‘Virtually nothing meaningful’
Editor’s note: The following are excerpts from an address U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, delivered on the Senate floor Wednesday regarding the anniversaries of mass shootings in Orlando, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina.
“About 93 people are killed every day from guns. That’s a mixture of suicides and homicides, accidental shootings. That means that in the 731 days since the Pulse Nightclub shooting, we’ve had somewhere around 70,000 people having been killed by guns in this country. That’s a statistic that has no comparison anywhere else in the world.”
“We have done virtually nothing meaningful since the tragedy in my state in Sandy Hook. And, thus, the slaughter continues.”
“Melvin Graham’s sister, Cynthia Graham — she was murdered in Charleston as part of that shooting. And earlier this year he talked about how angry he is that Congress has done nothing meaningful to try to affect the reality of gun violence in this nation. He said, ‘You would think that this would be the time. Each time something happens you think this is the time we’re going to get some action, some movement, some unity in Washington to do something. And each time they have let me down. They have failed me. They’ve shown me that they simply do not care.’ ” “But unfortunately, this coun- try tends to only pay attention to the issue of gun violence when these mass shootings happen. And they are truly soul crushing, community-changing events. Newtown, Connecticut, is never, ever going to recover from what happened there.”
“In my state, Antonio Robinson was recently ready to graduate from Stamford Academy. And he was the former co-captain of the Stamford High School football team. He was standing on an overpass and he was shot to death. His sister said that he never bothered anybody and so he never thought that he had to dodge or hide from bullets. He was on his cell phone standing on the overpass. He wasn’t even aware that he was about to be shot. His former coach and sixth grade teacher said that, ‘He wasn’t the biggest kid out there but he played with a lot of heart and soul. He gave it everything he got.’ Another one of his football coaches said that, ‘He was very respectful. He was just an awesome, awesome kid.’ Eighteen years old, Antonio Robinson is gone.”
“The young woman I met with today who has gone through one of these traumas herself having survived the Pulse shooting from two years ago speaks about that same kind of trauma. Her life is fundamentally changed from that day. Relations with her family members have been ruptured. She lost her cousin inside the nightclub that night. It’s a reminder that researchers tell us every time one person is shot, there are likely 20 other people who experience some kind of trauma based off of that one shooting. So take the 93 people every single day, multiply that times 20, and you get the sense of just over a 24-hour period the catastrophe that happens in families and communities because of gun violence.”
“The United States has a rate of gun violence about 10 people per 100,000 in terms of gun deaths. And there’s no comparison. The next highest country is Finland, which has rate of about three per 100,000. The average country is down around one per 100,000. So you’re talking about a rate that’s 10 times higher in this country than in other countries.”
“We aren’t the country with the most assaults. We are close to the country with the lowest number of assaults. Belgium has more, Israel has more, Portugal has more, Sweden, France, Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Demark, Germany, Austria, Norway, Ireland, Finland, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and the United Kingdom. Only Japan and Canada report fewer assaults per person per capita than the United States. So it’s not that we are a more violent nation. It is that we are in particular a nation plagued by one type of violence — gun violence.”
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., speaks on the House floor Wednesday about the anniversaries of the mass shootings in Orlando, Fla., and Charleston, S.C.