Washington, D.C. — Today, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) joined Center for American Progress President and CEO Patrick Gaspard for a conversation about the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act; the movement that sparked long-overdue action on gun safety; and the value of finding bipartisan compromise on today’s most-pressing issues. The discussion came in the wake of recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; Highland Park, Illinois; and Indianapolis that have once again shone a spotlight on the United States’ devastating gun violence epidemic and states’ weak gun laws that are fueling rising crime nationwide.
Sen. Murphy highlighted the historic nature of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first meaningful gun safety legislation in three decades and the culmination of the American public’s persistence to address America’s gun crisis. “Congress has been watching this epidemic of suicide, homicide, and mass violence mount over the course of three decades and has done nothing about it despite the fact that there was a clear mandate from the American public to take definitive steps to address the epidemic of gun violence,” he said of the past 30 years.
Due to the combination of mounting political pressure from a steadfast and dedicated gun violence prevention movement, the days following the horrific school shooting in Uvalde proved to be different. “What I know about great social change movements in this country … is that you had to get your first victory before you get your second, your third, and your fourth,” Sen. Murphy said. “And now that we have tipped the scales, I think we should celebrate what’s in this bill, but I also think we should expect to be able to do more.”
“We grew bipartisan support in part because those who crossed over realized that there was much more political gain than the conventional wisdom might hold,” he added. “And I’m confident that’s what will happen here as well.”
On policies that are highly popular yet remain stagnant in Congress, Sen. Murphy added, “I think one of the most important things we can do is change the rules of the Senate so that when the people do their job—electing majorities that support a policy like universal background checks and a president who supports that policy—it actually gets into law.”
Watch the discussion: “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act: What’s In It and What’s Next?”
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