Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said today that Congress has become “complicit” in murders such as this week’s shooting during a live news shot in Virginia for not passing more gun-control laws.
Killer Vester Flanagan, who murdered reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward and wounded Chamber of Commerce official Vicki Gardner near Roanoke, passed a background check to buy two Glock handguns weeks ago.
Murphy, who has been lobbying for more gun control since Sandy Hook, told CNN today that he feels this time “change is going to happen.”
“It may take a series of elections before we get there, but I think there’s clear momentum towards a comprehensive look at how we reduce violence. And the fact of the matter is that it has to be comprehensive. You can’t just change our gun laws. Yes, we should have these dangerous weapons off the street, criminals shouldn’t get guns,” the senator said.
“But we also have a broken mental health system and that deserves fixing as well and we shouldn’t wait to do all of it at one time. If we can’t get the gun laws changed because of the NRA control of Congress right now then let’s fix the mental health system. We should be starting this process now because it’s an absolute stain on this nation that there have been more mass shootings this year than there have been days in the year. We shouldn’t accept that in Congress.”
Murphy said his criticism is directed at “the entirety of Congress, especially those that have stood in the way of common sense gun measures like expanded background checks or reforms to our mental health system.”
“The fact is when our leadership in Congress stands up and says we can’t do anything, they are absolutely wrong,” he said. “And I believe that we have become complicit in these murders because people listen to highest levels of government. And when we say nothing about it, when we don’t even attempt to change the laws to try to stop this mass slaughter, then people get some signal that it’s OK to settle their grievances or to deal with their illness through gun violence.”
“I just don’t accept that we can do nothing and I’m speaking directly to the Republican leadership of the House and the Senate. They should be bringing anti-gun violence bills to the floor that can get consensus votes this fall or the Congress is complicit in these murders.”