Sen. Chris Murphy on mass shootings: 'Public policy has failed'

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said Sunday that the effort to stem mass shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida, ne...

Posted: Feb 26, 2018 4:56 AM
Updated: Feb 26, 2018 4:57 AM

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said Sunday that the effort to stem mass shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida, needs to go beyond focusing on law enforcement and encompass a comprehensive approach to gun control and mental health.

"You can't suppose every single time that you're going to be able to intervene before the shooter walks into a school with a military-style assault weapon," Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning when asked what he thought about the law enforcement response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last week.

During the mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida, high school, one of the Broward County deputies waited outside the building and later resigned after being suspended without pay for his actions.

Murphy also acknowledged that the gunman in Parkland exhibited several warning signs that were flagged to law enforcement officials.

"There clearly are a lot of questions that need to be answered about why law enforcement didn't step in earlier in Florida. But there are just as many of these shootings that look like Sandy Hook, where there were no red flags," the senator said.

Murphy, an outspoken advocate for gun control, was previously a House member representing the district that encompassed Newtown, Connecticut, during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

"As much as we all would have liked this school security officer to act differently, once you're in the position where you're hoping the school security guard or a gym teacher decides to take a pistol to somebody with a military-style assault weapon, public policy has failed," Murphy said. "You should be passing laws to stop that kind of horrific incident from happening in the first place."

Murphy added that he doesn't think "you can just assume that better law enforcement response is going to quell the epidemic of gun violence in this country."

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