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Senate Dem Suggests Michigan Shooting Can Bring Lawmakers ‘Back to the Table’ on Gun Control

Senator Chris Murphy speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., December 13, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Senator Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) on Sunday suggested a recent school shooting in Michigan that left four students dead could “bring people back to the table” on gun control reform.

In the wake of the Oxford High School shooting, Murphy claimed that Republicans tend to have “epiphanies” on gun control after mass school shootings.

“I wish my Republican colleagues didn’t, sort of, have epiphanies on this issue only after mass school shootings. But that tends to be what happens, and so my hope is that in the next couple of weeks we can get back to the table and see if we can, at the very least, as you said, maybe close the gun show loophole. That alone would save a lot of lives,” he said during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

Murphy said he is willing to “settle” for less strict gun control measures.

“I won’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, right. I want universal background checks, I want a ban on assault weapons, but I will settle for something much less because that will save lives,” he said.

Murphy has long been a proponent of stricter gun laws. His latest push comes after 15-year-old student Ethan Crumbley was arrested in connection to the Oxford High Shooting, as were his parents, who allegedly purchased the semiautomatic handgun that was used in the shooting as a Christmas gift.

Murphy said the “rules of the Senate” are keeping Congress from passing a universal background checks bill because it has the votes in the House and “probably” somewhere between 52 and 54 votes in the Senate. However, the bill would need to clear a 60-vote threshold in the Senate in order to pass.

“I also understand that this is, I think, one of the great social change movements in this nation’s history, that we can’t let failure or obstacle stop us. We’re going to have to continue to build a movement. If we don’t change the rules of the Senate then we’re ultimately going to need 60 votes, and so we need to continue to build up our political power around the country,” he added.

He said he was worked with Senator Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) over several months “trying to find a compromise that can get 60 votes in the Senate,” adding that, “maybe this shooting will bring people back to the table.”

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