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TOPSHOT - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School staff, teachers and students return to school greeted by police and well wishers in Parkland, Florida on February 28, 2018. 
Students grieving for slain classmates prepared for an emotional return Wednesday to their Florida high school, where a mass shooting shocked the nation and led teen survivors to spur a growing movement to tighten America's gun laws. The community of Parkland, Florida, where residents were plunged into tragedy two weeks ago, steeled itself for the resumption of classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where nearby flower-draped memorials and 17 white crosses pay tribute to the 14 students and three staff members who were murdered by a former student.
 / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE        (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: RHONA WISE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School staff, teachers and students return to school greeted by police and well wishers in Parkland, Florida on February 28, 2018. Students grieving for slain classmates prepared for an emotional return Wednesday to their Florida high school, where a mass shooting shocked the nation and led teen survivors to spur a growing movement to tighten America's gun laws. The community of Parkland, Florida, where residents were plunged into tragedy two weeks ago, steeled itself for the resumption of classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where nearby flower-draped memorials and 17 white crosses pay tribute to the 14 students and three staff members who were murdered by a former student. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
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This image made available by the Broward County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, shows Sheriff Scott Israel, holding the hand of Anthony Borges, 15, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The teenager was shot five times during the massacre on Valentine's Day that killed 17 students. Borges is being credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students. (Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP)
PHOTO: Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP
This image made available by the Broward County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, shows Sheriff Scott Israel, holding the hand of Anthony Borges, 15, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The teenager was shot five times during the massacre on Valentine's Day that killed 17 students. Borges is being credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students. (Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP)
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(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.

“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.