While President Donald Trump was ripped by critics for predictably announcing that the mass shooting in Sutherland, Texas on Sunday that left 26 people dead does not represent a “guns situation,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) was receiving widespread applause for speaking with impassioned frustration about the failure of U.S. lawmakers to address the “epidemic” of gun violence and murder that has gripped the nation in recent decades.
“None of this is inevitable,” Murphy said Sunday in a statement that soon went viral. “I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America. It is uniquely and tragically American. As long as our nation chooses to flood the county with dangerous weapons and consciously let those weapons fall into the hands of dangerous people, these killings will not abate.”
Meanwhile, Trump took the opposite approach on the subject, blaming the violence on the “mental health” of the gunman and suggesting it was too early to talk about gun violence as a political issue. As many noted, Trump himself signed an order earlier this year revoking a measure that specifically sought to make it harder for those with mental health issues to get a gun.
“We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn’t a guns situation,” Trump said during an overseas press conference in Japan on Monday. “We could go into it but it’s a little bit soon to go into it. Fortunately somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction, otherwise it wouldn’t have been as bad as it was, it would have been much worse.”
Murphy, also rejected Trump’s essential argument—familiar in pro-gun and right-wing circles—that “a good guy with a gun” is the best answer to “a bad guy with a guy”:
Read Murphy’s in full statement below: