Finally! Democrats made the move that we've all been waiting for by launching a filibuster in an attempt to force the Senate into addressing gun control on Wednesday. Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who represents the community of Newtown that lost 20 children and six adults from a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, got the ball rolling with a tweet saying that "I am prepared to stand on the Senate floor and talk about the need to prevent gun violence for as long as I can. I've had #Enough."
The Senator also tweeted that he was making the move in honor of the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando. It was deeply disappointing that the shooting of children wasn't enough to create change and Murphy made sure to rub that in the face of anyone who was listening to him. But if the events in Orlando didn't get us to a breaking point that even special interest groups like the National Rifle Association can't ignore, we don't know what will. According to Politico.com, Murphy's goal is to get Republicans on board with legislation that will keep "suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms and require universal background checks." These are two things that we cannot believe are not already on the books, especially given that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen had been on the FBI's radar in the past.
Murphy's spokesman Chris Harris also made some cutting remarks that could not be ignored: "Congress cannot sit on the sidelines while killers freely buy weapons to brutally murder the people Congress is supposed to be protecting." And with 90 mass shootings (incidents with at least four or more victims) occurring between between 1966 and 2012 making the United States rank as the country with the most mass shootings in the world according to a study published this year, anyone holding a government office should feel disgusted that they consistently fail at making significant changes to gun control laws.
The filibuster keeps the Senate from moving forward with a spending bill they currently have on the floor that Democrats have been wanting to add gun control measures to. Murphy said he has no plan on leaving “until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together on these two measures, that we can get a path forward on addressing this epidemic in a meaningful, bipartisan way.” So far Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey are some of the Democrats that have joined Murphy on the floor. This is a good sign since the more people that join in, the longer they can keep talking and keeping lawmakers from going back to "business as usual."
The heat from the Democrats seems to be working since Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican leader in the Senate, told CNN that he is hard at work with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein on a compromise since "It's pretty clear Democrats aren't going to let us do anything until we deal with this issue." Damn right!
The NRA doesn't support the changes being proposed by the Democrats. They feel that citizens should have the right to go to court if they feel they have been wrongfully banned from purchasing a weapon.
Murphy and his fellow Dems have speaking slots as late as 10:30 p.m. ET. Watch the live feed via NBC, below.