WASHINGTON DC (via usatoday.com) June 15, 2016 - Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut took to the Senate floor a little before noon Wednesday and vowed to speak as long as he physically can until the Senate takes action to address gun violence.
“I am prepared to stand on the Senate floor and talk about the need to prevent gun violence for as long as I can. I've had #Enough,” he tweeted.
Murphy listed off mass shootings and talked about expanding background checks for gun buyers and banning gun sales to people on terror watch lists. He said the failure of Congress to pass such measures has been particularly disappointing to him and other residents of Connecticut, where a shooter gunned down 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.
"I can't tell you how hard it is to look into the eyes of the families of those little boys and girls who were killed in Sandy Hook and tell them that almost four years later, we’ve done nothing, nothing at all to reduce the likelihood that that will happen again to another family," Murphy said.
Murphy was aided in chewing up time by a string of fellow Democratic senators, who began taking turns asking Murphy questions.
Senate Democrats have renewed their push for legislation to toughen gun laws since the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Florida Sunday that killed 49 people, plus the shooter and injured 53 others. They have focused on a measure proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that would ban gun sales to suspected terrorists, including those on watch lists.
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he and his GOP colleagues are open to legislation that would ban such sales but only if it includes due process protections for individuals listed.
His party's presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, jumped into the fray Wednesday and said he will be meeting with the National Rifle Association "about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns."
Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, said the group is "happy to meet with Donald Trump" though its position on the issue hasn't changed. Cox said the NRA supports delaying a sale until an investigation is completed and blocking a sale only after a court hearing.
"At the same time, due process protections should be put in place that allow law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a watchlist to be removed," Cox said.