(WTNH) — Both sides of the gun control debate are responding to the shooting in Texas. Connecticut’s leaders are responding, horrified by the violence.
News 8 spoke with Senator Richard Blumenthal over the phone.
“My heart sank and my stomach turned,” he said. “I’m furious because Congress has been complicit in failing to act.”
Senator Chris Murphy responded to the shooting on social media. He also released the following statement:
“The paralysis you feel right now – the impotent helplessness that washes over you as news of another mass slaughter scrolls across the television screen – isn’t real. It’s a fiction created and methodically cultivated by the gun lobby, designed to assure that no laws are passed to make America safer, because those laws would cut into their profits. My heart sunk to the pit of my stomach, once again, when I heard of today’s shooting in Texas. My heart dropped further when I thought about the growing macabre club of families in Las Vegas and Orlando and Charleston and Newtown, who have to relive their own day of horror every time another mass killing occurs.
“None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America. It is uniquely and tragically American. As long as our nation chooses to flood the county with dangerous weapons and consciously let those weapons fall into the hands of dangerous people, these killings will not abate.
“As my colleagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets. Ask yourself – how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents.
“My heart breaks for Sutherland Springs. Just like it still does for Las Vegas. And Orlando. And Charleston. And Aurora. And Blacksburg. And Newtown. Just like it does every night for Chicago. And New Orleans. And Baltimore. And Bridgeport. The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic. The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something.”
Blumenthal says the gun laws need to change. He wants measures requiring background checks and a ban on assault weapons.
“We are reaching a tipping point in conscience and conviction if not practical legal consequences,” Blumenthal said.
Governor Dannel Malloy also responded to the attack in Texas. He too released a statement:
“This morning a church community in Texas gathered to pray in peace and now we pray for the deceased, the injured, and their friends and families. Sutherland Springs now joins a club which no one wishes to join, a club made up of cities and towns ravaged by senseless gun violence-communities such as Littleton, Virginia Tech, Charleston, Orlando, Las Vegas, Newtown, and so many others. For the sake of all communities across the country, this madness of mass shootings needs to end once and for all. Congress needs to finally take up and pass commonsense gun control measures so that tragedies like this one never happen again. Connecticut will make any resources and expertise that we can provide available to those affected by this latest act of mass violence.”
Blumenthal says it’s not too soon to talk about changing the gun laws.
“Our hearts and prayers should go to the families and loved ones, but we can honor those victims with action,” Blumenthal said.
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, an organization which advocates for the right to keep and bear arms, gave News 8 the following statement after the shooting:
“We are stunned and saddened by this tragedy and lack of respect for human life. Once again our two senators and our governor are using this horrible event to politicize their gun control schemes. It turns out that shooter was engaged by a law abiding citizen. We’re thankful there was such a person there to stop the shooter, or this could have been much worse. This flies in the face of what our two senators and our governor typically say, that there never seems to be a law abiding citizen around when these situations occur. The shooter was a dishonorably discharged veteran and legally prohibited from owning a firearm. This was not somebody who should have possessed a firearm, and the laws in place did not work to disarm this person. What good would passing more laws do when the laws we have in the first place didn’t stop this person?”