Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy pressed his case for gun safety legislation on Thursday morning, just hours after he wrapped up a day-long filibuster on the Senate floor in an attempt to force a vote on the issue.
Murphy said he felt that it was necessary to stage his filibuster in order to force debate on an issue where the lack of action was “deeply offensive.”
“Why I went down to the floor yesterday morning, and held it for 15 hours, is because we were coming off the worst shooting in American history, and there was no scheduled debate on the floor of the senate to try to force some consensus on these issues,” Murphy told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.”
“There was nothing that was going to happen in the United States Senate, no debate, in the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history, until this filibuster began. That was deeply offensive to many of us, in the sense that we forced that debate,” he added.
The Connecticut senator also explained why Democrats were responding so aggressively to the Orlando shooting, and defended against criticism that the tragedy was being politicized.
“I understand what you’re saying,” Murphy told Cuomo. “There is always a desire to find a solution to the last tragedy. But you will find that the families coming out of Orlando are going to be fighting for laws that will prevent a multitude of other gun tragedies around the country.”
“There are 80 people dying every single day. There is the equivalent of an Orlando and a half every day in this country. We can’t accept that the only points we have are these mass shootings,” he said. “That was the point of the filibuster yesterday – this is happening every day, and we have to use moments like we had yesterday to draw attention to this broader epidemic.”
And Murphy advocated for legislation that would prohibit gun sales to suspected terrorists.
“There is an open question as to whether the legislation that Senator (Dianne) Feinstein is proposing would have stopped (the Orlando shooter) from getting a weapon, because it actually gives some broader discretions to the FBI to put on the list of people who can’t buy guys, individuals that they believe pose a risk to national security,” he said.