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Murphy Overcomes Jitters To Take Gun Control Message To National Audience

U.S Sen. Chris Murphy was in Bridgeport Friday to tour the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club -- Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse.
U.S Sen. Chris Murphy was in Bridgeport Friday to tour the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club -- Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., was “a little nervous” addressing a crowd of tens of thousands at the Democratic National Convention — and millions more on television — on Wednesday night. But he said the chance to talk about gun violence and reform on a national platform was worth a few jitters.

“Donald Trump scares the hell out of a lot of people at that convention,” he said, taking a break from a visit to Bridgeport on Friday. “It was an amazing experience, very gratifying.”

Asked to characterize the tenor of the convention, which wrapped up Thursday night, Murphy said he saw “a lot of passion.

“Bernie (Sanders) supporters showed up very disappointed and walked out very supportive,” he said.

Murphy slammed the Republican-led Congress and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for their positions on gun control in a fiery speech at the convention.

The exposure came fast on the heels of Murphy's nearly 15-hour filibuster in the Senate last month on gun control after the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. At the convention, Murphy said Republicans have done nothing on gun control since the Sandy Hook School murders.

“I am furious in three years, in three years since Sandy Hook, three years of almost daily bloodshed in our cities the Republican Congress has done absolutely nothing to prevent the next massacre,” he said referring to the Dec. 14, 2012, tragedy. “It stokes inside me a sense of outrage that I have never felt before and that’s what drove me to stand on the floor of the U.S. Senate for 15 hours to demand change.”

Losing a child to gun violence is “unimaginable” Murphy said.

“In Newtown, Connecticut, families of 20 first-graders and their six teachers they live with it every minute of every day. And across the country each day, unbelievably, 90 families join them.”

Murphy said he is “outraged” that the gun lobby wants to keep loopholes that could allow “a suspected terrorist can walk into a gun store and walk out with a military-style semi-automatic style weapon.”

He praised Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for backing gun control even if it wasn’t politically expedient.

“But she held firm. She stood up to the NRA and Hilary Clinton pledged to take Washington back from the gun lobby.”

Murphy turned to Trump and accused him of using gun violence as an opportunity to stoke division and back the gun lobby.

“He sees it as an opportunity, another opportunity to convince Americans that they should fear one another,” Murphy said. “Another opportunity to do the bidding of the gun lobby.”

Murphy was in Bridgeport on Friday to tour the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club — Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse. He invited the children there to visit him if they were ever in Washington, D.C.

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