Connecticut leaders speak out on recent mass shootings

The following is a sampling of what our elected leaders had to say last week in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

“The sickening, infuriating news of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton has once again raised a wave of questions about whether anything is happening to make this country safer from these repeated attacks on innocents. These questions are coming from Americans of all parties and walks of life. They are looking to Washington for action, but considering the nonstop news cycle that tends to highlight only the gridlock and polarized politics of Washington, they would be forgiven if they thought that truly nothing has actually been happening on the issue of reducing gun violence in the 116th Congress.

“The truth is that there has been movement on several fronts in our first 200 days. For the first time in 25 years, the House of Representatives has held actual committee consideration, floor debates, and votes on a number of long-overdue measures, like expanding background checks, closing what’s known as the ‘Charleston Loophole’, and other widely supported efforts that have been suffocated and blocked from meaningful consideration for years by the forces of special interest groups.

“All of the bills that the House has taken action have languished in the Senate without action, despite some bipartisan support. The question of ‘Why doesn’t Congress do something?’, should really be, ‘Why doesn’t the Senate take up these bills that have deep popular support, and that have already passed the House?’ It is time for the Senate, once dubbed ‘The Greatest Deliberative Body in the World’, to live up to its reputation and at least be bold enough to debate and vote on an issue that is sapping the confidence of every American to feel safe.”

Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District

“First, we must do a better job of identifying and acting on early warning signs. I am directing the Department of Justice to work in partnership with local, state, and federal agencies, as well as social media companies, to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike.

“Second, we must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this.

“Third, we must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence, and make sure those people not only get treatment, but when necessary, involuntary confinement. Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger, not the gun.”

President Donald Trump

“President Trump is literally making up causes of gun violence in America. America does not have more mental illness than other developed nations. We don’t have more violent video games. What we have is a hate machinery that President Trump feeds on an almost daily basis, and a country awash in guns and weak laws that allow young men contemplating violence to easily get their hands on a deadly weapon. If we want to stop gun violence – the kind that happens every day in this nation – we can start with universal background checks, and it's heartbreaking that the President is still so controlled by the gun lobby that he refuses to do what more than 90 percent of Americans want.”

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.

“Congress must act on common sense reforms like universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons, emergency risk protection orders. Now is time for action. Not time off, not time away, we need to honor these victims with action and fight this new brand of domestic terrorism.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., calling for Congress to interrupt its summer recess.

“(Connecticut) did get some bipartisan buy-in when it came to common sense gun laws. And if we can bring some of that sense of bipartisanship of working together in Washington, they might be able to get something done.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, speaking at state Capitol rally.

“What happened in Dayton and El Paso are despicable acts of terrorism. My heart breaks for the family and friends of all the victims. This violence should be condemned, and our nation should not let hate divide us.

“Here in Connecticut, we have the strongest gun laws in the country. We’ve shown what can be accomplished when you put politics aside and work together to negotiate real solutions. For certain Democrat politicians to stand up today and turn a rally against gun violence into a partisan, political attack on Connecticut Republicans is disturbing and shows their true colors. Some members of our Washington delegation would rather have a photo op than get to work negotiating policies to help our nation.”

State Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven, minority leader.





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