HARTFORD, CT — On the anniversary of Pulse Nightclub shooting that claimed the lives of 49 people and left 53 injured, U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal remain furious that Congress has done nothing to prevent dangerous people from obtaining firearms.
“If Newtown and Orlando didn’t inspire Congress to action then it may be that we have to use the political process to change who is sent to Congress,” Murphy said Monday during a press conference at the Legislative Office Building.
He said ISIS has been “very clear that they want their recruits inside the United States to go to gun shows and to buy assault weapons. The weapon of choice for terrorists today in the United States is not an airplane, it’s not an explosive device that’s made in your basement, it’s an assault weapon.”
He said since Orlando ISIS has been even more explicit in their recruitment materials.
Murphy, who waged a nearly 15 hour filibuster last year to get a vote to increase background checks and one to stop people on the no-fly list from purchasing firearms, said they got more Republican support for those two measures than ever before and the filibuster drew millions more across the country into this advocacy movement, Murphy said.
“We’re stronger today because of it,” Murphy said.
However, they didn’t get the outcome they wanted. The votes on the measure failed to get enough support.
“What we’ve seen is that massacres have no effect on Congress. Elections have effects on Congress,” Blumenthal added.
In 2016 there were four states with referendums to tighten gun laws and three of those referendums passed, according to Murphy.
Next, U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, Charles Schumer, and U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark and Robin Kelly, joined with Murphy in forming the Fund to End Gun Violence.
The funding raised went to six Democratic candidates who supported their cause. Three of them won.
“We’re not going to give up. We thought the world had changed after Sandy Hook. It hadn’t. It didn’t,” Murphy said.
That doesn’t mean the two Connecticut Senators are giving up.
Murphy said they may have to win a few more races to get the laws changed.
“We are not going away. We are not giving up. We are not surrendering this cause even if it isn’t achieved in this session,” Blumenthal said.
The Fund to End Gun Violence, which was managed through the candidates campaign committees, raised $191,000 from over 12,000 individual donors. Murphy said they plan to use raise money again through the fund and distribute it to candidates in 2018.