Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy took to the Senate floor Tuesday to address politicians and beg for change after a mass shooting resulted in the death of over 19 kids and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas.
“I'm here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues,” Murphy said. “Find a path forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely.”
In an emotional appeal to fellow politicians, Murphy stressed the need to take action to prevent further tragedies from happening. When Murphy made the comments, the death toll stood at 14 children dead.
“It will not solve the problem of American violence by itself, but by doing something, we at least stop sending this quiet message of endorsement to these killers whose brains are breaking, who see the highest levels of government doing nothing shooting after shooting,” Murphy said.
Murphy said the issue isn't simply mental illness and that the U.S. doesn't have any more mental illness than any other country in the world.
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“You cannot explain this through a prism of mental illness because we don't - we're not an outlier on mental illness. We're an outlier when it comes to access to firearms and the ability of criminals and very sick people to get their hands on firearms. That's what makes America different," Murphy said.
Murphy asked senators why they were in a position of authority if not "to solve a problem as existential as this."
"This only happens in this country and nowhere else, nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day. Nowhere else do parents have to talk to their kids as I have had to do about why they got locked into a bathroom and told to be quiet for five minutes just in case a bad man entered that building. Nowhere else does that happen except here in the United States of America. And it is a choice. It is our choice to let it continue," Murphy said.
Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting Tuesday. Second, third and fourth graders were among those killed and injured when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School.
"... Just days after a shooter walked into a grocery store to gun down African American patrons, we have another Sandy Hook on our hands. What are we doing?" Murphy questioned.
Sandy Hook Promise released a statement about the shooting.
"We are devastated about reports that multiple people are dead, including children," the organization posted on Facebook Tuesday afternoon. "Our hearts are with the families and community as this tragic story unfolds."
Sandy Hook Promise was created in the wake of the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Twenty first-graders and six educators were killed in Sandy Hook Elementary.
The nonprofit was founded and led by several family members of those who were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.