WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon following the school shooting in Uvalde that saw at least 18 students and two adults killed.
Before he was a senator, Murphy previously served as the U.S. Representative for Connecticut's 5th Congressional District from January 2007 to January 2013. Newtown, Conn., falls within this district; that's where the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting took place Dec. 14, 2012.
Murphy told his fellow senators they had another Sandy Hook on their hands with the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde, where 14 students and one teacher died, along with the shooter himself, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.
In a five-minute speech to the Senate, Murphy repeatedly asked two questions to his fellow Congressmen: "What are we doing?" and "Why are we here?"
The entire impassioned plea can be seen at the top of this article.
"There were more mass shootings than days in the year," Murphy said. "Our kids are living in fear every time they set foot in a classroom because they think they're going to be next."
Murphy asked the Senators why they go through all the hassle of running for Senate and getting this job if their response to these shootings is doing nothing.
"Why are you here if not to solve a problem as existential as this?" Murphy asked. "This isn't inevitable, these kids weren't unlucky. This only happens in this country and nowhere else. Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking they might be shot that day."
Murphy said that, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, classrooms there would have a safe-word that kids would say if they started getting thoughts about what they saw the day of the shooting. Throughout the days, Murphy added, kids would stand up and say the word, and teachers would have to pull them out of class to talk about what they saw that day and help them work through it.
"Sandy Hook will never, ever be the same," Murphy said. "This community in Texas will never, ever be the same. Why? Why are we here if not to try to make sure that fewer schools and fewer communities go through what Sandy Hook has gone through, what Uvalde is going through?"
Murphy said he was on the Senate floor to beg his colleagues to find a path forward, and that, while he understood that his Republican colleagues won't agree with everything he supports, there was a common denominator they can find.
"There is a place we can achieve agreement that may not guarantee that American never again sees a mass shooting, that may not overnight cut in half the number of murders that happen," Murphy said. "It will not solve the problem of American violence by itself, but by doing something, we can 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."