HARTFORD, CT — U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy took to Twitter this weekend to call on his colleagues in the Senate to do something more than offer sympathy to the victims of this weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
“To my colleagues — get off your ass and do something,” Murphy tweeted. “Stop pretending like your only responsibility is to offer sympathy.”
Murphy said supporters of the NRA like to frame these mass shootings as a problem with mental illness, but that’s just a “gun industry trope.”
“America has no more mental illness than other nations,” Murphy said. “Just here, the people dealing w[ith] complicated inner demons can get a military style weapon with ease.”
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal will join Murphy and Gov. Ned Lamont on the steps of the state Capitol on Monday for a rally to get Congress to take action on gun violence prevention measures that enjoy widespread support.
Blumenthal also took to Twitter this weekend to call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call the Senate back into session to address the issue of gun violence prevention.
“Break the gun lobby’s vile vice-like grip on Congress. Send Mitch McConnell a message: Adopt commonsense reforms,” Blumenthal tweeted.
Blumenthal called for the Senate to pass a so-called “red flag” law, which allows law enforcement to remove guns from the possession of individuals who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. Connecticut passed a similar law in 1999 following the Connecticut Lottery shooting.
Murphy has been vocal about getting his colleagues to approve gun background checks. He first introduced the background-check gun bill in 2013 after a gunman killed 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.
He also tried again and failed after holding a 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor in 2016 after a gunman killed 49 people in a Florida nightclub in Orlando.
And he then tried again and failed a year later after a gunman opened fire from a hotel room and killed 58 people attending an outdoor country music concert in Las Vegas.
The House has already passed two background-check bills this year and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling on McConnell to cancel the August recess to allow the Senate to vote on the legislation.
“The House has passed gun violence prevention legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands and funding for research on how to best address this public health crisis. But Senator Majority Leader McConnell has refused to take any action whatsoever,” U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro said Sunday. “He and the President must act and work with Democrats to fix this problem immediately. We have lost far too many lives to gun violence, and continued inaction dishonors those who have been killed.”
U.S. Rep. John B. Larson also released a statement: “If the Prime Minister of New Zealand can ban assault weapons after a mass shooting, then the least President Trump can do is prevail on Mitch McConnell to reconvene the Senate and take up the House-passed legislation.”
McConnell reportedly fell this weekend at his home in Kentucky and injured his shoulder.
Following the shootings he tweeted that “We stand with law enforcement as they continue working to keep Americans safe and bring justice.”
He called the shootings “sickening.”
Meanwhile, McConnell’s office has yet to respond to calls to come back into session during the five-week August recess.
The NRA also issued a statement at 8 p.m. Sunday, saying the group is “committed to the safe and lawful use of firearms by those exercising their Second Amendment freedoms. We will not participate in the politicizing of these tragedies but, as always, we will work in good faith to pursue real solutions that protect us all from people who commit these horrific acts.”