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A Democratic senator gave an impassioned speech Wednesday before the Senate, where he repeatedly challenged his fellow lawmakers to answer, “What are we doing? Why are we here?”
Sen. Chris Murphy folded his hands and begged his fellow senators to take legislative action to prevent further mass shootings in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, shooting. Murphy has been a consistent advocate for gun-control policies for years, and asked Wednesday for both sides of the aisle to compromise on bills aiming to curb gun violence.
“I’m here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees to beg my colleagues – find a path forward here,” Murphy said from the floor of the legislature. “Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely.”
“Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate? Why do you go through all of the hassle of getting this job, of putting yourself in a position of authority, if your answer – as this slaughter increases, as our kids run for their lives – we do nothing?” he asked from the Senate floor.
Murphy made the speech in the aftermath of the Robb Elementary School shooting that took place Tuesday in which 19 children were killed by a lone gunman. Adult members of staff were also killed, including fourth grade teacher Eva Mireles. Several law enforcement officers were shot in the terror attack.
“This isn’t inevitable. These kids weren’t unlucky. This only happens in this country, and nowhere else,” Murphy continued. “Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day. Nowhere else do parents have to talk to their kids, as I have had to do – about why they got locked into a bathroom and told to be quiet for five minutes just in case a bad man entered that building. Nowhere else does that happen but here in the United States of America. And it is a choice. It is our choice to let it continue.”
The motive surrounding the Robb Elementary School shooting remains unknown.
“I understand my Republican colleagues will not agree to everything I may suggest, but there is a common denominator that we can find. There is a place where we can achieve agreement,” Murphy said. “That may not guarantee that America never again sees a mass shooting. That may not overnight cut in half the number of murders that happen in America. That will not solve the problem of American violence by itself. But by doing something, we at least stop sending this quiet message of endorsement to these killers whose brains are breaking – who see the highest levels of government doing nothing shooting after shooting.”
School districts across the U.S. are taking heightened security measures following the deadly mass shooting.
Multiple police officers who responded to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, were struck with gunfire by a suspect who “just began shooting anyone that was in his way,” a law enforcement officer revealed Wednesday.
Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Chris Olivarez, speaking on NBC’s “Today” show, said the events that led to the deaths of 19 students and two teachers began when Salvador Ramos shot his grandmother and then crashed a vehicle while fleeing that scene. Local police then got calls about an individual armed with a weapon making his way into the school, according to Olivarez.
He said when law enforcement “tried to make entry into the building, they were met with gunfire by the suspect, by the shooter.”
Fox News’ Greg Newman contributed to this report.