(CBS News) — Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat and outspoken advocate on gun control, condemned Congress’ “utter silence” and “unintentional complicity” on gun violence in the wake of the deadly Las Vegas shooting that left over 50 people dead.
“In the minds of these mad men, when they see Congress doing absolutely nothing, shooting after shooting, they read that as quiet acceptance of the carnage,” warned Murphy at an event on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. “It has to stop.”
Murphy represents the district ofwere killed by , who entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire in December 2012.
He said that the reason mass shootings like Sandy Hook continue to happen is because of “public policy choices that this Congress makes.”
“What is unacceptable in the wake of the most deadly mass shooting in history of the country is for this utter silence, this unintentional complicity from Congress to continue.”
His message to his Republican colleagues: “pick from a smorgasbord of options that are available to you. We understand you may have to walk before you run, but lets spend a little bit of time this week and next week coming up with some bipartisan solution to this epidemic, so that we don’t continue to offer what is a quiet endorsement of these continued killings.”
He also warned that Republicans would pay a political price for ignoring gun violence reform.
“The political movement, which is growing stronger by the day around anti-gun violence, will get even stronger if this Republican Congress continues to do nothing mass shooting after mass shooting, the politics will catch up to our colleagues,” said Murphy.
The senator told reporters on Tuesday that he would be introducing an “updated version” ofto stop person with a history of mental illness or criminal record from purchasing a gun or when weapon ownership is transferred.
“We’ve exhausted every possible argument with our colleagues, I have lobbied in every different and creative way that I can, and we will continue to do that.”
Fellow Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal echoed the call for action.
“We’re not going away,” he declared. “We’re not surrendering to the forces of evil.”
Blumenthal also delivered stern words to elected officials who have offered their “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of the shooting.
“There are never enough prayers or condolences or sympathies, there can always be more ways to provide comfort, we know that from Sandy Hook. But we’re saying, ‘Enough,’ to the evasion and the euphemisms. They can take those euphemisms and stuff them as far as I’m concerned,” said Blumenthal.
The senator went on, suggesting that those arguing the background check proposal wouldn’t have stopped the killer in Las Vegas is “absurd.”
“We must take steps to stop gun violence, and we know background checks will do it,” he said. “Closing the loopholes for getting a gun will do that,” Blumenthal said.