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Sen. Chris Murphy, lawmaker from Sandy Hook district, pleads for action after Texas elementary school mass shooting: "What are we doing?"

Sen. Chris Murphy begs for gun control on Capitol Hill
"What are we doing?" Sen. Chris Murphy begs for gun control on Senate floor 02:57

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy spoke from the Senate floor on Tuesday several hours after a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school killed at least 19 students and two adults. The Democrat, who was formerly a representative from a district that included Sandy Hook Elementary School, opened his speech by recalling the trauma students there experienced in the wake of the 2012 mass shooting that left more than two dozen dead. 

"Sandy Hook will never, ever be the same," Murphy said, his voice cracking. "This community in Texas will never, ever be the same. Why? Why are we here? If not to try to make sure that fewer schools and fewer communities go through what Sandy Hook has gone through. What Uvalde is going through."

Sen. Chris Murphy on the Senate floor on May 24, 2022. CBS News

He said his heart was breaking for the Texas community. But he also used the moment to call on his fellow senators to take action. Murphy described the U.S. government's failure to act after such instances of gun violence "a quiet message of endorsement."

"I am here on this floor to beg — to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues," he said. "Find a path forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely. I understand my Republican colleagues may not agree to everything I support, but there is a common denominator we can find. There is a place where we can achieve agreement..."

He concluded: "What are we doing? Why are we here? What are we doing?"

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