While delivering a speech on the Senate floor about gun violence, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) on Thursday found out that there had been a school shooting in California just minutes earlier.
“We are complicit in these deaths if we fail to act,” Blumenthal said midway through his floor speech, responding to GOP senators blocking a vote on universal background checks.
Then, according to a video of the moment posted on Twitter, someone handed him a small piece of paper. He opened it up.
“As I speak on the floor, right now, there is a school shooting in Santa Clara [sic], California,” he said. “How can we turn the other way? How can we refuse to see that shooting, in real time, demanding our attention, requiring our action — we are complicit if we fail to act.
“It is not just a political responsibility — it is a moral imperative,” he continued.
Blumenthal later addressed families of the victims on Twitter, writing that “we can’t take back the loss&fear you’re feeling, but we’ll keep fighting to end this epidemic of violence.”
As I was on the Senate floor speaking about the need for universal background checks—after Rs blocked a vote today—I heard this devastating news. To the victims&families, we can’t take back the loss&fear you’re feeling, but we’ll keep fighting to end this epidemic of violence. https://t.co/i3cqgBk1Sm pic.twitter.com/6Mg7L5NtR6
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) November 14, 2019
Just half an hour earlier — close to the same time that a gunman opened fire at Saugus High School — Rep. Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.) objected to a motion to hear the background checks measure, saying: “We can’t fast-track legislation that affects America’s Second Amendment rights.”
Almost the same moment gunfire erupted in Santa Clarita (about 11 ET), Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith objected to moving a background check bill added to the Senate calendar on March 4. Said it shouldn’t be “fast tracked” and it might stop her from lending a rifle to a grandson. pic.twitter.com/jmxqL564OK
— Michael McAuliff (@mmcauliff) November 14, 2019
At least two students have died and multiple others were injured in the shooting. The suspect was taken into custody and is in the hospital in “grave condition.”