In an interview published September 28, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) said there is nothing wrong with politicizing mass shootings and even indicated such politicization should begin “within an hour” of such a heinous incident.
He said he made a mistake by waiting too long after the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary and he vowed that he would not wait again before pushing gun control.
According to The Washington Post, Murphy said:
You cannot accept the premise that there is any waiting period after a tragedy to start engaging in political action, I think you need to be unapologetic about that. I am talking about legislative action within an hour of a shooting. These shootings won’t stop unless we move seamlessly from tragedy to action.
Murphy highlighted his change in approach by pointing to his response to the June 12 Orlando terror attack. “Within days” of the attack he “[seized] the Senate floor for a 15-hour filibuster in pursuit of gun control.” His goal was the passage of a bill “that would ban people on the terrorist watch list from buying a gun.” Murphy secured a vote on the bill, but it was voted down.
The larger lesson is that Murphy’s eagerness to politicize actually led him to hold a filibuster for a bill that would not have even prevented the Orlando terror attack. After all, the Orlando gunman was not on a terror watch list.
This is a problem Democrats run into over and again as they seek out microphones and cameras in the immediate aftermath of a heinous attack. President Obama proved this in October, when he reacted to the Umpqua Community College attack with calls for more gun control.
The Post claims Obama had momentum on his side, as “9 in 10 Americans supported some form of background checks.” But days later it was learned that the Umpqua Community College gunman acquired his guns via background checks.
It is interesting to note Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) used the Sandy Hook Elementary attack as an opportunity to push gun control that would not have prevented the attack had the proposed controls been in place beforehand. Although he did not push his calls for more gun control immediately after the attack, he did set a precedent for Democrats who quickly emerged with a gun control plan that had nothing to do with the attack that birthed it.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.