Senator Slams Colleagues After Texas Shooting: "Can You Sleep Tonight?"

by Maria Guido
Image via SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Chris Murphy calls out the NRA

We’re living in some sort of horrific groundhog day scenario. I sent a message to a colleague yesterday after news of another mass shooting broke, and she said, “I barely blinked.” I realized in that moment, I felt the same. The frequency of these shootings is making them almost impossible to digest. More crying families. More lives destroyed. More “lone gunman” narratives. More “not the time to talk about gun control.” More nothing.

Nothing. That is what our country is doing about our gun violence epidemic: nothing.

Congress has been in the NRA’s pocket for so long, we’re actually believing the narrative that “there’s nothing we can do,” and “bad guys will always get guns.” And it is utter bullshit. There is something we can do. We can put pressure on our constituents to pass common sense gun laws. We can vote against those who refuse. But most of all, we can pull our head out of the sand and stop buying what the NRA is selling — that our widely available and easily accessible guns aren’t the problem.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy explained the paralysis that we all feel in a statement yesterday about the shooting in Sutherland, Texas — where dozens of church-goers were gunned down and 26 people ranging in age from 5 to 72 lost their lives. Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America, shared his thoughts on Twitter.

“The paralysis you feel right now – the impotent helplessness that washes over you as news of another mass slaughter scrolls across the television screen – isn’t real,” Murphy writes. “It’s a fiction created and methodically cultivated by the gun lobby, designed to assure that no laws are passed to make America safer, because those laws would cut into their profits.”

The gun industry sees record profits every time one of these mass shootings happen, as they push their narrative that a “good guy with a gun” can always help. We even saw that narrative pushed yesterday by just about every mainstream news channel when they heard a neighbor surfaced and fired shots at the gunman. We had no details at the time about whether that helped at all. The gunman was already out of the church. Still, we listen to the idea that “more guns” will help — and that there’s nothing we can do to keep guns out of the hands of “bad men.”

But as Murphy describes, none of these shootings are inevitable, and there is something we can do.

“None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America,” Murphy writes. “It is uniquely and tragically American. As long as our nation chooses to flood the county with dangerous weapons and consciously let those weapons fall into the hands of dangerous people, these killings will not abate.”

“The gun industry profits when it sells a gun that is eventually sold to a criminal,” Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, explained to Salon. “And the gun industry also profits when the culture of fear it created — having armed those criminals, often through irresponsible or negligent sales — makes other people think that they also need to have a gun.”

More guns. More guns. More guns. That’s what the NRA wants you to believe will fix this. How long are we going to buy this nonsensical narrative?

“As my colleagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets. Ask yourself – how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents,” Murphy writes.

“My heart breaks for Sutherland Springs. Just like it still does for Las Vegas. And Orlando. And Charleston. And Aurora. And Blacksburg. And Newtown. Just like it does every night for Chicago. And New Orleans. And Baltimore. And Bridgeport. The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic.

“The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something.”