Sandy Hook lawmaker blasts Washington for 'quiet endorsement' of gunmen

In the aftermath of a deadly elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, a senator from Connecticut blasted his colleagues for failing to pass gun control legislation.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, whose district covers Sandy Hook, delivered an impassioned speech from the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, moments after a gunman killed at least 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School. He criticized lawmakers' inaction since the tragedy nearly 10 years ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a 20 kids and six staff members were killed by a gunman.

"What are we doing," he asked. "Our kids are living in fear every single time they step foot in a classroom because they think they're going to be next."

Murphy said his heart breaks for the Uvalde community and parents who have to live through a nightmare that could have been avoided.

"This only happens in this country. Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day," he said. "And it is a choice. It is our choice to let it continue."

"I'm here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues. Find a path forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely," he added. "By doing something we at least stop sending this quiet message of endorsement to these killers whose brains are breaking, who see the highest levels of government do nothing, shooting after shooting."

Murphy took aim at his fellow legislators who have the power to actually do something about the nation’s gun violence problem.

"Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate? Why do you go through all of the hassle of getting this job, of putting yourself in a position of authority if your answer is that as the slaughter increases, as kids run for their lives, we do nothing," he asked. "Why are you here if not to solve a problem as existential as this?"

President Joe Biden on Tuesday night also pleaded for action to address gun violence.

"When in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?" Biden said. "Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?"

Biden has previously called for a ban on assault-style weapons, as well as tougher federal background check requirements and "red flag" laws that are meant to keep guns out of the hands of those with mental health problems, the Associated Press reported.