Sandy Hook 2 years later: One senator’s push for gun control

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Chris Murphy, (D) Connecticut, is a United States Senator from the state of Connecticut. Credit: From Chris Murphy via CNN.

By Ashley Codianni


WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sunday marks the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre that killed twenty children and six teachers on December 14, 2012. And though Congress hasn’t passed any gun reform laws in its wake, there’s one senator who’s made it his mission to persistently push for changes, even when no one’s listening.

For the past two years, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, has been traveling to the Senate floor, month after month, to detail the growing numbers of people killed by gun violence. He calls these speeches, “Voices of Victims.”

Asked what drives him to continually make his plea, he said it’s to keep “the drum beat up on the Senate floor.”

To him, telling victim’s stories, identifying who they were, what they enjoyed, where they lived, personalizes the issue and hopefully makes it harder for his colleagues and state lawmakers to ignore.

“There’s no more personal issue than gun violence; every one of these stories is a life lost,” he said. “I’m hoping that over the long term, as I tell these stories, that it will help to open people’s eyes.”

“It is beyond comprehension that Congress is watching this epidemic of school shootings and chooses to do nothing,” Murphy added.

Murphy’s uphill battle for comprehensive gun control reform, however, is met with significant challenges. Since the shooting at Sandy Hook, and the many that followed, there’s been no legislation on the issue. After a failed vote on a bill that would have broadened background checks for gun purchasers in April 2013, there’s been no sign of any additional legislation.

And with Republicans maintaining the House and winning the Senate as a result of the midterm election, Murphy’s push for gun control legislation and background checks hasn’t gotten any easier. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a staunch supporter of the National Rifle Association and 90 percent of NRA-backed candidates won their seats during midterm elections.

“[The NRA] is absolutely pulling one over on their members,” Murphy said. “The NRA was for background checks a decade ago, and they changed their position, despite the fact that their members support background checks.”

A new Pew survey released earlier this week indicates additional challenges for gun control advocates. According to the survey, the number of people supporting gun rights now offsets those who support gun control with 52 percent of Americans siding with gun rights, and 46 percent siding with gun control.

On Wednesday, Murphy acknowledged the challenges for achieving gun control legislation with the Republican-led Congress during a Senate floor speech, but hinted he might be finding a new way to challenge the issue.

“I get it that we’re not going to get a background checks bill passed through the Senate in the next two years, but why not work on mental health funding?” he asked.

Either way, Murphy is not giving up. He acknowledged that fighting for stricter gun laws is a lifelong campaign for the families affected by Sandy Hook.

“It gives me hope that if I stick with this, families will stick with this alongside me,” he said.

™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


  • Ivan

    Firearms are just a tool. A can of gas, a vehicle, a machete, or even a bomb would be more deadly and easily available. All the checks he would advocate for would not have stopped Sandy Hook.

  • Ivan

    If their goal is total safety maybe we should lock every man, woman, and child in their own padded cell then everyone would be safe. Except even in high security prisons there are still people murdered. How much of your freedom will you give up for imaginary security?

    • 2nd Amendment Rights

      Ivan, I agree with you 100 percent. Some people don’t get the fact that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If they ever win, I hope they pass knife control bills so it puts Isis out off business.

  • Sp60

    It’s sad to see Fox News in a gun-sensible state like Utah publish an ‘article’ (more a propaganda piece) like this.

    The gun control lobby has this sense of entitlement, that every time there is a tragedy involving firearms they get to have one piece of national legislation thrown to them like a sop (look it up).

    Sorry, but trading lives for legislation is one of the more despicable aspects of the gun control lobby, and is one of the reasons a majority of Americans are now against gun control.

    Here’s another… the lies.

    This article talks like we don;t have background checks at all. In reality, the NICS bureau of the FBI runs millions every year while individual states run even more.

    In fact the only time a background check isn’t necessary is when a private individuals, both legal to own a firearm, transfer one between them. These private transfers are what these ‘expanded’ or ‘universal’ background checks want to criminalize.

    It may not sound like a big deal to people, you just have to sell a gun through a licensed dealer… right. It’s no different than having to sell your old car to someone by going through a car dealer. Or your old lawn mower by going through a hardware store. Or your old knife set by going through a department store.

    Oh, we don’t have to do that?

    That’s right. A private sale of legal private property has always been held to be outside the scope of government. Well, what can it hurt to set a new precedent that it’s OK for government to meddle in private property? I mean the government wouldn’t misuse this authority… would it?

    And the cause is good right. I mean the US Dept of Justice tells us that .08% of private transfers at gun shows end up as illegal firearms, and estimate just under 5% of all private transfers end up on the black market.

    Yet it’s also well established that almost 50% of all illegal guns come retail stores, where a ‘straw buyer’ uses their clean background to get around the required background check, then gives the gun to a person they know is a criminal. This is a felony in all 50 states, yet the US prosecutes less than 100 people a year on this charge.

    FInally, let’s look at the law itself. It’s a boilerplate of wish-list items written by anti-gun billionaire Mike Bloomberg.
    – It makes giving someone in your extended family a firearm into a felony.
    – It makes one friend loaning a firearm to another a felony.
    – It makes two co-workers at a range, trying out each others guns a felony.

    It’s not written to prevent law-abiding people from selling firearms to criminals. From what the Dept. of Justice tells us, that doesn’t really happen.

    No, this law is meant to harass law abiding firearms owners, making the simple things they do, shooting with friends, hunting together, giving each other gifts… Making all these into crimes and felonies.

    Wake up Fox. Wake up Utah. The same astroturf groups that pushed this through in Washington state (with almost $20 million from the ‘billionaires club’) are gunning for your rights next.

    Articles like this, bought and paid for by the gun control lobby, have no business at all in a free and independent press.

  • jammer20p

    “to detail the growing numbers of people killed by gun violence.”
    Sorry! Crime involving firearms is following the same trend as all crime – a 50 to 75% reduction in the past 20 years.

    likewise ” “epidemic of school shootings and chooses to do nothing,” Murphy added”. Nope. No epidemic. School is still one of the safest places to keep a child. Definitely no epidemic.

    I think there are some good ideas out there on gun control, but it’s probably not good legislation if people have to lie to drum up support.

  • George

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.”
    as quoted by Thomas Jefferson in his “Legal Commonplace Book.”

  • Jim Roth

    Murphy’s nothing more than a disingenuous politician, trying to keep his job by placating mommies with worthless legislation. He keeps repeating nonsense like “if you have a gun in your home, you’re X number of times more likely to be killed by that gun,” and all the other tired hacks that the Brady Campaign keeps trotting out. Some people actually believe those lies, because they’ve been repeated so often. What a bunch of gibberish.

  • restoration1776

    Its about time we talk about sandy hoax. All alleged parents are actors, and involved in disarming america. They passed legislation to block foia requests to juvenile death records in Connecticut. What are they hiding? Why were first responders not allowed in the building? Why was the secondary investigation at lanzas next door neighbors house, and not at the lanza residence? How does a 120 lbs autistic boy carry a bushmaster, a shotgun, and two semiautomatic handguns with enough magazines to accomplish the task of murdering 20+ people with above operator precision? Why are Americans just accepting the msm “official story”. Photos of victims with their alleged family’s were photoshoped. This is a blatent false flag attack on the second amendment.

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