CT lawmakers push for more gun control after deadly Orlando nig - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT lawmakers push for more gun control after deadly Orlando nightclub shooting

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Murphy, Esty and Blumenthal talk about Orlando shooting at LOB in Hartford. (WFSB) Murphy, Esty and Blumenthal talk about Orlando shooting at LOB in Hartford. (WFSB)

Connecticut lawmakers called for stricter gun control laws following the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fl.

The shooting left at least 50 people dead and 53 injured. It is being called the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency following a mass shooting by U.S. citizen Omar Mateen at the Pulse nightclub. 

Connecticut officials were vocal about the shooting on Sunday and again on Monday. U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal were joined by Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty on Monday morning. They discussed the deadliest shooting in the history of the United States.‎

Murphy, Esty and Blumenthal called for gun control at Legislative Office Building in Hartford around 10:15 a.m. 

On Sunday, Murphy said he "ached" for the victims, their loved ones and the people of Orlando. 

"I pray that all those injured have a quick and full recovery. I know the pain and sadness that has brought too many communities - Newtown, Oregon, Aurora, San Bernardino, and now Orlando - to their knees, and I can only hope that America's leaders will do something to prevent another community from being added to the list," Murphy said in a statement on Sunday. 

Murphy said the "phenomenon of near constant mass shootings happens only in America" and said that the United States Congress "has become complicit in these murders by its total, unconscionable deafening silence."

"This doesn't have to happen, but this epidemic will continue without end if Congress continues to sit on its hands and do nothing - again," Murphy said. 

Grief, horror and shock were the first reactions of Blumenthal when he woke on Sunday morning.  

"There is no question whatever the motive...poisonous ideology or pernicious mental illness or bigotry. There needs to be action...platitudes of prayers is insufficient," Blumenthal said. 

Blumenthal also called the  United States Congress "complicit" and called for action. 

"Clearly, this kind of mass violence shooting will occur again and again and again as long as there is a failure to take action against gun violence," Blumenthal said. 

Blumenthal pushed for "common sense, sensible measures" such as background checks, a ban on straw purchases, illegal trafficking on assault rifles. 

"As long as there is inaction on these murderous assault weapons, the AR-15 that was carried into this nightclub, there will continue to be these mass shootings again and again and again," Blumenthal said. 

Blumenthal went on to say that he hoped the Orlando shooting is "a tipping point across the country and will change the dynamic." 

"From the time that Ronald Reagan was almost assassinated and Jim Brady was paralyzed, it took ten years to pass the Brady law. We have to continue this fight," Blumenthal said. "It's a marathon, not a sprint and my hope is that some good will come from this unspeakably tragic instance of gun violence and that we will see change in dynamic."

Esty issued a statement on Sunday in which she said the shooting left her "heartsick for the victims and for their loved ones." 

"I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the law enforcement officers and first responders in Orlando, whose courageous actions ended this act of terrorism and may have saved dozens of lives," Esty said.  

Esty asked Americans to "stand united in opposition to hatred and terrorism." 

"Let us always remember that hatred or violence targeting any community – whether based on religion, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or anything else – is a betrayal of our values as Americans. Such actions are as wrong today as they were yesterday, and we must not forget that. We must stand united as Americans, as human beings, in support of all those affected by today’s horrific attack," Esty said.  

U.S. Congressman Jim Himes said he was "shocked by the devastation in Orlando. My heart goes out to the victims and their friends and families. And thank you first responders."

To read the full series of tweets by Himes, click here.

Per President Obama, Gov. Dannel Malloy is directing flags to be lowered to honor the victims of the mass shooting. Flags will be at half-staff until sunset on June 16.

Follow updates on the shooting here.

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