Florida high school shooting: U.S. Congressman delivers powerful gun control speech as police hunt suspect
A U.S. senator delivered a powerful speech on the Senate floor as police searched for the suspect in a high school shooting in Florida.
Chris Murphy of Connecticut used his platform to talk about Congress’ responsibly for the “inaction” on school shootings.
Seventeen people were killed and as mane as 14 others were injured after a gunman targeted Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. at around 3:15 p.m. local time.
Police have arrested a suspect and officials say there’s no reasons to believe there was more than one shooter.
“As we speak there is a horrific scene playing out at a high school in South Florida. Turn on your television right now, you’re going to see scenes of children running for their lives,” Murphy said, not even an hour later.
“What looks to be the 19th school shooting in this country and we have not even hit March.”
In January, Global News reported that there were 11 school shootings after 23 days in the United States in 2018. There have been at least seven more since, according to gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety.
“Let me just note once again for my colleagues: this happens nowhere else other than the United States of America,” Murphy continued.
“This epidemic of mass slaughter. This scourge of school shooting after school shooting. 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.”
It’s a sentiment that’s been expressed before; after a school shooting in Kentucky in January, a NBC reporter asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders whether Trump was taking action on gun violence in schools.
“The president believes that all Americans deserve to be safe in their schools and in their communities,” Sanders said in response at the time.
The exchange got heated after further pressing from the reporter.
WATCH: Sarah Huckabee Sanders lashes out at reporter, saying he is implying Trump ‘complicit’ in school shootings
“Let me be very clear on this: The fact that you’re basically accusing the president of being complicit in a school shooting is outrageous,” Sanders retorted.
Trump has offered his “prayers and condolences” to the families and victims in the Florida school shooting on Twitter. He also said: “we are working closely with law enforcement” on the issue.
Murphy continued his speech, saying he is concerned that the government doesn’t consider the safety of kids.
“As a parent it scares me to death that this body doesn’t take seriously the safety of my children,” he said.
“And it seem like a lot of parents in South Florida are going to be asking that question today.”
*with files from Global News’ Maham Abedi
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.