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MURPHY: THERE’S BEEN A SEA CHANGE ON ANTI-GUN VIOLENCE MOVEMENT

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Thursday gave the following remarks at press conference to demand congressional action on gun violence prevention bills. He was joined by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Representatives Jahana Hayes (CT-5), Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Mike Thompson (CA-5), and representatives from Newtown Action Alliance, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, This is Our Lane, Giffords, and victims’ families and gun violence survivors.

Murphy continued: “…[T]here has been a sea change here. The House of Representatives led by Mike Thompson and Rosa DeLauro and others has passed in a bipartisan way legislation that’s going to save lives. We got very close, over the course of this summer, to convincing our colleagues in the Senate to pass a similar bill. And it’s not because our powers of persuasion all of a sudden got better, it’s because they’re scared of losing their seat. They finally realize that our movement, the anti-gun violence movement, is stronger than the gun lobby.”

“[W]e are here to honor and remember those who have fallen. But we’re also here to remember that those great social change movements don’t succeed overnight. And what all we are seeing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis is progress,” Murphy said. “We now pass more laws at the state level than the gun lobby does. We’re winning more seats and more races than they are. We have more advocates. We have more voices. We have more resources. We have more money. And if we continue to double down on that success, then it is not a question of if Congress wakes up, it is just a question of when.”

A full transcript of Murphy’s remarks can be found below:

“Let me reflect on Senator Blumenthal’s thanks to all of you for being here with us today. Wish you didn’t have to be here. We stand just in awe, of your ability to grieve and to speak truth to power at the same time. I don’t know how you muster the strength to do this over and over and over again, but you do.

“And I know that you must wonder to yourselves, why you keep on coming back here year after year when you don’t see the progress that seems so obvious. I know you must wonder whether it continues to make sense to march or to go to your state capitol when the truth seems so clear and yet you feel like beating your head up against a wall.

“I think part of what we want you to know is that what you are doing is absolutely working. I wish this place worked faster. But I have seen no issue move further than the issue of gun violence in the short time that I have been in the Senate. We couldn’t win a single vote here in the months and year following Sandy Hook. In the 2000s, the NRA put a bill in front of Congress and it was passed within months. They got everything they wanted.

“Well, there has been a sea change here. The House of Representatives led by Mike Thompson and Rosa DeLauro and others has passed in a bipartisan way legislation that’s going to save lives. We got very close, over the course of this summer, to convincing our colleagues in the Senate to pass a similar bill. And it’s not because our powers of persuasion all of a sudden got better, it’s because they’re scared of losing their seat. They finally realize that our movement, the anti-gun violence movement, is stronger than the gun lobby.

“And so, we are here to honor and remember those who have fallen. But we’re also here to remember that those great social change movements don’t succeed overnight. And what all we are seeing on a daily, and weekly and monthly basis is progress. We now pass more laws at the state level than the gun lobby does. We’re winning more seats in more races than they are. We have more advocates. We have more voices. We have more resources. We have more money. And if we continue to double down on that success, then it is not a question of if Congress wakes up, it is just a question of when.

“Now, the question of when is a really important one. Because every single day that you wait, that’s another 100 Americans, most of them young Americans—many of them victims of their own personal demons, turning guns on themselves—who perish. And so, we have to continue to act with urgency, but we also have to act with confidence. Not just in the righteousness of our cause, but in the efficacy of what we are doing.

“I hope there’s a day in which we don’t have to gather here in this manner, I hope there’s a day in which we have won and we can gather in celebration of those wins. But until then, we recognize the righteousness of our cause, we celebrate the fact that we can make sure that other families don’t have to go through what the family standing here have gone through.

“And I’m just so proud to be part of a delegation that cares and leads on this issue and be part of a movement that is one that is going to be the most impactful of all that I’ve ever been a part of in my time in public service. Thank you all for being here today.”

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