Washington (CNN)Sen. Chris Murphy said Wednesday that Congress bears responsibility for the "epidemic of mass slaughter" in the US, addressing the Senate floor while news of a school shooting unfolded in Florida.
Sen. Murphy on Florida shooting: Congress 'responsible for a level of mass atrocity' in US
"This epidemic of mass slaughter, this scourge of school shooting after school shooting," Murphy said, "it only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else."
The Connecticut Democrat has been an outspoken supporter of gun control legislation for years, representing the state where the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred in 2012, in which 20 children were fatally shot. Murphy began his floor speech Wednesday by highlighting that "this happens nowhere else other than the United States of America."
"As a parent, it scares me to death that this body doesn't take seriously the safety of my children, and it seems like a lot of parents in South Florida are going to be asking that same question later today," he said. "We pray for the families, for the victims. We hope for the best."
Murphy has criticized his fellow members of Congress for inaction before, notably after the largest mass shooting in modern American history, in Las Vegas last October.
"It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something," Murphy said in a statement then.