Politics

This Tragic Story Exposes the Truth About Gun Control Legislation

June 16th 2016

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

The last heartbreaking story that Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told in his nearly 15-hour filibuster was about the Sandy Hook shooting, but the point he made was aimed squarely at lawmakers standing up to the gun lobby.

Murphy, in the conclusion of the ninth-longest Senate filibuster, said that Congress lacks the courage to stand up to the gun lobbyists. He shamed Congress with the story of teacher's aide Anne Marie Murphy and 6-year-old Dylan Hockley.

Dylan was autistic and had a very special relationship with the aide, despite the fact that it can be difficult for children with autism to form tight relationships with people outside of their family.

 

The little boy would point to her picture on his family's refrigerator every morning, according to the senator.

When Adam Lanza walked into their classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and started shooting, Anne Marie Murphy didn't run.

“Instead, Anne Marie Murphy made the most courageous decision that anyone could imagine,” said the senator. “Anne Marie Murphy found Dylan Hockley and embraced him.”

They died together, and when investigators found their bodies, Dylan was wrapped up in her arms. President Barack Obama presented her family with the Citizen's Medal in 2012. It's one of the highest medals a civilian can receive, according to the White House.

In one quote, Sen. Murphy perfectly captured the problematic relationship between gun lobbyists and Congress.

"It doesn't take courage to stand up to the gun lobby when 90 percent of your constituents want change to happen," said Murphy. "It takes courage to look into the eye of a shooter, and instead of running, wrapping your arms around a 6-year-old boy and accepting death."

The National Rifle Association spent nearly $30 million in the 2014 election cycle on lobbying and contributions, according to the Center for Public Integrity's Open Secret project.

Also two weeks ago, Obama accused the NRA of stopping him from banning suspected terrorists from buying guns at a PBS NewsHour town hall discussion.

During yesterday's filibuster, the NRA conceded on one issue, saying it would support a ban on suspected terrorists buying guns if U.S. citizens have due process to dispute mistakes.

But the NRA also sent out a tweet during the filibuster encouraging people to ask lawmakers to block any new gun legislation.

The Sandy Hook shooting that killed Dylan Hockley and Anne Marie Murphy killed a total of 27 people, 20 of them children.

RELATED: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Gun Control Filibuster