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Democrats Urge Republicans On Gun Laws: ‘Put Up Or Shut Up’

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Democratic lawmakers spoke at a rally with young anti-gun violence activists, urging their Republican colleagues in Congress to pass gun safety laws.

“To america Senate: Don’t look away,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) at a rally Monday outside the Capitol, organized by Students Demand Motion.

“To Republicans, let me be very blunt: We’re at a put up or shut up moment. We’d like to act,” the lawmaker added, noting that he and fellow Connecticut Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy have been negotiating in Congress to attempt to pass bipartisan gun safety measures.

The rally and lawmakers’ renewed efforts to pass anti-gun violence laws follow the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 21 people, including 19 children, aged 10 and 11 years old. That shooting was only 10 days after a white supremacist shot and killed 10 Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo. And over the weekend, at the very least three people were killed and 11 wounded in a shooting in Philadelphia.

It has been a decade since a gunman killed 20 children and 6 educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown — in Murphy and Blumenthal’s home state of Connecticut.

With a pair dozen highschool and college students donning bulletproof vests within the background as he spoke, Murphy told the group: “This country cannot look away as our schools and our neighborhoods grow to be killing fields.”

“You might have to fret about whether you’re going to make it home from school protected,” Murphy said, adding that he has young sons. “No other children on the planet should take into consideration that once they walk into their school aside from on this country.”

Murphy, who’s leading the Senate gun control talks, said Democrats were in “very real discussions” with Republicans to “attempt to craft a bill that may make a difference.”

That is our reality. That is American exceptionalism. Guns are the leading reason behind death for kids and youths, and daily the Senate fails to act, more persons are shot.

Don’t let your senators look away. Text BOLD to 644-33 to call them & demand motion now. #DontLookAway pic.twitter.com/8OMiH3J1mz

— Students Demand Motion (@StudentsDemand) June 6, 2022

The measures Democratic lawmakers are pushing would expand background checks, help states pass red flag laws and spend money on local anti-gun violence initiatives.

On Sunday, Murphy said he’d “never been a part of negotiations as serious as these” on changing U.S. gun laws, but noted he wasn’t sure they’d give you the option to get enough Republican support to get the 60 votes mandatory to boost the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle to 21.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said on the rally Monday that it had been “too a few years that this crisis has not been on the front of the agenda of Washington.”

“We’re a nation that believes in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he added. “You can’t have liberty while you fear your synagogue or church or mosque or food market will grow to be a killing field.”

Ade Osadolor, a student who identified as Afro-Latina, said on the rally that she had been deeply affected by the recent shootings in Uvalde, a predominantly Latinx community, and Buffalo, which targeted Black people.

“Our generation has to live with the trauma of gun violence,” the young woman said. “We must always not should worry if we’ll make it out of faculty alive daily.”

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