Congressional Democrats spoke out about gun control legislation following reports of a shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school Wednesday, saying mass shootings on this scale only happen in the United States.
“Let me just note once again for my colleagues that this happens nowhere else other than the United States of America, this epidemic of mass slaughter, this scourge of school shooting after school shooting,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said from the Senate floor. “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.”
Murphy continued: “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.”
Reactions from fellow Democrats poured in over Twitter as authorities continued to evacuate students and investigate the scene:
Absolutely heartbreaking news out of Florida. Praying for all of the students, teachers, staff, and families.
As we learn more, let’s remember that this is the 18th school shooting of this year. It’s February. https://t.co/vORMDwi4sw
— US Rep. Rick Nolan (@USRepRickNolan) February 14, 2018
On a day that is supposed to be filled with love, my heart is broken for the victims, families & the entire Parkland, FL community impacted by this horrific shooting. It’s long pastime for Congress to engage in a rational conversation on how to curb gun violence in America.
— Mark DeSaulnier (@RepDeSaulnier) February 14, 2018
Devastating news in Florida. I am heartsick upon hearing of yet another deadly mass shooting. But, I am also tired of hearing that “now is not the time” to deal with this issue. Congress needs to step up. NOW.
— Rep. Brendan Boyle (@CongBoyle) February 14, 2018
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) February 14, 2018
As a nation, how can we continue to allow this to happen? How many more moments of silence must we hold before Republicans in Congress act? We are not powerless. There are measures we can and must take to make our communities safer.
— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) February 14, 2018
Another senseless tragedy at an American school. My heart is with the victims and their families. When will we wake up? When will we take action to prevent these shootings from occurring? These tragedies are the new normal, and that should make all of us sick.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) February 14, 2018
Republicans should pray for forgiveness, for not only their complacency and dereliction of duty, but in contrition for the men, women and children we continue to lay to rest because of senseless gun violence and the cowardly inaction from Congress.
— Bonnie WatsonColeman (@RepBonnie) February 14, 2018
April 16, 2007, was the worst day of my life—when 32 people were shot and killed at Virginia Tech. Nearly 11 years later, there are far too many “worst days” in America. The people of Parkland, Florida, are facing one of them today. I am heartbroken and grieve with them.
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) February 14, 2018
The shooting began Wednesday afternoon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. At least 17 people have died, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.