Connecticut senator Chris Murphy, whose state was the site of one of America’s deadliest mass shootings four years ago, took the floor of the US Senate on Wednesday (June 15) at 11:20am and stayed there for more than 14 hours until his fellow politicians agreed on a vote.
“I’m going to remain on this floor 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,” said the Democratic lawmaker.
After speeches by Murphy, by other Democrats, and one by a Republican, the Senate agreed to vote on universal background checks for gun buyers and closing the loophole that allows Americans on terrorist watch lists to buy guns.
The Senate voted down bills in December that would deny people on terrorist watch lists the ability to buy guns, expand background checks, and delay gun purchases by people on federal terrorism watch lists by 72 hours. Murphy ended the filibuster with the story of Sandy Hook teacher Anne Marie Murphy (no relation), who died trying to shield student Dylan Hockley from gunfire. The six-year-old was also killed.
Murphy said Hockley had a close relationship the teacher, and she probably had a chance to run or hide:
Instead, Anne Marie Murphy made the most courageous decision that anyone could imagine…Anne Marie Murphy found Dylan Hockley and embraced him. Know why we know that? When the police entered they classroom, that’s how they found Dylan Hockley. Dead. Wrapped in the embrace of Anne Marie Murphy.
He closed by asking Senators what they could do to make sure that Orlando or Sandy Hook “never, ever, happens again.”