today.”

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