CT senators push for gun control in wake of California school shooting


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– In the wake of the Santa Clarita shooting, Connecticut’s United States senators are renewing their push for gun control legislation but a relative of a Sandy Hook victim says it’s an unproductive effort.

“It goes beyond a political responsibility or a legal mandate. It’s a moral imperative that we stop these shootings,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy were speaking on Senate floor Thursday morning, asking for a vote on a bill that would require background checks for all gun sales, when passed a note that said “Shooting in Santa Clarita California.”

Related: At least 2 killed in California school shooting; 16-year-old suspect in ‘grave condition’ after shooting self

“For a moment it took my breath away,” said Blumenthal.

A boy on his 16th birthday pulled a gun out of his backpack, unloading an entire magazine in a manner of seconds, shooting five students at a Southern California high school. Two teens died.

The senators condemned their Republican colleagues Friday for inaction.

“We haven’t spent a minute of time debating legislation to reduce gun violence in this Republican-controlled senate and that’s an abomination,” said Sen. Chris Murphy.

“We’ve been having that conversation for 20 years since Columbine,” said
JT Lewis, sophomore, UConn.

JT Lewis lost his 6-year-old brother, Jesse, in the shooting at Sandy Hook School. He’s all too familiar with the pain that follows such tragedies.

“That turns into a long road of grieving and struggling to find meaning in your loss,” said Lewis.

But his approach to activism differs from that of Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation He’s a sophomore at UConn and Republican candidate for state senate focused on mental health solutions and securing schools.

“After Sandy Hook you saw the families get up and push for gun control to no success,” said Lewis.

He says Democrats have had years to pass gun control. But Blumenthal says the time is now.

“History will haunt our republican colleagues if they fail to act,” said Blumenthal.

The shooter in the Santa Clarita shooting also turned the gun on himself. He’s currently in critical condition.

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