United States Senators were on the floor of Congress pushing for gun control like background checks and debating gun violence when the latest school shooting broke out at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. The shooting left two students dead and three others, while the 16-year-old gunman was taken into custody with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
At about the same time the shooting broke out, Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) blocked a motion to hear a measure about background checks for those who wish to purchase a firearm.
“We can’t fast-track legislation that affects America’s Second Amendment rights,” she said as gunshots were ringing out on the quad at Saugus High School.
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 the time, the Senators were unaware of the shooting, but Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal (D) learned of the shooting as he delivered a speech about gun violence.
“We are complicit in these deaths if we fail to act,” Blumenthal said before receiving a piece of paper that delivered the news. “As I speak on the floor, right now, there is a school shooting in [Santa Clarita], California. “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 expanded on his comments on Twitter before sharing video of the moment.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
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
Our deepest condolences go out to all of the family and friends of the victims and those impacted by this horrible tragedy.