Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016

Floor Speech

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, first, I extend my thanks to Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Mikulski for putting together a truly bipartisan bill. I am honored to be a member of the Appropriations Committee and honored to support this bipartisan compromise. This was a difficult bill to put together, but they did very good work to make this a product both sides could support. I thank them for allowing me to be a part of that process.

Second, let me acknowledge the remarks of Senator Mikulski, who noted that in many ways the world and the country have changed since this bill was scheduled to come to the floor.

Our hearts break collectively in this country for the citizens of Orlando. In particular, for those of us from Connecticut, our hearts break for the people of Orlando because we know in a very real way about the pain that exists there today, and we also know how that pain is really never-ending. The ripples of that pain are unceasing and unrelenting, and they span generations, neighborhoods, and years. Newtown is still putting itself back together and probably will be for a long time, and the same goes for Orlando. Our hearts break for what that community is going through.

The world is different today than it was at the end of last week. There is a newfound imperative for this body to find a way to come together and take action to try to do our part to stem this epidemic of gun violence and in particular this epidemic of mass shootings that plagues this Nation like no other industrialized nation in the world. There is something fundamentally different happening in the United States that causes us to have these catastrophic-level mass shootings on almost a monthly basis. In 2015 it caused us to have 372 mass shootings. The definition of a mass shooting is when four or more people are shot at any one time. Every day results in 80 or more people being killed by guns through domestic violence, accidental shootings, and homicides.

It won't surprise you to know that for those of us who represent Connecticut, the failure of this body to do anything at all in the face of that continued slaughter isn't just painful to us, it is unconscionable. I can't tell you how hard it is to look into the eyes of the families of those little boys and girls who were killed in Sandy Hook and tell them that almost 4 years later, we have done nothing at all to reduce the likelihood that that will happen again to another family. I shudder to think what it will be like for Senator Nelson 4 years from now to talk to the parents of those who were killed this past weekend in Orlando and tell them that 4 years after Orlando and 8 years after Newtown, Congress has been utterly silent.

I have stood on this floor dozens of times talking about this subject. I often come down to tell the story of the voices of the victims of these gun homicides and mass shootings just to make sure people know who these victims are. They are real people with families. This isn't new to me, but I am at my wit's end. I have had enough. I have had enough of the ongoing slaughter of innocents, and I have had enough of the inaction in this body.

Every shooting is different. There are a different set of facts around every single shooting. The story in Newtown was about a deeply mentally ill individual who had been isolated in his school and neighborhood. It was a story about a young man who had a fascination with violent content and violent video games. It was a story of a young man who had access to a very powerful weapon and who was able to shoot and kill 20 kids.

The shooting in Orlando has a different set of facts as well. There is clearly a terrorist connection. It is a story about radicalization. It is also a story about a very ill, very confused young man. It is a story of access to a very powerful weapon. It is a story about interaction with the FBI and the holes in the network of surveillance and checks that we need to discuss.

Every set of facts is different, but what unites all of these shootings--from Littleton, to Aurora, to Newtown, to Blacksburg, to Orlando--is that the weapon of choice in every case is a gun, often a very powerful gun, an AR-15 or AR-15 style of gun that was designed for the military and law enforcement to kill as many people as quickly as possible. What unites all of these incidents is our failure to do anything about it.

No one can guarantee that a shooting won't occur. No set of laws can allow us to say with certainty that there won't still be killings in Chicago, New Haven, and Los Angeles. There is no legislative guarantee that there won't be another Omar Mateen. But the idea that we haven't even tried or proffered ideas on this floor and debated them is offensive to those of us who have lived through these tragedies.

I have great respect for the product that Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Mikulski have put on the floor. I know this isn't going to make me popular with many of my colleagues or with the leadership of this body, but I don't think we should proceed with debate on amendments to this bill until we have figured out a way to come together on--at the very least--two simple ideas that enjoy the support of 80 to 90 percent of Americans. These two ideas, two pieces of legislation, would have been potentially dispositive and impactful with respect to the case in Orlando.

Senator Feinstein has introduced one of those pieces of legislation which would simply say that if you are on a terror watch list, you shouldn't be able to buy a weapon. I heard one of my colleagues talk about reservations about this legislation, but I am certain there is a way to bridge any divide we have on how to administer that protection in a way that could bring Republicans and Democrats together.

Second, in order to make that protection meaningful, we also need to make sure that wherever a would-be shooter buys a gun, he goes through a background check. If you put terrorists or suspected terrorists on a list of those who are prohibited to buy guns, it doesn't do much good when around half of all gun purchases today are made outside of the background check system.

Let's say that the Orlando shooter was on a list that prohibited him from buying a weapon and he went to a store and was denied that AR-15- style weapon because he was on that list. But all he would have to do is go to a weekend gun show or go online, and he would be able to get that weapon without a background check. So if you really want to prevent terrorists or would-be terrorists or suspected terrorists from obtaining weapons, you have to pass legislation that puts those on the terrorist watch list on the list of those who are prohibited to buy guns; give them an ability to get off that list if they are on there without reason, but put them on that list as a default. Second, we have to expand the sales that are subject to background checks to make sure that we are creating a web that catches that potential terrorist when he tries to buy that weapon.

I am prepared to stand on this floor and talk about the need for this body to come together on keeping terrorists away from getting guns-- through those two measures--for, frankly, as long as I can, because I know we can come together on this issue. I know there is other really important business to be done here. I know other people have amendments they would like to call up. I know there are other issues that Senators would like to raise. But having come through the experience of Newtown, I have had enough.

It has been 4 years and nothing has been done, despite the fact that 90 percent of the American public wants us to act. The vast majority of gun owners want us to expand the reach of background checks. Polls suggest that 80 percent of Americans believe that people on a terrorist watch list shouldn't be able to buy guns. There is no controversy out there about these two provisions. We can work it out. We can work it out today.

We got a majority of the Senate to support Manchin-Toomey. That legislation still exists. Senator Schumer has introduced other legislation. Senator Feinstein has introduced a bill to keep terrorists from getting guns. I am certain there are ways that it can be made better.

As someone who represents the community of Sandy Hook, which is still grieving today, I am going to stand on this floor and talk about our experience at Sandy Hook and Orlando's experience and the need to come together on this issue of making sure that dangerous people who have designs on mass murder don't get dangerous weapons, as long as I can, so that we can allow time to try to figure out a path forward, to bring this body together on the issue of changing our gun laws so that they reflect the will of 90 percent of the American people. I know what I am suggesting is extreme, but we have had enough of inaction in Connecticut. I just don't want the Senator from Florida, who just spoke, to say to those families 4 years from now that he couldn't do anything either.

Let me tell my colleagues what I mean about how this affects Sandy Hook in an ongoing way and why I couldn't help myself but to come down and take this stand today. The families that are dealing with this grief in Orlando are spread out all over the country and all over the greater Orlando area. It is awful. We just can't imagine--I certainly can't imagine--what it is like to lose a child. These are young men and women who died in that nightclub. But it is something different to lose a 6- or 7-year-old. It is something different when four or five of those kids lived on one road in Newtown. All of a sudden, overnight, four or five kids disappear. They are gone. It is something different when all of the other kids in that school heard those gun shots. They had to flee, stepping over the bodies of the administrators and their teachers.

That pain stays with you for a long time as a community, such that in the months and months after what happened in Sandy Hook occurred, you could be in a classroom and hear a young child scream out a word that seemed like a non sequitur. In one particular class the word was ``monkey'' and, every so often, we would have a student stand up and yell ``monkey.'' That was a safe word. The teachers had worked out that if a conversation started in class about the shooting, about maybe what one kid had seen and another student didn't want to be a part of that conversation--because we remember there were survivors from these classrooms as well as from the classroom next door--if one kid didn't want to be in that conversation, then that one child would stand up and say ``monkey'' at the top of their lungs, and a teacher would come over and break up that conversation. I don't know why, but I think about that a lot--about a little kid standing up and screaming ``monkey'' in the middle of the classroom, just as a reminder of how the trauma of these events doesn't end.

They say in cities across America that when one American is shot, there are 20 people surrounding them--friends, family members including aunts, uncles, children--who experience post-traumatic stress after that event. Studies suggest that there are 20 people that experience levels of trauma. Often in our cities, that leads to a cycle of violence; the anger that comes from a loved one being killed often leads to someone else getting killed as well. It is part of the reason why, over Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, there were over 60 people who were shot.

So this grief is never-ending for communities like Newtown, which is why I am as passionate today as I was in the days and weeks following, and why, for me, Orlando was a breaking point. I just look at myself in the mirror and I think--as we will hear from some of our colleagues who will interject with questions and who have reached a breaking point as well--that we couldn't proceed with business as usual in the Senate this week, that we couldn't do what we have largely done after mass shooting after mass shooting; we couldn't go on and debate other issues and ignore the fact that the vast majority of Americans--80 to 90 percent--want us to take this action, and that it would be impactful.

Now, again, you can say what I am proposing today wouldn't have changed the result in Sandy Hook because this individual in Sandy Hook did buy the weapon with a background check through a legal means--his mother. I understand that. There is no one change in law that is going to apply to every situation. But it potentially would have been impactful in Orlando. As I am sure Senator Feinstein will explain later today, there is a possibility that if her bill had been in effect, the FBI could have put this individual on a list that would have prohibited him from buying a weapon. And had we expanded background checks to make sure that they applied to Internet sales and gun show sales, then he might have been stopped in his ability to get this weapon. We can't know that for sure, but we certainly can say that it would have been less likely that he would have been able to get that weapon and carry out this crime had those laws--again, supported by the vast majority of the American public--been in effect. And by acting, by coming together and finding a way to act on these two noncontroversial measures, I think we also send an important signal to the American public and to would-be murderers that we are serious about stemming this epidemic.

I think people notice when we remain silent. I know it is unintentional, but it almost seems to some people as if we don't care about what happens when we don't try to do anything about it. I understand that we have deep disagreements about how to proceed, but with the exception of one week in 2013, we have not brought a debate to this floor in which we try to hash out our differences. The Republican leadership didn't announce in the wake of Orlando that we are going to spend this week working on trying to enact measures to make sure that another mass shooting doesn't happen. And there is a fundamental disconnect with the American people when these tragedies continue to occur and we just move forward with business as usual.

So I am going to remain on this floor until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together on these two measures, that we can get a path forward on addressing this epidemic in a meaningful, bipartisan way.

Orlando is the worst mass shooting in American history. A gunman shot and killed 49 people and shot and injured at least 53 others outside of Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. At about 2 o'clock in the morning on Sunday, a gunman opened fire inside Pulse, a large gay nightclub in downtown Orlando. It opened in 2004. The owner started it to, frankly, promote awareness of the area's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and they host monthly LGBT-related education events. There was one ununiformed Orlando police officer working security at the nightclub, along with a number of other private security officers. The police officer working security exchanged fire with the gunman after this incident began. The gunman proceeded to retreat back into the nightclub and take the remaining club-goers hostage, where he held them for three hours until 5 a.m. A SWAT team comprised of true heroes stormed the club with stun grenades and an armored vehicle. The gunman was killed in the resulting firefight. One officer was injured. Law enforcement rescued approximately 30 hostages.

In a press conference at about 10:30 that morning--we all remember this--the police indicated that 50 people were killed and 53 more were injured. The shooter was identified as Omar Seddique Mateen, 29, a U.S. citizen from St. Lucie County, FL.

We now know that this shooter became a person of interest to law enforcement in 2013 when the FBI learned that he had made comments to coworkers alleging possible terrorist ties, and again in 2014. The FBI did open an investigation into the shooter, but it was subsequently closed when they didn't think that it warranted any further investigation.

Mateen was armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and a Glock handgun. He did obtain licenses to buy both of these guns legally--a handgun and a long gun. He bought them about a week or two before the incident, so it is pretty clear he was buying these weapons with an intent to kill civilians.

Prior to the shooting, Mateen called 911 and pledged his allegiance to ISIS. He mentioned the Boston bombers. It is a complicated story line, and we know some of the other story lines about this shooting, as well, including whether he had been frequenting that club prior to entering it as the shooter. It is a complicated story line. But at the root of it is someone who had been flagged by the FBI. The root of it is someone who had access to a weapon that was not designed for civilians.

AR-15-style weapons weren't legal in the United States until 2004 after being banned for 10 years. It is not coincidental that there was a massive increase in mass shootings in this country after 2004. We are still gathering information on the exact nature of the motive, but what we know is this incident is the deadliest mass shooting and the highest casualty mass shooting in American history, but it is not the first, and if we don't do something, it won't be the last.

In 2009, in Fort Hood, TX, a gunman shot and killed 13 people and shot and injured 30 others at the Fort Hood military post. In August of 2012, in Oak Creek, WI, a gunman shot and killed six people and injured three others at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek. In June of 2015, in Charleston, SC--and we are sitting on the 1-year anniversary of this mass shooting--a gunman shot and killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Church, one of the oldest Black congregations in the South. About a month later, in July, a gunman shot and killed five people, including two U.S. marines and a naval officer, and shot and injured two others. In San Bernardino, at the beginning of December of 2015, 2 gunmen killed 14 people and injured 21 others at the Inland Regional Center. I mention these particular shootings because these were the shootings that were investigated as acts of terrorism. These are the shootings that have involved connections to radical groups or the intention to commit an act of terrorism against a minority group.

So I think it is right that we drill down today on this issue of stopping would-be terrorists from getting guns because just since 2009 this would be the sixth American mass shooting to be investigated by the FBI as an act of terrorism. We think of terrorists as using bombs or improvised explosive devices as their weapons of choice. In fact, the reality is that over the course of the last 12 months, it has been the military assault weapon that has been the weapon of choice of would-be terrorists.

The San Bernardino shooter and the Orlando shooter chose a gun, not a bomb, in order to carry out their attacks. Why? Because it is, frankly, a lot easier to get a powerful rifle that was designed for the military than it is to obtain or construct a military-capacity bomb or explosive device.

We have to admit that there is this trendline heading in the direction of powerful firearms that used to be banned in this country-- and by the way, through bipartisan legislation--to carry out this destruction. You don't have to listen to me; you can listen to terrorist organizations themselves. ISIS today relies on lone wolf attackers in order to perpetuate its mythology of increasing strength. Why is that? Well, it is because we have actually had success in reversing their territorial gains in Iraq and Syria. ISIS is on the run in the Middle East. They are far from being defeated, and we need to keep up strong steps to continue to support the Syrian rebel forces and to support the Iraqi Army to push ISIS back.

They have two narratives that they proffer in order to recruit people into their ranks: No. 1 is that the caliphate was inevitable and growing, and for a long time it was. That so-called caliphate--their geographical territory of control--was growing. No. 2 is that the East is at war with the West, that this is a fight between the Muslim faith and the Christian faith.

Well, that first narrative is not as available to them as it used to be because the people who are thinking of signing up for ISIS don't have to read too deep in the news to know that the so-called caliphate is shrinking, not growing. It doesn't look so inevitable that ISIS is going to control big portions of the Middle East for the long term. Looks like the gig might be up for them, so they are now more than ever relying on the second narrative--that this is a much broader war between the East and the West, and so lone wolf attackers in places such as Paris or Brussels or Orlando or San Bernardino become much more important to their continued international growth. So it is not without coincidence that terrorist groups have made it very clear to potential converts in the United States that a firearm works just as well as a suicide bomb. They took credit very quickly for this attack, and they are going to be hoping there are others who will go to a store and buy a powerful assault weapon and turn it on Americans. It is our duty to do everything possible to make sure that doesn't happen.

It isn't an either/or proposition. It is not fight them there or fight them here. It is not focus on terrorism or focus on guns. It is both. It is the need to continue to support the momentum that exists on the ground in the Middle East to defeat ISIS and defeat them for good and to harden our defenses here in the United States to make sure these potential lone wolf attackers can't get access to an assault weapon.

Think about this statistic today. We know who is on the list of those who are being watched as potential terrorists, and we can match that against who has requested to buy a weapon, and the statistics are pretty stunning. Individuals on the consolidated terrorist watch list cleared a background check when seeking to obtain a gun in 91 percent of the attempted transactions between 2004 and 2014. That is a total of 2,043 successful transactions out of 2,233. There are 2,000 people, over the course of 10 years, who are on the terrorist watch list and who walked into a gun store and bought a weapon. Now, those are only the ones we know about, because 40 percent of gun sales happen outside of gun stores. So there are likely another 1,000 to 2,000 people on the terrorist watch list who got guns through other mechanisms.

If we are serious about taking on terrorism, then we have to beat these guys where they live in the Middle East, and we have to support the administration's efforts to do that and supplement them, but we also have to make sure these potential mass shooters don't get their hands on powerful weapons, especially when we know they have connections to terrorist sources. In order to do that, we have to do both. We have to put those people who are on the terrorist watch list on the list of those who are prohibited from buying weapons, and we also have to make sure that wherever that person is going to buy a weapon, they are checked to make sure they aren't a terrorist.

Mr. President, I don't know how long I will last here, but I hope I will be able to give time to our leadership to come together and try to find a path forward on legislation that will make this country safer and will acknowledge that our gun laws are part of the story--not the whole story but part of the story--as to why this mass slaughter continues in this country. I live every single day with the memory of Sandy Hook. I know this is inconvenient for the leadership and for colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I get that. Most of the time around here, I am a team player, but I have had it. I have had enough, and I just couldn't bring myself to come back to the Senate this week and pretend like this is just business as usual. We have to do something. We have to find a way to come together.

I don't know how long this will take, but I am going to stand here and continue to hold the floor while we give time for our colleagues to try to figure out a path forward to recognize that without changes in this Nation's gun laws supported by the vast majority of Americans, the slaughter will continue.

I see my colleague from Connecticut rising. I will yield to my colleague from Connecticut for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank my colleague for the question, and I want to reiterate the nature of our partnership that he underscored.

He and I were there together in Newtown in that firehouse hours after that shooting, and we have spent probably hundreds of hours with the families. Since then, we have probably spent hundreds of hours together on this floor arguing as a team for changes in our laws.

I am so grateful to my friend Senator Blumenthal for being part of this effort today. He is right in stating that long before I was, shall we say, a convert on this issue myself in the days and weeks following Sandy Hook, it was Senator Blumenthal as our attorney general and then as our Senator who has been fighting this fight for years.

Connecticut has some of the strongest laws keeping guns out of the hands of criminals in the Nation, and it is not a coincidence that our gun homicide rate is one of the lowest.

I will just say this to answer the Senator's question. I know my colleague from New Jersey is rising as well. The United States is unique. We have written into our Constitution language about the intersection of private individuals and firearms. So we have to take seriously the words that are in that Second Amendment. But even in the controversial Supreme Court case, which overturns decades of precedent and held that there was, indeed, in the Constitution an individual right to own a firearm, the author of that decision, Justice Scalia said definitively that it is not an absolute right and that, yes, the majority of that Court was holding that there is an individual right to a firearm, but there is not an individual right to any firearm under any conditions at any time that you want it.

So I think part of the problem for my colleague from Connecticut is that the gun lobby has managed to convince many members of the public that the Second Amendment is unconditional, when it is not. It allows for reasonable limitations on the right to own a weapon.

What we know is that in States that have imposed those reasonable limitations, there are less gun crimes. There are less homicides. There is no truth to this mythology that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun. There is no truth to the mythology that if there are more guns in a community, there is less gun homicides. It is the exact opposite.

I think the gun lobby has been able to convince not just colleagues but many of our fellow Americans that the Second Amendment is absolute in its terms. It isn't.

I think they have also been successful in perpetuating this mythology that good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns, when, in fact, most of the time when you have a gun in your home, it is going to be used to kill you and not used to kill an intruder.

I don't know if the Senator has another question. But if he does, I yield to the Senator without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. That is true. I thank the Senator for making that patently clear.

What we are suggesting here is that the way we can come together in this body is around the simple premise that individuals with serious criminal records, individuals who have been deemed mentally incompetent or incapable, and people on the terrorist watch list shouldn't be able to buy firearms. That is it. That is what we are talking about here today and to build out that system in an effective way that is as foolproof as possible.

That has nothing to do with the limitation on an individual's Second Amendment right. If someone wants to go buy a firearm, they are not a suspected terrorist, they do not have a serious criminal record, and they have not been judged or deemed by a judge to be mentally incapable of making their own decisions, then there is nothing in what we are proposing in this body to come together on that would restrict that.

I yield to my friend, the Senator from New Jersey, Mr. Booker, for a question, without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank my colleague for his question. I think this is a question people throughout this country are asking today: Why are these measures we are asking for consensus on today so controversial in the Senate when they are not controversial in the American public?

My colleague Senator Booker talked about the statistics. It is not just that 90 percent of the American public supports expanded background checks to make sure people aren't criminals when buying guns; it is that the majority of gun owners support expanded background checks. It is Democrats who support it. It is Republicans who support it.

Similarly, on the issue at hand today, which is making sure potential terrorists don't obtain weapons, a similar majority of the American public supports that as well. There is less polling on that question, but suggestions are that 75 to 80 percent of Americans support the idea that if you are on the terrorist watch list, if you are on the consolidated list, then you shouldn't be able to obtain a weapon.

The question of my colleague is, Why can we not get consensus here? I guess, at some level, it is tough for me to answer that because it seems so clear to me that I am willing to vote for those measures. I am willing to cosponsor them. I am willing to come to the floor and speak in support of them. In many ways, it is a question for those who are blocking these measures from coming forward. As I said before, I believe much of it is rooted in what I believe is a misunderstanding of the Second Amendment. It is not an absolute right; it comes with responsibilities and conditions. I think a lot of it is a misunderstanding about the data that suggests--State by State, community by community--if you have tougher gun laws that keep guns out of the hands of criminals or prevent these powerful military-style assault weapons from flowing through your streets, you are going to have less level of gun homicide.

So part of our effort--and part of my belief--is to come to the floor today to continually reinforce what the real story is about the nature of the underlying right and about what the data tells us, but also, Senator Booker, about what we know to be the threat to this country. Research shows that on U.S. soil, people who are seeking to commit acts of terror rely almost exclusively on guns. And when guns are used in potential acts of terror, they are vastly more likely to result in casualties--when guns are used.

Now, this isn't me talking. This is an analysis of domestic terror attacks in the United States by Professor Louis Klarevas of the University of Massachusetts. He showed that since September 11, 2001, 95 percent of the associated deaths connected with terrorist attacks-- with terrorism--were committed with guns.

According to a project run by the Department of Homeland Security's Center for Excellence at the University of Maryland--something called the Global Terrorism Database, which is a government database run by the Department of Homeland Security--terrorist attacks in the United States are 10 times more likely to result in fatalities when they involve guns than when they do not. Between 1970 and 2014, nonfirearm terrorist attacks resulted in deaths 4 percent of the time, whereas 40 percent of the attacks involving firearms resulted in deaths.

If you really want to get down to the chilling bone here, Mr. President, listen to the words of one of the most notorious Al Qaeda operatives--actually an American who is now deceased--whose name is Adam Gadahn. He released a video in 2011. In it he said:

In the West, you've got a lot at your disposal. Let's take America for example. America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?

Even if his facts weren't 100 percent correct on whether you can get a fully automatic weapon at a gun show, this is clearly a message being sent by some of the most notorious operatives and recruiters within the Al Qaeda and ISIS network: Go get a gun. They are easily obtainable. Do as much damage as possible.

So to answer Senator Booker's question, I guess I don't want to sit here and impute malevolent motives or intentions or the interference of interest groups on my colleagues. I just have to believe that we have the facts wrong and that we are maybe misreading our constituents. I know people who listen to the NRA are very vocal. I know they call in to all of our offices frequently and express their opinions very strongly. I will admit that the majority of Americans--and this majority exists in every single State--who support expanded background checks, support keeping terrorists off the watch list, they are maybe not as passionate in their views. So it may also be that there is a misread coming on where the American public exists on this question. I think there are more and more Americans who are rising up and choosing to make this a priority when they come to the polling places and when they talk to us.

To Senator Booker, I think this is just about trying to do our best to correct the record--as the Senator said, doing our best to explain that what we are asking for is not revolutionary. It is not radical. It is simply commonsense. If we lay it out in plain facts, most of the people we represent would expect that we would have already taken care of this. If we told them we have not yet put individuals who are on the terrorist watch list on those that are prohibited from buying guns, I think they would be very surprised. If we told them that the majority of gun sales happen without background checks, I think they would probably be surprised by that. I think they expect us to act on this.

I know the Senator from Nebraska is looking to ask a question. I would be happy to yield to the Senator from Nebraska for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Nebraska for his question.

There is something called the consolidated watch list, which is an amalgam of a number of different databases. As the Senator understands, one of them is the no-fly list. The legislation Senator Feinstein has propounded and will propound refers to those consolidated lists and then provides the ability for an individual to contest their placement on those lists, to be able to be notified why they were prohibited from buying a gun and to be able to contest that with either the agency that put them on that list or with the NICS database itself. I take seriously this issue of due process. As we know, there are certainly people who are on that list who should not be--as, frankly, there are people today on the list of those prohibited from buying guns who should not be. There are mistakes made on the NICS list today--names that get put on there that shouldn't be put on, people who may have been wrongfully convicted.

I would agree with the gentleman that it is important that the legislation we come to agreement on specifically refers to the set of lists--which I would suggest mirror the consolidated database that is maintained by Federal law enforcement--and have a very explicit right to get off that list. I don't think it is impossible that we can come together on that in very short order.

I yield to the Senator from Illinois for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator. The Senator from Illinois, like Senator Blumenthal, has been a leader and a hero on this issue since before I got to the Senate, and he is exactly right. The state of this Nation is not just this repeated story line of mass shooting after mass shooting, it is the fact that even on days when there is not a mass shooting, there is the equivalent of a mass shooting happening in cities like Chicago, Baltimore, or New Orleans every single day. The numbers over Memorial Day weekend over Chicago are absolutely chilling.

Think about living in a city in which, over the course of what should be a celebratory weekend, there are 60-some odd incidents of gunfire, and that is just gunfire that hits people. So it is critical we acknowledge that this epidemic that we are often focused on because of these mass shootings is an epidemic that exists every single day in this country.

Senator Durbin is right that part of the reason we are asking that expanded background checks be part of this agreement that we come to over the course of today is because while we are on the bill that funds the Justice Department, while we are debating the bill that funds, in part, the background checks system, let's make sure it works. As the Senator knows, the data is clear: In jurisdictions that have near- universal background checks, there are less gun deaths--period, stop. In jurisdictions that decide they are going to apply background checks to as many sales as they can--let's be honest, you often can't get every sale, but you can certainly say, if you are selling guns online through advertisement or you are selling guns at a gun show that is organized and marketed, that those sales should be subject to a background check. In States that do that, they have lower rates of gun crimes. As the Senator knows so painfully--because Chicago sits right at the intersection of other jurisdictions--States can't do this by themselves. Even if a State decides to expand out the forums in which a gun sale is subject to a background check, if the other State next- door--let's say Indiana--has a lower standard, then your law is virtually meaningless. Of course, that is the story line in Chicago. The story line in Chicago is a handful of gun dealers--irresponsible gun dealers across the State line--selling guns to individuals who then take them into Chicago.

This is certainly a debate brought on by another mass shooting, and we certainly have an obligation to make sure the terrorists don't obtain guns, but the Senator is right that this ultimately has to be an issue of doing something about our urban gun violence as well.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield to the Senator from Connecticut for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for the question because of course this is a global fight against terrorism. This is not a battle that can be waged by one country and one country alone. The Senator is right that we are right now calling on our allies in Europe to take steps that would better protect all of us from these terrorist plotters. For instance, we have real concerns about the degree to which European nations are sharing data about potential terrorist plotters. Right now, law enforcement and terrorism surveillance in Europe is largely done on a country-by-country basis. Even within some countries, it is heavily siloed. In Brussels itself, I think by last count, there were six different police departments that didn't even communicate with each other. So there is a big problem in Europe about agencies not being able to talk to each other, and we are pressing Europe and Europeans to get more serious about both tracking terrorists throughout that continent and then sharing information with us.

How is that relevant to the Senator's question? It is very hard for us to preach to the Europeans that they should get more serious about tracking terrorists if we have big holes in our databases as well, and we do today. From the information that is out there, we know that in Orlando, this individual was on a watch list. He came off of it. Because of the way in which the network of lists and notifications work today, the FBI was not notified when he went to buy a gun.

We can have a debate as to whether he should have been prohibited from buying a gun if he was no longer on those lists, but it probably makes sense that the FBI should at least be notified so they can perhaps do some followup. As long as we have these gaps in our laws related to access to firearms for potential terrorists, then I think it is hard for us to tell the Europeans to do better. As the Senator knows, we also want to be able to connect what they know with what we know.

There are American citizens who travel to other countries, and they may be radicalized in part in connection with those visits. We want to be able to get that information to the extent that a foreign country knows about the activities of American citizens when they travel abroad so that it is incorporated into our databases, incorporated into the list of people we are concerned about getting access to a weapon.

I yield to the Senator from New Jersey for a question without losing my right to the floor.

(Mr. SASSE assumed the Chair.)

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator. It is a glaring loophole, and it is unclear why it has persisted. This idea of closing the loophole has been backed by both Democratic and Republican administrations, and I think the Senator talked about how this has been a bipartisan commitment. The George W. Bush Department of Justice supported the exact same bill that we are talking about today, in 2007. Attorney General Holder, in response to a question from Senator Feinstein at a 2009 Judiciary Committee hearing, said: I think that legislation was initially proposed by the Bush administration. It was well conceived, and we will continue to support that.

Not so long ago, this was an issue that was conceived by a Republican administration. It didn't seem to become controversial until gun lobbying organizations decided that it should be. We should remember that about all the things we are discussing here, because we live in a world today in which we think the issue of gun laws is the third rail of American politics. But all of the legislation that we are talking about could not have passed if it wasn't for Republicans and Democrats coming together, whether it be to support the existing background check system or to support the existing ban on assault weapons--plenty of Republicans voted for that--or to conceive of this idea of terrorists being kept off the list.

Here is how it plays out in real time. Elton Simpson is the name of the individual who opened fire on a Texas community center that was hosting an event displaying cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. I think we all agree that was an act of terrorism that was perhaps as a result of the radicalization of this individual. He was reportedly on the U.S. no-fly list. One of the Boston marathon bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was reportedly placed on two terrorist watch lists in 2011. He committed that act with an explosive device, but he also killed a police officer with a handgun. Orlando is the latest example of crimes being committed by those who were in and around this database.

The Senator from Nebraska asked the question earlier: How do we make sure that people aren't on there by mistake? Both parties will only support legislation that gives a practical means for individuals to grieve the fact that they are prohibited from buying a gun when indeed they should not be. I think at some level, we should accept that in virtually every Federal database that exists of people who are ineligible to buy a gun or people who are eligible to receive Medicare reimbursement, there are occasionally mistakes. But that does not stop us from trying to engage in collective action as a community to better protect our Nation.

Let's get that list right. Let's give people the ability to get off it if they are on it wrongly. But let's accept that what we know is that in 90 percent of the cases over that 10-year period where people tried to buy a gun and were on the terrorist watch list, they were able to buy it.

Let's be honest. This is only one element of what needs to be a broader strategy to combat either the potential radicalization leading to violence of American citizens or this broader question of combating gun violence at-large that Senator Durbin brought up. But it is an important glaring hole that needs to be corrected.

I yield to my friend from Connecticut for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Thank you, Senator Blumenthal, and I want to thank you for your work on the Judiciary Committee for leading this fight to try to make sure that law enforcement has what it needs to protect this country.

Again, I spoke to this broader conversation about how you protect this country from domestic terrorist attacks. I think there are a lot of people who want to drill it down to only one silo of conversation. As I remarked at the beginning, some people want to make this just about the fight in the Middle East. Some people want to make this just about surveillance. Other people want to make this just about gun laws.

It is not any of those things. It is about a combination of efforts. So we have to admit that this fight against ISIS and against Al Qaeda in the areas in which they have large amounts of control is an ongoing fight. That is not going to be concluded tomorrow or next week or the month after. We think we are making dramatic progress, but it is going to take us a while.

As I remarked at the outset, it also means that there is an inverse proportionality between our success in taking the fight to Al Qaeda and ISIS inside theaters of war and their importance in attacking us here at home in the sense that they are going to need to take the fight to us here if they are having less success in repelling our efforts to push them back inside the Middle East.

That is where law enforcement comes in, Senator Blumenthal, and you are exactly right. Let's make it a priority to defeat ISIS. But let's admit that for the time being, they are going to try to launch lone- wolf attacks here. What we know is they generally don't go through the trouble of trying to coordinate these attacks ahead of time. So it makes it much more difficult to stop. They are trying to find someone who is on the fringes of society, who may be mentally ill or prone to radicalization and weaponize them. Sometimes it makes it difficult for law enforcement to find that needle in a haystack.

What we know is that in this case, they had found that needle in a haystack. They had found him twice. Perhaps his inclusion permanently on one of these lists wouldn't have done much good because it wouldn't have prevented him from getting a firearm. There wasn't as much due diligence done as should have been.

This clearly is an important tool of law enforcement, and we need to give it to them. I hope--and I think Senator Mikulski talked about this in her opening comments--we can talk about giving broader resources to the FBI and to law enforcement to do the job they need do. We ask them to do more and more, but we don't give them the resources that are necessary. If we are going to give them additional responsibilities-- keeping a better monitored, consolidated database, having a process for individuals to grieve their inclusion on it--then we have to make sure they have the resources necessary.

To the Senator from New Jersey, I yield for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for that question. That is why it is so important to link those two pieces together. If you really want to protect this country from terrorist attacks by a firearm--as I stated before, that is the weapon of choice for those who want to do harm to this country for political reasons--then you have to both make sure those individuals are on the list of those prohibited from buying weapons and you have to make sure when you go and buy a weapon you intersect with that list.

This has been a long trend line, as both of my friends know. It used to be that almost everybody who bought a gun went into their local gun store to purchase that weapon, and over the course of time, for a variety of reasons, the means by which you bought a firearm has diversified significantly. We now have lots of sales occurring online, as we do with almost every other commercial good, and there is this buildout of gun shows, which are places where both licensed and nonlicensed dealers go to sell their guns in a very organized and controlled fashion. We have story upon story of individuals who have gone to buy guns in those gun stores in mass quantities, knowing that they would not have to go through a background check and then selling them on the black market. So someone who knows they are prohibited from buying a gun decides not to buy a gun in a gun store; instead, they go buy a number of weapons at a gun show, which is unregulated. Those individuals who are not licensed gun dealers are able to sell their weapons without background checks at a gun show, and they can get as many as they want. That is not a secret. I mean, you don't have to scratch the surface of America's gun law or debate this subject very hard to find out that there are easy ways to get guns without getting a background check. You can also go online. You can very easily buy a weapon on ARMSLIST without going through a background check.

We cannot adequately protect this country from terrorist attacks by firearm unless you do both, and that is why those two are linked together. As the Senator also knows, let's not shy away from the fact that the reason we are on the floor today is that this slaughter also happens outside the realm of terrorist attacks. In fact, the majority-- 95-plus percent--of Americans who have been killed by guns were not killed in a terrorist attack, but many of them were killed by guns sold outside the background check system.

This is a two for one. If there are objections on the Republican side to the provisions of the Manchin-Toomey legislation, I hope that over the course of this afternoon and this evening we can come together on those issues. If you pass some version of that legislation, which is supported by 90 percent of the American public and the vast majority of gun owners, in conjunction with putting terrorists or would-be terrorists or suspected terrorists on that same list, then you have not only protected our country from terrorist attacks, but you have also addressed this epidemic that we all live with on a regular basis, whether it be in Newark, Bridgeport, or, as Senator Durbin talked about, Chicago. The regularity of gun crime that is often associated with weapons that were purchased outside of the background check system is not an inevitability that we have to accept. We can do something about it by coming together today.

I think that is what my friend is getting at by linking together two policies that have to be interdependent in order to protect ourselves from a terrorist attack, and it is also about this broader issue of taking on crimes in our city.

I yield to the Senator from Connecticut for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank my friend. Let me put it to the body this way, through the Chair. This is also about sending a message to everyone in this country that we are serious about taking on this epidemic of gun violence, whether it is a terrorist attack or it is an attack by someone who is deeply mentally ill, such as the attack in Newtown, or the ordinary, everyday violence that is just epidemic in our cities. I think it is incredibly important for us to send a message that we are serious about this and, frankly, not worry about whether we have addressed every aspect of this debate and solved every problem at once--not allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good. I say that to my colleague, through the Chair, for two reasons. One is this notion I talked about earlier in which I really do worry that there is a quiet unintentional message of endorsement that is sent when we do nothing or all we do is talk. I believe that when there is not a collective condemnation of policy change from what is supposedly the world's greatest deliberative body, there are very quiet cues picked up by people who are contemplating the unthinkable in their minds. This isn't intentional. I am not accusing anybody of being intentional in their endorsement, but I think when we don't act, there is a quiet signal being sent to those whose minds are becoming unhinged and who are thinking about doing something truly horrific. Since we have been talking about this--since Sandy Hook--we haven't heard anything that would suggest that the highest levels of government condemn it with any real policy change.

Second, this is more deeply personal, and I know both of my colleagues on the floor today share this point of view. Almost every one of us has had a conversation with a family member who has lost a son or daughter to gun violence. Too many of us have had that collective conversation with families who have lost a loved one or have spoken to someone who lost a family member or their loved one in a mass atrocity. As for me personally, I need to be able to tell them something. They need to be able to hear something that helps in their healing.

The fact is, every day there are 80 sets of families who begin a process of grief surrounding the taking of a life through a firearm, and for many of them, their process of healing is encumbered by the fact that their leaders are not doing anything to stop it. If we could simply be compassionate as a body--forget the broader systemic impact of passing laws that will reduce the levels of violence in this country--that would enable us to help in the healing process of the families in Sandy Hook and Orlando. I know that after my colleagues met with the families in Sandy Hook, they came to the floor to plead for change.

We should pass legislation. This is easy, given that it should unite broad members of the American public.

I think the Senator's question is right: What are the other things we can do? We can go down the list. The Senator from Connecticut suggested that we make sure that individuals who have a restraining order against them by a spouse or partner aren't able to buy a weapon, and other suggestions have been to ban military-style assault weapons and provide more resources to law enforcement. There are a variety of other things we can do. Here is an easy place to start. Here is an easy place to start, where we know there is no real disagreement among the American public; 80 to 90 percent approval. We know there are Republicans and Democrats at least who can start negotiating this afternoon and this evening. Here is an easy place to start.

I don't know, maybe it is a muscle. Maybe it is a muscle. Maybe once you start to exercise that muscle, once you start to get in the habit of coming together to try to find ways to address gun violence, it makes it easier to take the next step. And also, maybe people see that the sky doesn't fall. Maybe people will see that if we do expand background checks, that hundreds won't lose their right to go practice their sport, that people who want to shoot for sport don't all of a sudden lose access to that pastime. So maybe we will also see, as we have seen in Connecticut, that the sky doesn't fall when we pass these commonsense laws, that people still enjoy a fulsome right to own a firearm so long as they can prove that they are not a criminal, that they are not on the terrorist watch list, and that they haven't been adjudicated as mentally ill.

I yield to the Senator for an additional question.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, through the Chair, that is exactly right. Let's make a start.

I guess what is so offensive to the people Senator Blumenthal and I represent, especially in Connecticut, is that we have done absolutely nothing; that in the face of mass slaughter after mass slaughter, this body has taken absolutely no action. I know times are tough here. I know we are often at each other's throats. But that in and of itself is unacceptable.

Let's find some limited common ground on issues that the broad American electorate support, and let's move forward on it. Maybe we wait to litigate some of the more controversial pieces until later on.

As Senator Blumenthal said earlier, this level of death would be absolutely unacceptable if it came by way of disease or if it came by way of infection. No one would contemplate standing pat and doing nothing if a mosquito-borne illness were killing 80 people a day in this country or wiped out 50 in one evening. No one would accept Congress doing nothing and just moving on to the next piece of legislation after the next wave of people dies. That is just not something people would accept. But for some reason in this country, we have come to accept that gun violence is inevitable and that there is nothing we can do or should do about it.

I am going to make this argument with greater specificity later this afternoon, but it is important for us to look at the data on gun deaths in America versus gun deaths in every other industrialized nation. It doesn't happen in other places like it happens here. And it is not because America has more people who are mentally ill. It is not because America spends less money on law enforcement. It is not because America has a less well-funded system of mental health, although we have a terrible system of mental health that we should fix. The reason we have epidemic levels of gun violence is not that we are different from other countries in all of these other ways; it has to be explained in part because we have allowed so many people who shouldn't have guns to have them. There is a reason we are different, and thus we shouldn't accept it.

I yield to the Senator from Florida for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, through the Chair, I thank my colleague for the question. From the layman's perspective, they don't seem like they are different weapons. They are both incredibly powerful weapons. They are both derivatives of weapons that were intended to kill as many people as quickly as possible.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield for an additional question.

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Mr. MURPHY. Well, it is not surprising to me, would be my answer.

I think, as the Senator knows, the marketing techniques of the companies that sell these guns are very disturbing. They often are marketing these guns in a way that would suggest that the intended use by the manufacturer is, in fact, to kill as many people as possible. They advertise the fact that you can conceal them easily, so they don't shy away from the fact that the collapsible elements make them easily concealable. The manufacturers are not suggesting that they should be used for mass slaughter, but they certainly are selling them in a way that speaks to an audience who is contemplating what they were contemplating.

I yield to the Senator for an additional question.

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Mr. MURPHY. First of all, let me say that it doesn't surprise me because we know the level of carnage that entered that emergency room. But I think it should pain everyone to look at that pair of shoes, look at the blood splattered on them, think of the amount of blood that was lost by those who died and lived, and to think that we are not going to do anything about it.

I yield for an additional question. I know the Senator from New York is waiting as well.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield to the Senator from New York for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for his lifelong leadership on this question. I feel as though I am in a caucus of giants here, where people are coming down to the floor--from Senator Durbin to Senator Schumer, to Senator Blumenthal--who have all been working on this issue about firearms, trying to protect Americans from gun violence far longer than I have. Of course, as one of the original authors of the bill, Senator Schumer knows better than anyone that had you known that you were building a bill that would only cover 60 percent of gun sales, you never would have designed it, nor probably voted for it, with the terms that exist today. What has happened is that over time gun sales have migrated to other places.

What we are simply trying to do is to reinforce the existing intention of the law. We are not trying to change the law at all. For everybody who voted for that bill originally to make sure criminals were not able to buy guns, they did so because they believed they were going to cover the majority of sales that were done in a commercial atmosphere. Now commerce happens in gun shows and online, and we need for the system to migrate to it.

The Senator is also right that protecting America from terrorist attacks is ineffective unless we do both--make sure people on the terrorist watch list can't buy guns and that the forums which that list reaches are both gun stores and gun shows but also Internet sales.

Further, the Senator is right that this is the only place where this issue is controversial. This is the only place in which there is a 50- 50 argument over this question. You find any other forum in any other part of the country and it is 90-10 on this issue, which is why my friend from West Virginia has led on this because he knows that in all of our States, this is something that brings Republicans and Democrats and gun owners and nongun owners together. Maybe other things don't, but this issue does.

I yield to the Senator from New York for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. That is right.

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Mr. MURPHY. I think that is a very important point, and I thank the Senator for making it. Let's be honest. The American people support the proposal that is in the underlying Feinstein legislation. The American people support the underlying legislation that is incumbent in Manchin- Toomey.

So, yes, we want to be able to find common ground, but that common ground can't result in loopholes that are big enough to drive a truck through, allowing terrorists or those on the terrorist watch list to get guns.

This idea that you can give law enforcement 72 hours to go to court to stop somebody from obtaining a gun is ridiculous. There are not enough resources in our system of law enforcement and our judicial system to track every single terrorist who is buying guns and bring every single one of those sales to court. Secondly, the legislation I have seen would only give 72 hours to do that, which would leave thousands of these sales to go through without prohibition. No, we can find common ground here, but let's remember, the American public by big numbers already supports the proposals that have been put before this body and have failed previously.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield to the Senator from West Virginia for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I would be interested in the Senator's reaction when I answer his question, and then he can ask another question to follow up.

People are going to say that Connecticut and West Virginia are very different States, and they are. There are a lot of differences between the citizens of Connecticut and West Virginia, but I have found that gun owners aren't that different in the sense that they are serious about their guns. They are serious about being a collector. They are serious about having the right to protect themselves. They are serious about the right to be able to hunt. But they also recognize that it is a responsibility, and you can lose that responsibility if you commit crimes.

Almost every single gun owner I have talked to has said, yes, absolutely criminals should not be able to buy guns. And every gun owner in Connecticut that I asked this question to said to me: What? Terrorists, people on the watch list, are allowed to buy guns?

So I think as different as our States are, I think gun owners are largely the same in that they come to this issue with the sentiment of not wanting the government to take away their ability to own a firearm, and they want a diversity of products available to them. They want to make sure they are able to collect or hunt, but also they don't want a criminal--somebody convicted of domestic violence, murder, or assault and battery--to be able to get their hands on a weapon. I think that is where both of our gun communities are, and I will yield to the Senator from West Virginia for another question or if he wants to correct me, if I am wrong.

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Mr. MURPHY. No one in Connecticut thought this was taking their rights away, and as the Senator from West Virginia knows, we have a strict background check system in Connecticut already, so in Connecticut we had already subjected these sales to the background check system. My impression is that our hunters, sports shooters, and collectors have never felt that they were on the precipice of losing their right to enjoy their sport or their pastime, or to be able to build on their collection.

As you mentioned, there are definitely disputes when you get into the area of banning this kind of weapon or that kind of weapon, but that has nothing to do with this bill. This bill is just about saying that if you are a criminal, you can't buy a weapon.

There may be other things that are controversial, but this one is noncontroversial. The Senator has told me it is not controversial in West Virginia either, when laid out as to what it really is.

I yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I did. We hear it constantly, which is this belief that there is a secret agenda, that this is really about a slippery slope to gun confiscation.

As the Senator stated very eloquently in his remarks, there is a Second Amendment, and there is an interpretation by the Supreme Court of that Second Amendment that guarantees the individual's right to a firearm, which we cannot broach and which we cannot breach as a legislative body. So that is unquestioned.

The question of whether there is a secret agenda is one we have to confront, but the reality here is when we passed the initial background checks law, I am sure people at the time said this is just the camel's nose under the tent.

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Mr. MURPHY. And it was not. As we stated, this system worked for a very long time until all of these gun sales migrated out of the system. But we have plenty of examples in which we have passed sensible commonsense gun laws that didn't lead to all of the worst case scenarios that many people often proffer to us.

I yield to Senator Manchin for another question.

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Mr. MURPHY. Through the Chair to my friend, it is important to remember that there is consensus in this body that those individuals shouldn't fly. There is nobody who has come to the floor of the Senate and has proposed a law that we should take all of these individuals who are on these watch lists and give them back the ability to fly; right? Nobody would propose that on the floor of the Senate because they would get tarred and feathered by their constituents if you came in and said: Everybody who has been investigated by the FBI who is on the terrorist watch list, we think that you are depriving them of their right, and so let them fly. No, no one would propose that.

So if it is not controversial that individuals who have had intersections with law enforcement over terrorism are not permitted to fly, why is it so controversial that they should be stopped from buying a firearm, at least until they grieve the process and make it clear that they had no reason to be feared?

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Mr. MURPHY. I think people in my State are shocked that this isn't already law. I think at some level people don't understand why this hasn't been baked into the background system as it is. As you know, this is just simply not a controversial issue anywhere but in this Chamber.

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Mr. MURPHY. Nobody believes that, no.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the gentleman for joining us on the floor today. I think that is really what this is about--not being able in our heart of hearts to go back to our States, especially those that have been touched by these crimes, and tell them that we wasted another week, that we sat here and we ignored the problem for yet another week.

The reason I am on the floor, the reason that Senator Blumenthal and Senator Booker are joining me, is that we have just had enough. We have had enough of these shootings, enough of this talk. We think it is time for action and time for action now.

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Mr. MURPHY. I know the Senator from Maryland is on the floor, but I yield to the Senator from Connecticut for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank Senator Blumenthal.

I think that is critically important here. I would answer it in two ways.

The first is to underscore your point. Our Nation's set of State- based firearms regulations are only as strong as the weakest link. We can have the strongest laws in Connecticut, but guns, terrorists, and would-be criminals don't observe State boundaries. If you are intent on committing a heinous crime, you probably also have the means to figure out how to get around one State's tough gun laws.

Senator Durbin was here earlier talking about the fact that a large number of the weapons that are used in Chicago to commit murders--60- some odd shootings over Memorial Day weekend alone--come from outside the State of Illinois. Illinois has some pretty tough gun laws, but Indiana doesn't. So you can get to Indiana from Chicago in a heartbeat, and you could pick up a firearm online or at a gun show, or you can go to a pretty miserably regulated gun dealer and bring what effectively are illegal weapons back to Chicago. Yes, we are talking about a Federal law because this cannot be a State-based solution.

Through the Chair, that being said, as Senator Blumenthal knows, State laws do have an effect.

That is helpful in showing, through this body, that we are not powerless, that if we pass these laws and apply them on a national basis, it will have an effect.

In Connecticut, we have seen a 40-percent reduction in gun crimes since these laws went into effect. That is a preview to this body, that if we were to adopt that standard--yielding to my friend for another question--then we could potentially bear the same reward in human lives saved on a national basis.

I yield to the Senator for another question.

I know Senator Cardin is on the floor as well.

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Mr. MURPHY. I say to Senator Blumenthal, I don't think there is any more I can offer in answer. You are correct that it is both ironic and outrageous.

I yield to the Senator from Maryland for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for his question, and I want to thank him for the work he has done as our leader on the Foreign Relations Committee to make LGBT rights not just a domestic priority but an international priority for this country.

I started this out about 3 hours ago talking about how complicated the attack in Orlando was and how many different competing influencers there were on the incomprehensible decision this individual made. But clearly he had a hatred in his heart for people in the LGBT community. And it is a reinforcement for us to pay attention to the words that we use, the things we do, and the legislation we contemplate or pass. If we build inclusive societies in this country and promote--as my colleague from Maryland is--inclusive societies abroad, then we give less room for individuals who might be contemplating these hateful actions against individuals who are members of a minority group--LGBT, Hispanic, or whatever it may be.

So I think our obligation here is multiple. We need to pass stronger gun laws and we need to take the fight to ISIS, but we also need to double down on inclusive societies and we need to double down on fighting discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters because to the extent that we make discrimination, that we make hatred, and that we make malevolent thought much more of an outlier in our society, we cut down on the potential for this to happen in the future.

I thank the gentleman for also bringing together all these other potential steps forward on our gun laws. Of course assault weapons should not be legal in this country. When they were prohibited for 10 years, we saw a diminution in the number of mass murders committed. Of course these mega-clips--the 30-round and 100-round clips--have no place in a civilized society.

I guess our hope is that if we start exercising this muscle of getting consensus on gun laws, we start with background checks and the terror gap, which we know the American public is together on and we know we can find agreement on in this body, then that will give us the platform with which to get agreement on some of these other issues. If we start finding common ground today, this afternoon, tonight, then we will have the room to find more common ground in the future.

But the Senator is right--we have to link these efforts together. We have to understand how complicated the motivations were for the shooter, but we also have to understand we are not powerless in confronting it.

I yield again to the Senator for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. Through the Chair, I thank the Senator for the question, and let me say that I think that is why we are here. I think that is why we are here. This was just backbreaking. The idea of this body moving on as if it is just business as usual after the worst mass shooting in the history of this Nation, coming on the heels of the second and the third and the fourth worst mass shootings in the history of this country, was unacceptable.

I think the reason that I am here with Senator Blumenthal, Senator Booker, Senator Durbin, why you are here, why Senator Markey has now joined us, why Senator Manchin was here, why Senator Schumer was here, and why so many others will be coming to ask questions of me later today, is because there is no option other than action. The idea that we wouldn't even try, the idea that the leadership of this body wouldn't even schedule a debate this week to try to find common ground instead of just moving on as if it didn't happen, is the only thing that is truly unacceptable.

I thank the Senator.

I yield to the Senator from Massachusetts for a question without losing my right to the floor.

(Mr. CRUZ assumed the Chair.)

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank Senator Markey very much. I think he has gotten to the root of why we are here. There are a lot of very important issues in this underlying bill.

As I said at outset, it is uncomfortable for those of us who began here at the beginning of this time to postpone amendments and to put off debate on the underlying bill, the very important bill, the CJS bill. We feel like enough is enough, that this is the moment when this body has to come together and find a path forward to try to address this epidemic of gun violence and admit that it is within our power to make the next attack less likely. This doesn't come easily, but at this point, many of us think it is our only hope to really force action.

I know Senator Booker has a question. Before yielding to Senator Booker, I want to thank Senator Markey for his incredible leadership on this issue of promoting research into gun violence. Unfortunately, science has become politicized, and Senator Markey is on the frontlines of trying to address climate change. But there is no reason this Congress should be deciding what researchers at the CDC pursue by means of lines of inquiry and what they do not pursue. That should be left up to scientists. That should be left up to people who are professionals in the field of deciding what is worthy of research and what is not. We are politicians. I don't cower from that term. I am proud of the fact that I and we have chosen to try to make this country better through the political process. But we aren't scientists. We don't have medical backgrounds. When we get into the field of deciding what is worthy of research and what is not, bad things happen routinely, whether it is on the question of climate change or on the question of gun violence research.

The private sector simply cannot pick up the slack. Why? Because when the Federal Government bans private research on a subject like gun violence research, it chills private dollars from going into those research proposals as well. There is a fear on behalf of the private sector that if they get intermingled with public funds, there could be a problem. That hasn't stopped some people in the private sector from pursuing this research because they know it is critical.

Avielle Richman was one of the little boys and girls who were killed at Sandy Hook. Avielle was a beautiful young girl. As has been the case with many of the parents following that tragedy, her parents have decided to set up a foundation in her name. Maybe over the course of the afternoon, we will be able to talk about some of the other good work that has been done by these foundations because we think that, as devastating as the tragedy was, Newtown and Sandy Hook are defined by the response. The Richman foundation is all about research. The Richman foundation is all about research trying to discover the linkages between mental illness and a predilection toward gun violence or toward violence in general. We know there is not an inherent connection. We know people who are mentally ill are much more likely to be the victims of gun violence than they are the perpetrators of gun violence. We know there is an intersection, but the only money that is going into that intersection right now is private dollars that are being raised by two parents of a girl who perished at Sandy Hook. They are not professional fundraisers. They have other jobs. They are trying to scrape together what they can to perform this research. They know it is worthy. They know it is worthwhile. But because of that ban Senator Markey is trying so hard to overturn, the public sector can't do research into that connection, or it becomes very hard for the public sector to justify it because they fear violating that law.

I thank Senator Markey for being so persistent on this question of research dollars. There are so many different angles of this problem. There are so many different ways to attack it. This is another example of a way in which we can come together. I think this is one of the ways in which Democrats and Republicans can come together.

I yield for a question from the Senator from Illinois.

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Mr. MURPHY. I will.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator. I am reclaiming my time. I thank the Senator for asking that question because I think it is important for us to be clear about why we are here. We are here not to hold the floor for holding the floor's sake but because we have had enough of condolences and thoughts and prayers without action from this body.

We think we have identified two commonsense measures that are supported by the vast majority of the American public: making sure that people who are suspected of being terrorists cannot purchase weapons and making sure that the background check system applies to all of the commercial venues in which guns are sold.

We think it is time for us to have a debate on those two measures on the floor of the Senate and to be able to get a vote--something this body used to do a lot of--on those two measures. We have selected measures that are not controversial to the American public. They are supported by 80 to 90 percent of Americans.

So we are holding the floor and we are standing on the floor today in anticipation of Republican and Democratic leadership coming to us and saying: We are ready to talk about how we can make this country safer by keeping guns away from suspected terrorists. If we can get an agreement to have a vote on expanding background checks and including people on the terrorist watch list on the list of those who are prohibited from having guns, then this debate we are having can stop and we can move forward to a vote.

I yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. These are measures that can save lives. Facts have changed. We have seen over and over again the carnage that comes by allowing these loopholes to persist. Yes, we have had debates on this floor, but we have had debates and taken votes on this floor before. But our hope is that our colleagues' eyes have been opened to the epidemic that persists in the absence of legislative action.

Our job is not to send condolences; our job is to debate legislation. My hope, through the Chair to Senator Durbin, is that there are discussions happening right now on ways to bring the two parties together around moving these two issues forward. Our job is to debate and to vote, to go on the record, to show our constituents where we stand on these issues, and to find ways to achieve common ground. Our hope is that by holding up consideration of the CJS bill, we will prompt both sides to come together and find a path forward on these issues.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank Senator Durbin for the question. Illinois and Connecticut have amongst the toughest background check laws in the Nation, but our laws are no good if the State next door to us has amongst the weakest laws in the Nation. Our Nation's system of State- based background check laws is only as strong as the weakest link. If we don't have a national commitment to ensure that individuals who are criminals or who are potential terrorists don't buy guns, then it really doesn't matter what each State does. That is why this background check proposal, which is a bipartisan proposal and which is supported by 90 percent of Americans and 85 percent of gun owners, is such a win- win, because it speaks to the very real fear that Americans have of continued terror attacks but also addresses this catastrophe of regular, everyday urban gun violence.

By the time we are done today, Senator Durbin, probably 80 people-- somewhere in that neighborhood--will be killed by guns, many of them in cities throughout this country. This is a means to both get at the question of terrorist violence and at the question of urban gun violence.

I thank the Senator for joining us on the floor.

Mr. President, I yield to the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, through the Chair, I am.

I yield to the Senator for another question.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for the question. We have given law enforcement new tools to find people who are contemplating political violence against American citizens; yet there is this gap in which law enforcement has information about an individual's potential or real ties to terrorist groups, and we are not able to prevent them from buying a weapon. They are prevented from flying, but they are not prevented from buying a weapon. It is an absolute necessity to give them those new tools and also to expand the reach of our background system so we can make sure protection exists that no matter where that individual goes to buy a gun--whether they walk into a gun store or a gun show--they will be prevented from buying a weapon. There is a large loophole that exists today.

Mr. President, I yield to the Senator for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I say through the Chair to the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee that of course it would make a difference. What the Manchin-Toomey bill has always contemplated is that sales that were advertised would be covered by background checks. There would be limitations on relative-to-relative transactions, but if you are engaged in any sort of commercial business where you are selling a firearm, whether it is at a gun show, gun store, or out of a trunk, you would have to go through a background check before selling a weapon.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I do agree with the Senator. We are both members of New England States. We are both members of States where people enjoy hunting. I run into very few hunters who believe they need an AR-15-style weapon in order to enjoy their pastime.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I will yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank Senator Leahy for being such an amazing champion and the author of many of the underlying protections that we are talking about expanding and making more effective today. He is an absolute giant on the issue of protecting Americans from gun violence.

We don't have to dig deep to understand why this body has an approval rating that rivals venereal disease. They think we spend all of our time fighting, and they see big problems in this Nation, and this Congress is doing nothing to even attempt to solve it. This is a paramount example.

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Mr. MURPHY. I ask through the Chair if the Senator from Pennsylvania will wait.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from Pennsylvania without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, reclaiming the floor, I thank the Senator for his comments. We are here for the explicit purpose of trying to bring this body together in a way that can advance both of these issues--stopping terrorists from being able to buy guns and them making sure that the law covers as many forms as possible to make sure that that prohibition is effective.

The frustration for us is that we have had 6 months since we last debated that provision. If there were ways to come together, then we have had 6 months to find that common ground. I take the Senator's offer very sincerely, but my hope is that by taking the floor today and not moving on the CJS bill until we resolve these issues, we will provide the impetus for our sides to come together and find that common ground.

I thank the Senator for his participation and his question.

Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from Minnesota for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I am familiar with that report.

Mr. President, I yield to the Senator for another question.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for the question and for specifically referring to the GAO report.

Over 10 years, 91 percent of people who were on the terrorist watch list who tried to buy a gun was successful in buying a gun--9 out of 10 times. The reason this is such an important issue that the Senator brings up is because, as he knows, people who are trying to commit political crimes against Americans, people who are trying to commit acts of terror against Americans, are increasingly turning to the firearm--to the assault weapon rather than to the IED or the explosive--in order to perpetuate their terror attack. So as studies have shown us--studies I referred to earlier today--the weapon of choice in homegrown domestic terror attacks is the firearm. Why wouldn't we do everything in our power to take that weapon of choice away from those individuals? We are making this country less safe every day that we allow for 9 out of 10 individuals who are on the terrorist watch list who seek to buy guns to buy them.

By the way, as the Senator knows, that 1 out of 10 isn't denied a gun because he is on the terrorist watch list, that 1 out of 10 is denied a gun because he is on another list, because that individual has committed a crime that has caused him to be prohibited from buying a weapon.

I yield to the Senator for a question.

(Mr. TOOMEY assumed the Chair.)

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank my friend for coming to the floor and asking these questions and making these important points. Yes, this would make a difference. It would make a difference because we know every month there are people on the terrorist watch list who are trying to buy weapons. Not all of them are buying weapons for malevolent purposes, but we know individuals from the Boston bombers to the Orlando shooter were in the network of those who were being watched and monitored by the FBI, and they were able to buy weapons despite that. This would make a difference. If we were able to pair it, as we are requesting, with an examination of background checks, that would also make a difference for the thousands of people every month who are dying on the streets of America due to our inability to stop illegal weapons from flowing into our communities. So I thank the Senator for his questions.

I yield to the Senator from Connecticut who has been with me since the very beginning. I yield to him for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator. I think the question is simply: Why are you here--you asked for this job--if you didn't want to confront the big questions and the big problems?

Nobody denies that this is an epidemic of criminal proportions. Nobody denies that this is happening only in the United States and nowhere else in the industrialized world. Nobody denies that crippling, never-ending grief that comes with a loved one being lost. Yet we do nothing. We just persist this week as if it is business as usual. Why did you sign up for this job if you are not prepared to use it to try to solve big problems?

I appreciate the hope of my friend from Pennsylvania that we can find common ground. We have had a long time to find common ground. We have had 4 years since those kids were slaughtered in Sandy Hook to find common ground, but we haven't, which is why we are here today--to demand that we are not going to go along with business as usual any longer until we come together on at least two of the proposals that 90 percent of the American public supports.

I yield to the Senator from Washington for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for that question in particular. I think back to where I was--and I think we all can remember with specificity where we were when we first heard about Sandy Hook, when we first heard that there were 20 dead children lying on the floor of their first-grade classrooms. I was with my little kids. I was with my then-1-year-old and 4-year-old on a train platform in Bridgeport, CT, getting ready to go down to New York to see the Christmas tree displays. They were so excited about that to go down. I remember having to tell them I had to go to work, and I left them and my wife on that train platform as we told them the trip was off.

I am here today, as I think all of us are, because this is personal to us. My oldest, who was 4 years old then, is this week in his final week of first grade--first grade--the same year as those kids who were killed in Sandy Hook. And so, I think in deeply personal terms about what Sandy Hook means to the kids who survived in addition to the families who lost loved ones. There is no recovery for that community. It is still a community in crisis. There are waves and ripples of trauma that never end. I think about the reality of what it is to be a kid in school today, being increasingly in an environment that seems more like a prison than it does a place of learning, going through metal detectors, performing active shooter drills, and having to live in a perpetual state of fear that somebody is going to walk into your school with a gun or there is going to be a gunfight that breaks out between students. That is no way to learn and that is no way to live.

So I think almost all of us on this floor, Republicans and Democrats, are either parents or grandparents, and we know what a horrific reality it must be to live with that fear as a child, and how little solace we give parents when we do nothing. At least, as a parent, if Congress were acting to try to make the next mass shooting less likely, you could maybe hold your head a little higher and your back a little straighter when you are telling your kids it is going to be all right, but there are a lot of parents who are so angry with us because they don't think we are keeping their kids safe.

Senator Murray, I thank you for framing it in the eyes of kids because we think about it in terms of stopping someone from committing a crime or about how a background check system works, but when we stop these shootings, it is really about protecting those kids.

I yield to the Senator for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Washington.

Before yielding to the Senator from Michigan, let me note there are a number of House Members who have joined us on the floor. I thank them for their support in our effort to force a debate and discussion on the floor of the Senate today. I would note that of the House Members who have joined today, there have been a number from different States who have joined us. Representative Langevin was on the floor. I am particularly proud of all five Members from Connecticut who have stopped by on the floor for these proceedings, and I know we will expect more with that.

I yield to Senator Peters for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Michigan for asking the question that is the crux of this debate. It is our responsibility to do everything within our power to protect Americans from terrorist attacks. The reality is, terrorist attacks can come in many different forms, but recently it has been coming through one form; that is, firearms, and often very lethal, military-style firearms. So it is our duty to do everything possible to protect Americans from that new trend in terrorist attacks. The Senator is right. The answer to the question is, simply putting suspected terrorists on the list of those prohibited from buying weapons is not enough because 40 percent of gun sales today are not happening in places where background checks are conducted. We have to do both.

It is not a secret that someone can go online to arms lists and easily get a weapon in minutes without having to go through a background check. It is full of holes like Swiss cheese. There is limited utility in passing an inclusion for people on the terrorist watch list for those prohibited from buying weapons unless we do the secondary bill we are asking for. As Senator Durbin and I have talked about a number of times this afternoon, expanding background checks also has a double benefit of addressing this secondary epidemic of urban gun violence, which is often perpetrated by individuals who have illegal weapons. Law enforcement, police chiefs, and guys on the frontlines in our cities will state that if we force every gun sale through a background check or virtually every commercial sale through a background check, we will have fewer firearms on our street, and there will be less carnage on the streets of Chicago, New Orleans, and Baltimore.

The answer to the question is, yes, we have to do more to protect Americans from terrorist attacks, but we also have to address this ongoing slaughter that often doesn't rise to the level of getting on national news but is a reality in our cities.

I yield to the Senator from Michigan for a question, if he has a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. The Senator from Pennsylvania is on the floor with an incredibly important and tragically on-point piece of legislation.

I yield to the Senator from Pennsylvania for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for his question, for his passion, and for his ability to articulate how complicated this issue is and the complicated nature of the motivations that led to the shooting in Orlando, which is why the Senator's legislation that would elevate the treatment of hate crimes with respect to the prohibitions on gun sales is so critically important. I hope we have time to debate that as well.

It is imperative that we act right now, and it is within our power to change the reality that exists every day on the streets of America and with respect to these mass shootings. What we have is loads and reams of data from State experiences to tell us that when you take these commonsense steps--such as applying background checks to a broader range of gun sales--you have a dramatic reduction in the number of homicides that are committed, you have a dramatic reduction in the number of people who are killed.

There is no doubt that we have the ability to do something. You are right that there is a panoply of measures we need to consider. We have suggested starting with the two that are the least controversial. Start with the two that have broad support of the American public. Start with an expansion of background checks to gun shows and internet sales and the inclusion of people on the terrorist watch list, of those who are prohibited from buying guns.

There are the two on which there is no controversy outside of this body, so that would be a nice start. Then we can get to working on all of those other measures that will truly end up in substantial change--a change in reality for people who have lived with this epidemic every day.

I thank the Senator for his questions and for his passion on this issue.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield to the Senator from Oregon for a question without yielding control of the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank Senator Wyden for his question. It is a really important one because the number is certainly shocking for how high it is and how low it is at the same time. Let us take 2015. In 2015, there were 244 individuals who were on the terrorist watch list who attempted to buy weapons, and 223 of those were successful in buying the weapon. So in 90 percent of the occasions in which someone on the terrorist watch list attempted to buy a weapon, they walked out of that store with the weapon.

Now, it gives you, A, a sense of the scope of this. There are only 224 people over the course of the whole year who were on the terrorist watch list and who attempted to buy a weapon. But what we know from this weekend is it only takes one with malevolent intentions to create a path of death and destruction that is almost impossible to calculate. It is just impossible for the American public to understand how that number persists--how we allow for 90 percent of the people on that watch list to walk into a store and to successfully buy a weapon.

That is the number from 2015--223 out of 244 were successful.

I yield to the Senator for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for his question. Of course they are commonsense measures, and, importantly, they are measures that are supported by the broad cross-section of the American public. What my colleague is proposing is only controversial here in the Senate. It is controversial nowhere else in this country.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield to the Senator from Massachusetts for a question, through the Chair, without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Massachusetts for those incredibly powerful words making clear what our moral obligation is. Our moral obligation is to witness a crisis happening at our feet and do something about it. Why have this job--one of the most powerful jobs in the world--if we are not going to exercise it to try to protect Americans from harm?

So our choice--my choice, the choice of Senator Blumenthal, Senator Booker--is to say enough--enough of treating these mass shootings as if they are just part of the American fabric and landscape, enough of accepting that 80 people will die every single day when there is no other country in the world in which this happens, enough of pretending like there isn't anything we can do about it.

Senator Warren has outlined some basic commonsense bipartisan steps that we can take to make this better, and the Senator is so right. This is our choice. There are only 100 of us. There are only 100 of us. We can make the collective decision to do something about it.

I thank the Senator from Massachusetts.

I yield to the Senator from Oregon for a question without losing my right to the floor.

(Mr. GARDNER assumed the Chair.)

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator.

At this point, I yield to the Senator from Connecticut for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for distilling the reasons for our presence on the floor down to those points.

We see this as possible. We see it as possible to get a concensus between the Democrats and Republicans to bring these two measures-- closing the terrorist gap and expanding background checks--before the Senate floor this afternoon or tonight. We think that is possible, and we intend to hold the floor until we make significant progress on that front.

I yield to the Senator for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. There is not, Senator Blumenthal, through the Chair. That is the reason we posited these two proposals as a means forward on this bill. We know they are noncontroversial in the American public. They enjoy broad bipartisan support.

I yield to the Senator from New Jersey, Senator Menendez, for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for his passionate words and advocacy on this issue. I refer the Senator to a conversation Senator Manchin and I had earlier today when we talked about the gun culture in West Virginia and how Senator Manchin hasn't run into anyone who was passionate about gun ownership who believes that people on the terrorist watch list should be able to buy guns and believes that terrorists should be able to buy guns. The Senator from West Virginia argued passionately for the notion that my friend has proffered that there is no choice to be made between upholding the Second Amendment and protecting our citizens from attack.

Justice Scalia himself said in a very controversial decision that not everyone agrees with that the Second Amendment is not absolute; that the Second Amendment, even in the minds of those who hold that it has a private right of gun ownership inherent in it, believe that all the things we are talking about--denying terrorists from getting guns, keeping dangerous assault weapons off the streets, recognizing that there is no place in civilized society for 100-round drums of with ammunition--all of those restrictions are wholly in keeping with the Second Amendment.

Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from New Hampshire for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for her question. I think about the survivors. I think about the parents of those who were lost in Newtown, and I think about the additional layer of grief we intentionally place upon their shoulders by our inaction. There is some solace--a small measure of solace--in knowing that the people for whom you voted to run your country care so deeply about your dead child that they are going to do something about it, but there is a next level of grief when you realize they don't actually care enough to even have a debate to protect other children like them.

This is our choice, I say to Senator Shaheen.

And my friend is very articulate in her challenge to us. I hope we respond to it.

Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from New York for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for her passion. It is not a coincidence that sitting in this front row, in this section of the Senate, are three parents of young kids. We are friends, but we are also involved in a common cause, and maybe we bring a little bit more of our gut to this question of what we do to protect children and adults because we think of our own children and we think of how at risk they are.

To Senator Gillibrand through the Chair, we have proposed two simple measures to begin with. Let's bring to the floor a background checks bill that expands background checks to gun shows and Internet sales where the majority or the lion's share of sales have migrated to, and let's make sure the terrorists can't buy guns; those that are on the terrorist watch list and no-fly list. Let's start there.

If we could get an agreement to bring those two pieces before the Senate in a bipartisan way, then we would gladly pack up our stuff and go home, but we need to have bipartisan consensus on those two votes to move forward and that is our hope and that is the reason we are holding the floor here today.

With that, I yield to the Senator from Missouri, a great leader on this issue, for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for the question, and the answer is yes, so long as you pair it with an expansion of background checks to make sure they are seeing these purchases wherever they take place. That is why we have asked for this body to move forward on both of those pieces of legislation, because we cannot ask the FBI to protect this Nation from terrorist attacks if we don't give them the tools to keep firearms from those who threaten us.

Before turning the floor over to the Senator from Virginia, let me underscore the last point Senator McCaskill made. There is no other country in the world in which this happens. The rate of gun violence in this country is 20 times higher than the combined rates of the 22 countries that are our peers in wealth and population--20 times higher. More people died in this country in the first 15 years of this century than died in all of the wars in the last century combined. That is unique to the United States. Shame on us if we don't recognize that and do something about it.

In the days after Sandy Hook, the Senator from Virginia was one of the first to stand up intentionally to the national media and say that something had to change. He was one of the early signals that this Nation has woken up in the wake of Sandy Hook. I am glad to yield to him for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Virginia for his question. I think that is the essence of this debate, why we are on the floor today and why we are lodging this protest. If you look at why the ratings of Congress are so low, it is because of the challenges we are ignoring. People are upset that we are fighting and bickering all the time, but they are also deeply upset that there are these epidemics and public safety crises and we are doing nothing.

I think our ability to respond to this in a bipartisan way to reflect the support of 98 percent of the American public is about saving lives but also about fulfilling our constitutional responsibility. Why did we sign up for this job? Why did we decide to be a U.S. Senator if we were going to ignore this epidemic of slaughter in this Nation? There is nobody who disagrees with the fact that this is a major problem. It is in the headlines in the papers on almost a weekly basis. Why become a Senator if you are going to ignore this?

I thank the Senator from Virginia for his remarks and the question.

I will yield to the Senator from Minnesota for a question without losing my right to the floor. She has been such a leader in general on this issue focusing on protecting victims of domestic violence. This hopefully will lead to one of the breakthroughs we are seeking in the context of this debate.

I yield to the Senator from Minnesota for her question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I will yield to the Senator from Minnesota for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for that question. You just have to look to the data for the answer. We have had pretty robust survey data on the question of support for expanding background checks or support for denying access to guns for people on the no-fly list. It is universal. Everyone wants these changes. Republicans want them; Democrats want them. Non-gun owners want them; gun owners want them. The vast number majority of NRA members support the bipartisan provisions that we are proposing for bipartisan action today.

I would suggest the same thing is true for protecting victims of domestic violence. This has nothing to do with being a Republican or a Democratic gun owner or a non-gun owner. When you tell people that somebody who has a restraining order lodged against them shouldn't get a gun, everybody nods their head.

I thank Senator Klobuchar for being such a leader on that particular issue because it is one in this basket of changes we are requesting that is controversial only here. It is controversial only in Washington, DC, and in the political arenas of this country. It is not really controversial out in the broader American public.

I thank the Senator.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield to the Senator from Maryland for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator, the ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, for the question. That certainly is a big part of this story line, this toxic mixture of guns and restraining orders. It puts everyone in jeopardy. It puts the individual who lodged the restraining order in jeopardy, and it puts the law enforcement officers who get in the middle of that conflict in jeopardy. It is hard enough for law enforcement officers to try to enforce a restraining order. This is a spouse who is angry and who often is at the peak of their fury. When you add a gun to that mix, everyone's life is in danger. I thank the Senator.

I yield to the Senator from Ohio for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for a question that is unanswerable.

The answer is we cannot.

As you know, there is a very real, palpable fear out there today. There is no way to look at what happened in San Bernardino, to look at what happened in Orlando, and not be scared. Yes, it is an attack that is designed to elicit a fear that is disproportional to the actual threat; that is what terrorism is. But people's fear is elevated when they don't see us taking action.

Earlier today I think Senator Casey made this point. He said: Can you imagine doing nothing after September 11? Can you imagine if our response after that tragedy was to just do nothing, to just move on to the next piece of legislation as if it didn't occur? That was 3,000 people whose lives were taken. There are 30,000 people a year who are killed by guns. If you add up those who have been killed in mass shootings, the numbers approach that of September 11.

So this is a moment in which I think it is impossible for us to go back home and once again say that we haven't done anything. I guess that is the reason we are here. I know it is uncomfortable to stop the CJS process, to force and ask staff to stay beyond regular hours.

For many of us--and I think Senator Brown is amongst this group--we just couldn't pretend this was business as usual again. We couldn't go through another one of these shootings--this one the worst in history of this country--and just go back to our regular business. That is why we are here today, to suggest that this time it has to be different.

I yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for the question. I just want to acknowledge we have had a number of House Members come to the floor of the Senate today to support our effort.

Congressman Richmond, a good friend of mine and of Senator Booker, who has just witnessed the ongoing slaughter in New Orleans--unabated because of inaction from this Congress--has joined us. I have seen a number of other Members from the House join us as well. I thank them and I thank in particular my friend Representative Richmond for being here.

I think that is a great question, Senator Brown, especially in the context of the history of the NRA's advocacy in this body.

It used to be that the NRA actually supported expanding background checks. In the wake of the Columbine tragedy, it was the NRA that was arguing to close the loopholes in our background check system. So as a means of answering why we can't get agreements, you have to ask yourself and answer the question as to what has happened to the gun lobby.

The gun lobby used to come here. It originated, of course, as just a gun safety organization. It morphed into much more of an advocacy organization. But even as late as the Columbine massacre, they were still arguing for changes in our laws to better protect individuals.

Today they are an absolutist organization. Today they broker no compromise. Unfortunately, there is a large percentage of this body, enough to block commonsense legislation, that follows their lead. But there has been a transformation in the advocacy of that organization.

Many of us are still hopeful that gun owners who are members of the NRA support what we are talking about today, right? The polls tell you that NRA members support background checks to cover more sales and stop people on the no-fly list from getting guns. We hope they might prevail upon their association to be more constructive.

I yield for another question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank Senator Brown. I think the answer is we have to look at ourselves sometimes, and ask: Have we fought as hard as we possibly could to galvanize the American public around these changes?

The reality is--and I said this earlier on the floor--that the small handful of individuals in this country who oppose these changes are calling our offices sometimes with more frequency than the large majority of Americans who support these changes, and they take cues from us.

So that is why we are here. We were about to come back to the Senate and just proceed with business as usual. As if Orlando didn't happen, we were just going to start debating amendments to the Commerce- Justice-Science act. Those on the floor today--certainly, in particular myself, Senator Booker, and Senator Blumenthal--said: Enough. Enough. We have to give a signal to the American public that we care--that we care so deeply about the consequences of inaction that we are, at the very least, going to stop this process from moving forward until we can't stand any longer.

Now that is a tiny, tiny sacrifice. But at least it shows we are willing to put something behind the passion that letter writer and many others have.

So there are a variety of answers to your question, I say to Senator Brown--the strength of the gun lobby, the misunderstanding about the nature of the Second Amendment, and the data that we have not done a good enough job of getting out there that talks about the efficacy of stronger gun laws. But this exercise today on the floor is also a part of changing that reality.

With that, I yield for a question, without losing my right to the floor, to just a great champion on this issue, the Senator from Michigan.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank Senator Stabenow because I think it is important sometimes to reset the floor and talk about what we are asking for. They are pretty simple, they are bipartisan, and they are noncontroversial outside of this body.

One, we want a version of the Feinstein bill, which prohibits individuals on the no-fly list from getting a gun to come before the Senate Floor for a vote. Second, in order to make that bill effective, we want a version of the Manchin-Toomey compromise to expand background checks to gun shows and Internet sales to come before the Senate for a vote.

Both of those measures are supported broadly by 80 to 90 percent of the American public, and both are necessary in order to protect Americans from terrorist attack. Why? Because we know last year 90 percent of individuals who were on the no-fly list and who tried to buy a gun were successful in buying one. The only reason 10 percent weren't is because they were on some other list of prohibited individuals. So we know every year there are individuals on the no-fly list who are trying to buy guns and they are getting them. We know, unfortunately, the individual--the shooter--in Orlando was at least for a period of time on those lists, and he went and bought a gun.

In order to make it effective, you also have to make sure you are capturing gun sales that happen online and at gun shows. We think what we are asking for is pretty simple. Both those proposals have drawn bipartisan support. Neither are controversial outside this body. And, frankly, it is about the lowest hanging fruit we could imagine in order to get this body on record as trying to stop the carnage in this country.

I yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank Senator Stabenow for the question.

We are asking the FBI to do more and more to protect us from an increasingly complex array of threats, and we are not giving them enough resources to do the job. The alternative that has been proposed to Senator Feinstein's legislation is laughable, in that it would require the FBI and law enforcement to go to court every single time they want to stop someone on the no-fly list from getting a weapon. It wouldn't be automatic. Instead, they would have 3 days to scurry into a court, file a motion to deny the weapon, and have a hearing.

First of all, there is no way all of that could happen in 3 days, but it certainly can't happen with the resources we provide them. So they do not have the resources they need right now in order to protect us from these myriad of threats that are posed from this desire of ISIS and others to inspire lone-wolf attacks. But the alternative to the proposal we have proposed just is unworkable on its face, especially given the resources the FBI has.

I yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. Right.

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Mr. MURPHY. That is correct. I am still waiting for one of our Republican colleagues to come to the floor and suggest that the individuals on the no-fly list have their right to fly restored, because if you are so worried about the wrong people being on that list, then you should come to the floor and propose those individuals be able to get on a plane.

But no one is proposing that because they would be tarred and feathered by their constituents if they were to propose individuals who have had intersection with terrorist groups be able to get on a plane at their local airport. Thus, it is hard to understand why there is a belief that none of these people should fly, but all of these people should be able to buy assault weapons.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator.

My friend from Massachusetts was so eloquent earlier on the floor, and I yield to Senator Markey for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for his remarks. I thank him for his focus on assault weapons.

We are asking for two different proposals to come before the Senate, not one on banning assault weapons, but it remains a passion of many of us. One of the most gruesome facts from the Newtown killings is that there were 20 kids who were shot with that weapon, and not one of them survived. All 20 of them died. That speaks to the epic, life-ending power of an exceptional weapon.

I yield to the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, the Senator from Delaware, for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Delaware who, earlier on the floor, talked about this notion that ISIS is on retreat inside the Middle East, and they have only a handful of motivations remaining for people to join their movement. No longer is the inevitable geographic expansion of the caliphate available to them as a reason for recruitment, but the belief or the argument that the East is at war with the West certainly is still available to them, especially if we react in the wrong way to the threat that is presented to us. Frankly, we have not gotten into a discussion thus far on this floor about what one of the Presidential candidates is proposing, but part of the reason we are demanding a vote on these measures is because this is the right way to respond. There is a latent fear in the American public that is understandable. There is a wrong way to respond to that that will, frankly, make us less safe. There is a right way to respond, and I think the American public gets that because of the 90-percent approval ratings of the things we are proposing.

I thank the Senator, and I yield to the Senator from Wisconsin for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for the time she has taken to talk about each of these beautiful individuals--these young men and women who went to a dance club to celebrate their lives and their friends and Pride Month and who will never, ever walk the face of this Earth again, and their friends and families will never get to celebrate these individuals' lives. It is a reminder, as you talk about who these people are individually, as much as we talk about statistics--the 30,000 who have died--that this is about lives.

You could tell the story, for each one of them, of 20 other people whose lives will never be the same because of this tragedy. You could put nearly two of those charts up every single day, and that is what is so scary. We are fixated on this tragedy because it is unique and horrific, but we could put up that chart every day, and it is important to tell their stories--to tell who they were--because hopefully that is part of the imperative for us to act.

Senator Udall has been patient and on the floor, and I know there are others who are waiting to speak. So let me yield for a question to Senator Udall, who has been a great friend on this issue, without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for the question. It is simple. We are asking for the two sides of the aisle here to come together and bring us votes on a bill that would prevent individuals who are on the terrorist watch list--the no-fly list--from being able to purchase firearms and then, second, to expand out those purchases that are covered by background checks to places where gun sales are migrating, which is largely gun shows and Internet sales. These are both measures that are supported broadly by the American people.

To the Senator from New Mexico, we are asking for more than just votes on these measures. We think there is common ground on these issues. We can't think of any excuse why we can't come together and figure out a way to get these passed.

We have taken votes in the past, and votes are important and would be important if we took them, but what would be more important is to bridge our differences. There are plenty of people who aren't on the floor today who can make that happen so that we can pass legislation rather than just debate and vote on it.

I yield to the Senator for an additional question.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for this clarification. I, in fact, don't think there is anything about this debate that we are having that, as they would describe it, is a debate about the Second Amendment. There is no dispute that the Second Amendment now, in the wake of the Heller decision, guarantees the right of an individual to own a firearm. That is the law of the land. But that same decision very explicitly makes it clear that it is within the right of Congress to put parameters around that right to make sure, for instance, that criminals or would-be criminals don't get access to firearms.

So this certainly is not a debate about the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is clear. Right now, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, it guarantees an individual's right to a firearm, with reasonable conditions placed upon it by Congress. So we are simply debating the extension of a widely accepted condition on the Second Amendment, which is the inability of criminals, and as we are debating today, individuals on the terrorist watch list.

I yield to the Senator for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for the question.

I think the flood of special interest money into politics is the answer for why lots of things don't happen here, and, frankly, it is also the answer for why a lot of things do happen here. So I think you are spot-on, through the Chair to Senator Udall, that part and parcel of this conversation is a conversation about reforming the way in which influence is exerted in this place.

Something is wrong when 90 percent of the American public says that they want expanded background checks, and something is wrong when 75 percent of the American public says they want people on the no-fly list to be prohibited from buying guns, and we don't act on it. I can't give specific diagnoses as to why that is, but it certainly speaks to the need for the reforms the Senator is talking about.

I yield to the Senator for an additional question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for the question. I will forgive the disparagement of Connecticut's small size, but the answer is no. The only limitation would be that if any of those individuals were not permitted to fly because they were on the terrorist watch list, they would not be able to purchase a gun. In 2015 there were only 200-some- odd individuals who were on the no-fly list who attempted to buy a gun. Other than that limitation--and I imagine there are very few or no ranchers who are on that list.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator very much.

I yield to my good friend, the Senator from Colorado, for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for that question. I talked to Senator Manchin about this earlier today. Much of the concern that I hear from individuals is that it is somehow a slippery slope that eventually leads to the government confiscating weapons. That is a mythology that has been created out of whole cloth by individuals who have something to gain from selling the story of perpetual fear of the government.

Of course there is no evidence in the history of the national criminal background check system that is the case. So I think the root of people's opposition is in a fear about a hidden agenda of the government, which we know is simply not the truth. All the criminal background check systems do is protect the public by keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals.

I yield for the question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Colorado for his passion on this issue and for the personal decisions we wrestle with, especially those of us with children.

I now yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I will yield to the Senator from Colorado for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank my colleague. He is right. Charleston was almost a year ago to the day. But it is hard to keep track of when these year anniversaries occur because we are now having 1-year and 2-year and 3- year and 4-year anniversaries and major, epidemic mass shootings almost every month, and we are coming up on 4 years for Sandy Hook this December.

I thank the Senator, and now I yield for a question to the Senator from Hawaii without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for the question.

I think it is a very dangerous message. I think it is the complete inability of this body to deal with important questions of the day. There is no doubt that we have disagreements. There is no doubt that there is a different approach on this side of the aisle than there is on the other side of the aisle. We have proffered the two policy proposals that are the easiest to find common ground on, but there is a host of other things that we would like on that we know will be much more difficult to get consensus on from the other side.

What is so damaging about not doing anything and, frankly, what is so offensive about not even scheduling a debate is that we are admitting that this place doesn't have the capacity and the ability to deal with the big questions that are on people's minds. People are scared right now. They are scared, having watched what happened in Orlando and what happened in San Bernardino. You heard the letter or the voice mail that Senator McCaskill transcribed for us by a 14-year-old who didn't know whether she was going to be able to live out her dreams because she thought that gun violence was going to sweep over her community.

It is so damaging to this country to leave people exposed to this potential terror, but it is also damaging to the reputation of this body, which is about as low as you can already get if we don't act.

I yield for any other questions.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator, and I thank her for the questions.

I am thankful that my friend from New Mexico, Senator Heinrich, has joined us.

I yield to him for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for his question. I really appreciate his outlining at the beginning of his question that not only is the Senator from New Mexico a gun owner but that he is a proud gun owner. He is an active hunter and somebody who cares very deeply about Second Amendment rights.

His question is spot-on. Why would you have a system that requires Senator Martin Heinrich to go get a background check when he buys a gun at a gun store but not require an individual to get a background check when they buy a gun at a gun show? The reality is that when this law was passed, the intention was for the background check to cover almost all commercial sales in the country, but it was passed at a time when almost all commercial sales were being done in gun stores. What has happened since that law was passed is that gun sales have migrated--for reasons that you can understand--away from bricks-and-mortar stores and onto Internet sales and to these gun shows. I guess really all we are asking for the text of the law is to basically re-up on the original law's intent.

The Manchin-Toomey bill, for instance, still doesn't contemplate the sale of a gun from a father to a son or from a neighbor to a neighbor to be subject to a background check, but if you were advertising your gun on the Internet or if you are going to an organized market and gun sale, then you should go through that background check.

I saw you nodding when Senator Bennet mentioned that the average background check takes under 10 minutes. Some people say: Oh, we can't have background checks; it is so onerous.

No, everybody who has gone through a background check can tell you that you are by and large in and out of there in a very short amount of time. Frankly, as to the people who aren't in and out of there in a short amount of time, sometimes that is for a reason, and that is important to remember.

I yield for additional questions.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for the question. The amendment that has been filed by Senator Feinstein is pretty plain in its wording. It says that the Attorney General can deny the transfer of a firearm based on the totality of circumstances, that the transferee represents a direct threat to public safety based on a reasonable suspicion that the transferee is engaged or has been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism or has provided material support or resources thereof.

There is not a single Member coming to this floor and suggesting that people who are on the no-fly list today should be taken off of it because their right to fly has been abridged or that there are names on the list that shouldn't be. That would be ludicrous. No one is going to suggest that we should allow people who meet that criteria to be allowed to fly in this country. So why on Earth would we allow them to purchase a gun?

I would hope that our colleagues would take a close look at this language that Senator Feinstein has filed. It is different from her initial amendment. It is very clear and straightforward. If you are deemed to be a potential threat to the United States because of connections to terrorists, you probably shouldn't be buying dangerous assault weapons.

I yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for that question because that is kind of the red herring that gets thrown into this mix. Yes, we all agree we don't think people who are on the no-fly list should get guns, but it is about the mistakes that are made.

No, in Senator Feinstein's amendment--I know she will speak to it over the course of the debate--there is a process for individuals to remedy any erroneous denial of a firearm. So there is going to be an explicit process set up with which to do that.

I think Senator McCaskill said this earlier; she remarked that the bipartisan reference is showered upon law enforcement. It is wonderful that we support our members of law enforcement, but then why don't we trust them to make decisions when they have information that would make them very worried about a specific individual buying a firearm? Why don't we trust them to make that decision if we all agree that we trust them to make other decisions to keep us safe?

I yield for additional questions.

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Mr. MURPHY. I say to Senator Heinrich, it is hard to understand why we wouldn't do that, especially when, as you noted, people on that list go in and buy a gun and they are almost universally successful in walking away with that weapon. It doesn't happen very often; let's be realistic about what the numbers are. I think I read them earlier and from 2004 to 2014 there were 2,233 instances where suspected terrorists attempted to purchase a gun. And as my colleague mentioned, in 91 percent of those instances they were successful. So we are only talking about 200 or so instances a year.

Now, of course, those are the only ones we know about because those are the ones that actually went through a background check. We don't actually know about all those people on the no-fly list who tried to buy a weapon successfully online or at a gun show. We know about these that rated about 200 a year.

The reality is that terrorists today who are trying to perpetrate attacks on American citizens have lately not been using a bomb or an explosive device to carry out that attack. They have been using weapons--in the latest attack, an assault weapon. So we should just wake up to the weapon of choice of terrorist attackers and adopt this commonsense measure.

I yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I guess, I say to Senator Heinrich, if I had the 100- percent correct answer to that question, we probably wouldn't be here because we would probably have figured out how to solve it.

It is such a unique issue in the American public sphere today, where 90 percent of the American public wants something to happen and this body will not do it. It is only controversial in the U.S. Congress. It is not controversial in people's living rooms. It is, frankly, not controversial in gun clubs. When you sit in a gun club and talk about whether a person who has been suspected of being a terrorist should be able to buy a gun, there is a consensus there too.

We have talked about the cornucopia of reasons this doesn't happen, and it is part a story of the influence of the gun lobby; it is part a misinterpretation of the nature of the Second Amendment; it is part a belief that more guns make people safer, which the data does not show; it is part an answer in how voters prioritize the things they care about--that the 10 percent that doesn't agree is calling in to Members' offices at a level the 90 percent aren't; and, lastly, in part, it is an indictment of us. It is an indictment of those of us who have just let business as usual run on this floor, mass shooting after mass shooting.

The reason we have chosen to do something exceptional--which is to hold up work on the CJS appropriations bill until we get an agreement to move forward on these two issues--is that we have something to answer for here as well. Maybe we haven't fought as hard as we should in order to get this done. And this may not get us there. We still need votes from Republicans. We can call for a vote, but we ultimately need them to vote yes on that. But at least we are showing the American public that we care as deeply as we should about ending this slaughter.

I would be happy to yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator.

I am so glad to have my neighbor, Senator Whitehouse, joining us on the floor, and I yield to him for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I say to Senator Whitehouse, when I was in my early 20s, I actually ruptured two discs in my back, and so I spent a lot of time reworking my back in my later 20s to make sure that wouldn't happen again. That rigorous back work to repair my broken discs is paying off, I would say.

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Mr. MURPHY. I will yield to the Senator from New Jersey for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. I am no longer in my 20s, but I am saying that early preventive work has paid off in the long run.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield back to the Senator from Rhode Island for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. The Senator is correct. Today, the estimates are that 40 percent of all gun sales happen outside of brick-and-mortar stores. And the secret is out that if you can't get a gun because of your criminal record--or in this case because of your inclusion on the no-fly list-- then just circle back and find another way. All it takes is a quick Internet search. All it takes is to plug in armslist.com, and you can get a weapon delivered to you in short order.

If we don't close that loophole--that Internet and gun show loophole--then simply denying terrorists guns at gun stores is a half measure.

I yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. That is the state of play, I say to Senator Whitehouse.

We had Senator Durbin on the floor earlier today, telling the horrific tales of Chicago, for which the strong background check laws in Illinois make almost no difference on the streets of Chicago because the weak background check laws of Indiana allow for individuals to go there and buy guns online or at gun shows and then ferry them back onto the streets of Chicago.

So without that Federal law that creates a uniform standard that you need to go through a background check for whatever commercial means you attempt to buy a gun, then there are criminals every single day who are getting their hands on weapons, separate and aside, as the Senator said, from this question of terrorist access.

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Mr. MURPHY. I will yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. The Senator has asked the $64,000 question, in a way, and I can hazard a guess. My guess would be this: that the nature of gun ownership has changed over the years. It used to be that over 50 percent of Americans owned guns. Most only owned one gun, but the majority of Americans owned guns some 30 years ago. Today that number is rapidly decreasing. Now 30-some odd percent of Americans own guns. It means the nature of the industry is changing. It means the industry now has to sell a smaller number of individuals a larger number of weapons. So part of the marketing technique by the industry--and the industry is essentially equated to the NRA. It is the industry that funds the NRA in substantial part. Part of the marketing necessity of the industry is to create this belief in the government any day approaching your house to confiscate your weapons. So every initiative to just try to enact commonsense gun laws is distorted by the industry as just another attempt to get closer to the day in which black helicopters swoop down on your house and steal away all of your weapons. Of course, that is not what we are going at here. It has nothing to do with our agenda. We simply want people on the terrorist watch list to not be able to buy guns and for criminals to not be able to buy guns. But because the industry needs this perpetual fear of government in order to sell more weapons, I think there has been a desire of the NRA to not listen to its membership and instead listen to its industry members and feed this sense of dread about the secret intentions of the Federal Government.

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Mr. MURPHY. The margins involved for the industry in these very powerful weapons and these large-capacity magazines are big. So when you are attempting to put together a portfolio in which you are going to make a substantial profit in return for your investors, you have to double down on things like 100-round drums and AR-15-style weapons. Now, I don't know every hunter in my State, but I have yet to talk to one who feels like they need a 30-round clip in order to go into the woods and hunt. It is not something hunters need. And the design of all of these weapons and the high-capacity magazines we are referring to were originally for one purpose and one purpose only--to kill as many human beings as quickly as possible. They are military in nature and design and thus the reason many gun clubs around the country deny access to this kind of ammunition. It certainly stands to reason that the rationale for continuing to sell this is monetary in nature.

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Mr. MURPHY. That is certainly the way I remember the events as well. I remember one of the many chilling conversations I had in the 24 hours after the shooting in Newtown. One was with a police officer who remarked that it was a good thing Adam Lanza killed himself and didn't engage in a shoot-out with police because they were not confident they would be able to survive a shoot-out with an individual who had that much ammunition and that kind of high-powered capacity in a firearm.

Separate and aside from the question of armor-piercing bullets, law enforcement has stood with us in our calls to restrict the sale of assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition because even that, without the armor-piercing bullets, puts them at risk.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield to the Senator for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. It will shock and surprise you to know, I say to Senator Whitehouse, that it appears to be the latter. We had one of our colleagues come down to the floor and suggest there is a way out of this; that we could come together and work on a compromise. I think all of us--Senator Booker, Senator Blumenthal, and I--were happy to take them up on that effort.

I have noted that we have had 6 months since the failure of the last measure to prevent terrorists or suspected terrorists from buying weapons to work on this. No one in the Republican caucus has approached us about trying to find common ground. It wasn't until we took the floor this morning and shut down the process on this appropriations bill that we started to see movement on the Republican side about coming up with an alternative. Now, they did pose an alternative back in December, but it was a miserable alternative that would require law enforcement to go to court in order to stop someone on the list from getting a weapon and capped them at 72 hours to complete that whole process. It was ridiculous and ludicrous. They are probably going to present another alternative. It is important to note that none of that happened until we took the floor, and we have had 6 months since the last vote, and, frankly, 3 days since the shooting in which we could have been trying to work that out.

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Mr. MURPHY. It doesn't seem to make much sense. For the question, we can only imagine what that court process looks like. Who knows what rules apply, who knows what the rights to discovery are.

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Mr. MURPHY. There is no model for it. We have hamstrung the FBI and the Attorney General by asking them to do more and more with the same amount of resources. To ask them to go through dozens and dozens of court processes--remember, there were 240 people on these lists who tried to get guns last year. So we are talking about a lot of court processes they would have to undertake. It is just totally unrealistic, totally unprecedented. It makes no sense at all.

I thank the Senator from Rhode Island.

I am glad to be joined by Senator Reed. I yield for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. That is the same response we get. I just reflect on one of my earlier responses to Senator Whitehouse, that I have also heard fear in the wake of Sandy Hook from law enforcement about their ability to combat an individual who has staked out in a school or a workplace who doesn't engage in a suicide mission but then tries to confront and take on police, that you have 30-round magazines, 100-round drums. That is very difficult to match from law enforcement's perspective.

I yield for additional questions.

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Mr. MURPHY. I think it is tragically instructive, I say to Senator Reed, to think about what happened inside that school in Sandy Hook. There were 20 kids hit, and 20 kids died. These are powerful weapons with the capacity not only to discharge an enormous amount of ammunition in a short period of time, but the force of it is unprecedented in the firearms world, and there is a reason why not a single child survived. These are powerful killing machines that, as you said, were not designed for hunting. They were designed to kill as many people as possible, and that is why you see this epic rate of slaughter when they are used inside schools, inside nightclubs, inside churches.

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Mr. MURPHY. It is, I say to Senator Reed. If you think about what we are doing today, the individuals who are contemplating lone-wolf attacks are not building IEDs in their basements any longer. They are going to the store and buying assault weapons. We essentially are selling weapons to the enemy. We are selling weapons to the enemy--powerful military style weapons. We are advertising them, and individuals who are contemplating these lone-wolf attacks are buying them.

In fact, I have read quotes earlier today on the floor from terrorist operatives where they are calling on Americans to purchase these weapons and turn them on civilians because it is so easy to get access to them. This is a very deliberative tactic on behalf of these very dangerous international terrorist organizations, and that is one of the reasons why we think we have to wake up to the new reality of the threat of lone-wolf attacks and change our laws.

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Mr. MURPHY. I will.

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Mr. MURPHY. Had we had in place a ban on individuals who were on the terrorist watch list to buy a weapon, it only would apply to brick-and- mortar stores. Even if Omar Mateen was on one of those lists and even if we passed a law saying that prohibited him from buying a weapon, he would have gone into that store, be told that he couldn't buy a weapon, and then he could have walked right back to his house and gone online and bought one there or waited for the next weekend's gun show, of which there are many in Florida, and bought one there.

We don't know how it would have played out, but without an expansion of background checks to people on the no-fly list being prohibited to buy guns, it is a half measure. I reiterate, these are the two things we are asking for--to have consensus on these two issues because they are the right thing to do, as we are discussing, but they also have the support of the American public.

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Mr. MURPHY. It stands to reason that in the wake of this latest attack, we should wake up to the new tactics of our enemy. This is the new tactic of our enemy--to go buy these weapons and to use them against civilians. The genius of what we are proposing is that it keeps weapons out of the hands of would-be terrorists without affecting the Second Amendment rights of anyone else.

We are talking about such a small number of sales. Over the course of the year, we are talking about 200 some-odd sales. Think about that, 200-some odd sales that would be affected, that would force someone to be denied a purchase of a weapon because they were on the terrorist watch list. It stands to reason that we should accept the new tactics of these groups and amend our laws.

Here is the Senator from New Jersey. We have had such a long run of colleagues coming to the floor that we haven't gotten to hear from the Senators from New Jersey and Connecticut. I yield to the Senator from New Jersey for a question without yielding control of the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator. I want to thank Senator Booker and Senator Blumenthal for being here from the very beginning. This has been miraculous in its own regard, not just being able to spend this time with the two of you but to have had the majority of our caucus come to this floor and express their support for our determination to move forward this debate and, at the very least, to get votes, but really to try to bring consensus around this issue.

I don't think I am breaking confidences to share that both Senator Booker and I spoke at our meeting yesterday of Democrats in which Senator Booker shared an immensely powerful series of stories about his experience as mayor of a grief-torn city, his direct personal intersection with friends, with neighbors who had lost their lives. I know how deeply and personally this has affected him.

I tell you why I am doing this as maybe a means of telling you why Senator Blumenthal and I are both doing this, and I tell you through the prism of a story from the awful, awful series of days following the shooting in Sandy Hook.

Senator Blumenthal and I went to the first of what were umpteen wakes and funerals. We were standing in line at the first wake about to talk to the first set of parents who had lost, in this case, their young daughter. I remember being so uncertain about what we were supposed to say to these parents--not just what you are supposed to say to provide some measure of condolence, but we were their elected representatives. We had some additional obligation to show them that we were ready act, but was it too soon to make that offer? Was it not the right moment to suggest that there was a public policy response to the slaughter of their children? It was Senator Blumenthal who very gently and appropriately said to the mother and father as we walked by the closed casket: Whenever you are ready, we will be there to fight. The father said: We are ready now. This was probably not 48 hours after the death of their 6- or 7-year-old daughter.

We have been thinking about this necessity, this imperative of action, since that moment. It gets harder and harder to look into the eyes of those parents and surviving children and explain to them why this body has not acted. It gets harder and harder to defend the complete silence from this institution in the face of murder after murder.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt wasn't confident that everything he proposed was going to solve the economic crisis of the 1930s and 1940s, but he was damned if he wasn't going to try something. He and his aides talked unabashedly and unapologetically about trial and error. If we try one thing and it doesn't work, we will try something else. Why don't we do that? Why don't we try one thing, and if it doesn't stem the violence, try something else? But doing nothing is an abomination and makes it impossible for those of us who have lived through these tragedies to look these families in the eye.

I remember that it took 10 years from the attempted assassination of President Reagan and the maiming of his press secretary, James Brady, for the Brady handgun bill to be signed into law. It took a decade of political action, and it probably took many nights like this when legislators or advocates stood out at a rally or maybe stood on the floor of the Senate or House and argued until they had no more energy left, knowing they weren't going to get the victory the next day.

As I said to my friends in the movement back in Connecticut and throughout the country--I know the Senator has said versions of this as well--every great change movement is defined by the moments of failure, not the moments of success. Every great change movement in this country is defined by the fact that there were times in which you could have given up, but you didn't; you persisted. The changes that never happen are the ones where the movement, once they hit that brick wall, said ``It is too hard'' and went home. That is the reason we are here, and I think I am speaking in some way, shape, or form for the three of us. We want to get votes on these measures, and we will stand here until we get those votes. But even if we don't, it is important to continue to engage in the fight.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I appreciate the Senator talking about what a limited ask we are making here. Let's talk about the scope of the limitation on gun ownership. We are asking that those people who are on a terrorist watch list and on a no-fly list be added to those who are those prohibited from buying guns. We have data that tells us how many of those individuals are buying guns every year because they can match one list to the other, even though they don't intersect in a way that prohibits the purchase. What we know is that there are only about 200 sales at gun stores every year from people who are on those lists. So we are talking about a minuscule limitation on the right, which is to take a small handful of individuals who have been placed on a terrorist no-fly list, and saying that they shouldn't be able to get a weapon and building into it a process to grieve that limitation so if there is a mistake that is made, you can have your right restored. We are talking about a few hundred sales a year. You could say: Oh, it is a few hundred sales, so why does that matter? Well, if you get it wrong once, it is a mass slaughter. It is a small number of sales, a minuscule limitation, with potentially enormous reward when it comes to public safety.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, when I go to bed at night, I lock the front and the back doors. It doesn't do much good to lock only the back door and leave the front door open or vice versa. That is what we are proposing. If we believe in a commitment to stop individuals who are associated with terrorists from buying guns, then you have to lock both doors. You have to stop them from buying guns when they walk into a brick-and-mortar store, but then you have to acknowledge that it is frankly easier for individuals to just type in one of the main online arms sellers and buy a weapon that way because it is faster, it can get delivered right to your door, and you don't have to go through a background check.

If you really want to make a commitment to preventing terrorists from getting guns, then you have to do both. You have to put them on the list and then you have to reconcile the fact that 40 percent of sales today are happening outside of that pathway. By the way, the added benefit of that is that you are shutting down the pathway that criminals have been using for a decade in order to get these weapons, and you will have a dramatic effect on the slaughter that is happening in our cities, as well, by limiting the flow of illegal arms into the cities.

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Mr. MURPHY. I say to Senator Booker, there is nobody better than you in making people understand the human consequences of inaction and the potential for human benefit of action, so I am not going to try to compete. Let me give the statistics. Let me tell my colleagues what happens in States that impose rigorous systems of background checks.

There are 64 percent fewer guns trafficked out of State, there are 48 percent fewer firearm suicides, there are 48 percent fewer police killed by handguns, there are 46 percent fewer women who are shot to death by intimate partners, and there are 17 percent fewer aggravated assaults with guns. Those numbers could be even better if there was a national commitment to the same concept because, as Senator Durbin has told us, as tough as Illinois' laws are, all it takes is for a criminal to go across the border into Indiana and buy guns at a gun show or buy them online or get them from an unregulated dealer and bring them back into Chicago. And what every police chief will tell you is that the fewer illegal guns on the street, the fewer crimes there are. The harder you make it for an individual at a moment of passion or a moment of frustration or whatever that moment may be to get a gun, the less likely you are to have a homicide.

Senator Blumenthal and I went to a meeting of activists on this issue in Hartford, CT, a few weeks after the Newtown shooting, and they were furious. They were furious that the world had woken up to gun violence because of Newtown after it had been a reality to them for so long.

That is the genius of what we are proposing. Without taking away any Second Amendment rights, Senator Booker, we are able with this proposal to both extend protections to Americans who might be the victim of a terror attack but also individuals who right now are living with the everyday slaughter that happens in our cities.

I am happy to yield to my friend from Connecticut for a question without relinquishing the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for the question. Connecticut is still dealing with this tragedy to this day. Newtown is a community that has not recovered. Connecticut wants us to act not just because they don't understand the inaction of this place but they have seen the benefits of stronger gun laws. Connecticut responded in a bipartisan way. Republicans and Democrats came together and passed legislation to ban major assault weapons and extended background checks to more sales, and we have seen an immediate diminution in the number of gun crimes in our State. We have seen an immediate impact on the safety of residents. So people in Connecticut want us to act because they acted like grown- ups in Connecticut.

The minority leader of the State senate, who wanted to run for Governor, put his political future in peril by sitting down at the table and negotiating a compromise. He stands by it today because that compromise saved lives. So the people of Connecticut want us to act, Senator Blumenthal, and that is the reason we are here today.

Senator Blumenthal, if I could, I would just note for a moment, before I hand it over to Senator Casey, that when one of our colleagues had a moment to hold the floor for an extended period of time, he read a story to his kids who were at home. I actually didn't know this was going to occur, but my oldest little boy just showed up in the gallery, and, A, you are supposed to be in bed, and, B, I am sorry that I missed pizza night, and, C, I hope that you will understand some day why we are doing this, why we have been standing here for 8 hours trying to fight to make our country a safer and better place, and why, sometimes, even if you don't get everything that you want, trying hard, trying and trying and trying to do the right thing is ultimately just as important as getting the outcome in the end. So go to bed.

But this is, for those of us who are parents, deeply personal. This is about protecting not just every kid in this country but our kids personally.

I yield to Senator Casey for a question without losing control of the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. My wife is up there, by the way, too. He didn't come alone, by the way.

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Mr. MURPHY. Thank you, Senator Casey, for that question. I thank you for how you have conducted yourself since the shooting in Sandy Hook. I was remarking to Senator Warner on the same topic, but it was really you and Senator Warner who, in the days following the shooting, came out and said we need to engage, we need to change something, and we are willing to change our minds or our level of advocacy. You were one of the most persuasive voices on behalf of the families of Sandy Hook in the days and weeks following, and you have been so generous to meet with them, as have many of my colleagues when they come here.

In answer to your question, I go back to those families. Probably the worst day that I have had legislatively while I have been here was the day in which that background check bill failed. Remember, it didn't really fail. It got the majority of this Senate to vote for it, but it failed because of a Republican-led filibuster.

I thank Representative Swalwell and Representative Gabbard for joining us on the floor today. I really appreciate our friends from the House being here.

I remember standing with them after that bill failed. They whispered to me some version of a very simple idea. They said: We aren't advocates for 4 months. We are advocates for 40 years, right? A tragedy like Sandy Hook, like Orlando or like Aurora, it fundamentally reorders the lives of those who are affected. The reason I think this Congress has been focused on this question perpetually since Sandy Hook is because those families continue to come here, continue to show up at our doors, and continue to press.

The simple answer to your question is as long as those families aren't going to give up, then we are not going to give up. There is no more articulate spokesman in the Senate for children than you, Senator Casey.

I have a feeling that so long as children's lives are at risk because we are choosing to allow for dangerous criminals and potential terrorists to get weapons, that you are not going to stop either. I appreciate you being a big part of our effort on the floor today.

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Mr. MURPHY. It will not have any practical effect on the law-abiding gun owners in Maine, and that is whom you and I are talking to. The only effect it would have is upon criminals or felons who are attempting to circumvent our laws and get weapons by avoiding background checks. The only effect it would have is if there were individuals in Maine who were the subject of terrorist investigations. They would be prevented from buying weapons, but of course even those individuals--if they thought they were on the list for the wrong reasons--would have a process to grieve that. But for law-abiding citizens in Maine or Connecticut or Pennsylvania or New Jersey, this law has no impact on them.

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Mr. MURPHY. It will have no effect on law-abiding gun owners in Maine or anywhere else. This has nothing to do with those individuals.

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Mr. MURPHY. It is correct. It is correct, and that is an important facet of the amendment Senator Feinstein has submitted.

But it is also important, as we remarked earlier--perhaps when you were on the floor, Senator King--to understand the scope of this. We are talking about a very small number of sales that actually would be affected. In 2015, thanks to a report Senator Feinstein released, we know that in that year there were only about 215 sales at gun stores to individuals who were on the terrorist watch list. So it is a very small number of sales we are talking about in the first place.

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Mr. MURPHY. Correct.

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Mr. MURPHY. That is exactly right. And I think my colleague very smartly referred back to the initiation of the background check system, where no one was contemplating a terrorist watch list or a no-fly list existing. It is the same thing with Internet sales, it is the same thing with armslist.com, and it is the same thing with gun shows. Back when we passed the background checks law, the vast majority of gun sales were done in bricks-and-mortar stores. What has happened is that sales have migrated into other forms, especially online.

So in all of these respects, as the Senator is accurately pointing out, all we are really seeking to do is to have the law and the initial intent of it catch up with the trajectory of time.

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Mr. MURPHY. I don't think there would have been any question that category would have been included. That is probably why 80 percent of Americans support the adoption of this amendment or some version of it.

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Mr. MURPHY. Senator Udall was on the floor earlier, and he said somebody called his office earlier today asking why we were debating the Second Amendment today, and of course the answer to that is we are not debating the Second Amendment. There is actually nothing about this debate relevant to the Second Amendment because the Second Amendment is clear. As the Supreme Court has stated, an individual has a right to own a firearm. But, as that same Court very clearly stated in an opinion by Justice Scalia himself, that right is not absolute. The Congress has the ability to say there are some weapons that should be out of bounds and that there are some individuals who are so dangerous they shouldn't own weapons. So even the most conservative jurists on the Supreme Court have held very plainly that the Second Amendment allows for the Congress or State legislatures to decide there are certain individuals--felons, people who have been convicted of violent crimes, or individuals we suspect of terrorist activities--who shouldn't buy a weapon.

Of course, as we remarked earlier, if you go into any gun club in Maine or Connecticut, that is what people in those forums believe as well. They believe law-abiding citizens should be able to get any weapons they want, by and large, but they do not believe criminals should be able to buy weapons. That is a view held by gun owners and non-gun owners alike because everyone accepts that that is in keeping with the Second Amendment.

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Mr. MURPHY. Right.

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Mr. MURPHY. I think you are exactly right. I think this has become an either/or debate in so many different perspectives.

I am so glad we are bringing together this question of how we respond to terrorism and how we protect Americans from the consequences of loose gun laws because there is also this juxtaposition in which these terrorist attacks are either about the fight against ISIS or they are about our loose gun laws, and they are about both. And this shooting in Orlando is about a whole host of other subjects as well.

So I think we have tried to stay true to the complexity of this question on the floor during this time. We are not suggesting that what we are proposing is going to solve the problem, but we do have to get out of this paradigm in which if you are a supporter of the Second Amendment, you can't support any restrictions on individuals, whether or not they are on a terrorist watch list, to obtain guns.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for guiding us toward that compromise because it has to be there. On this issue, we are speaking the same language. Frankly, on background checks, we tend to speak the same language. We both say--Republicans and Democrats--that we don't want criminals to get guns. We both say we don't want terrorists to get guns. Yet we have been unable to meet in the middle.

My understanding is that the majority has a concern about the ability of individuals who shouldn't be on these lists to get off the list. So do we. We have no less interest in due process than they do. So we want to bring these issues to a vote on the floor. Our preference is to bring a compromise measure that can pass and get the support of both sides.

I know we have had Senator Toomey and some others come to the floor today and suggest there is some work to be done to get a compromise. My hope is we can get there. If we can't, then let's at least take the vote and let the American people see where we stand.

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Mr. MURPHY. I think that has been the difficulty in finding a compromise. The existing text gives the ability already for anyone who believes they are on the list wrongly to get off that list. That is why I said that we are just as concerned with that, and the underlying amendment that we have proposed and Senator Feinstein has proposed does exactly that. It gives an escape hatch for anyone wrongly on that list.

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Mr. MURPHY. That is correct. It is only controversial here; it is not controversial out in the American public. By and large, they want this done. So we have created a controversy that doesn't really exist in the living rooms and social halls of this country.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator. I think it is really important that we have the diversity of our caucus represented as part of this discussion today. Senator King and Senator Donnelly are both strong supporters of the Second Amendment. I am glad to yield the floor for a question, without losing my right to the floor, to Senator Donnelly.

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Mr. MURPHY. I will.

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Mr. MURPHY. I think that last phrase is the most important. They are bipartisan in every single way. We have had bipartisan support for these proposals on the floor of the Senate. But, frankly, more importantly, in Indiana and Connecticut there is bipartisan support. Whether talking to progressive Democrats or rock-ribbed Republicans, they all are of the consensus position that if you can't fly because we have deemed you to be a terrorist threat, then you probably shouldn't be able to buy an assault weapon, and that if you are a criminal, it shouldn't really matter whether you walk into a gun show or a gun store, you shouldn't be able to buy a weapon.

So I think the Senator put it perfectly, which is that in every way these are bipartisan proposals. At the very least, it is incumbent upon us to show the American people where the Senate stands on these issues. Let's show the people of Indiana and Connecticut and Illinois where Senators stand on these two simple questions that have bipartisan grassroots support in this country.

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Mr. MURPHY. It is a political issue here; it is not a political issue anywhere else. The Senator talked about, I think, a very apt description of our underestimation of the common sense of the American people. I also think we underestimate our ability to fundamentally address the fear that exists today about the next terrorist attack. I think if we were able to come together and pass these two simple measures, it would be a show of faith for the American people that we get it--that we understand how anxious they are, how fearful they are, how angry they are, and there is a salve to the wound that could come if we were able to come together and act. It is not just that it would make a practical difference in stopping potential terrorists from getting guns, but it would have a psychological impact on people.

So I think the Senator is right that we underestimate the common sense of the American public. But I think we also underestimate our ability to do something meaningful, to address what is a very legitimate anxiety in the public, having watched San Bernardino to Orlando.

I thank the Senator.

I yield to Senator Durbin for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for continuing to focus us on why we are here. Frankly, we are not here just to talk; we are here to bring some resolution to this debate and to move on to consideration of the CJS appropriations bill.

We are asking for two votes on what could be consensus measures with respect to protecting Americans.

One, we want to make sure that if you are on the terrorist watch list, if you are on the no-fly list, then you cannot buy a gun. You are prohibited by law from buying a gun. There is no controversy about that in the American public. It would make a tremendous difference.

Second, in order to make that provision truly effective, we need to make sure that no matter where you buy a gun--whether you buy it at a bricks-and-mortar store, online, or a gun show--you are subject to background checks. One of those provisions without the other doesn't protect us. Both of them together protect Americans from terrorist attacks, protect the flow of illegal guns into communities like Chicago without having any effect on individual Second Amendment rights. If you are a law-abiding citizen in this country, the two measures that we are proffering for a vote on the Senate floor will have zero impact on you.

If we can get agreement to move forward in a consensus way on those two measures, my hope is that we could come together and find language that both sides could agree with. At the very least, we should have a vote on these measures so we could see where people stand. Then we would gladly relinquish the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I will.

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Mr. MURPHY. Senator Durbin, let me read to you the transcript of a video from one of Al Qaeda's most important operatives, an American by the name of Adam Gadahn. He is deceased now, but here is what he said in a video that he sent to potential converts in the United States:

In the West, you've got a lot at your disposal. Let's take America for example. America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?

This is an Al Qaeda operative, an Al Qaeda recruiter, specifically instructing their potential followers in the United States to go to gun shows to buy assault weapons in order to carry out lone-wolf attacks. This isn't theoretical. We aren't making this up on the floor of the Senate. This is a clear, strategic decision on behalf of these groups. They are losing territory inside Iraq and Syria. They are more dependent on lone-wolf attacks than ever, and they have figured out that the quickest pathway to massive death and destruction is not to hijack an airplane, is not to construct an explosive device but to buy an assault weapon.

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Mr. MURPHY. I will.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for his question. That is exactly why we are here. Let me reiterate the supposition, the premise of his question.

Senator Booker, Senator Blumenthal, and I--and I know you share this view as well--just couldn't come back here and debate amendments on the CJS bill that had nothing to do with this epidemic of gun violence witnessed most recently by the worst mass shooting in the history of this country. I simply couldn't come back here and pretend that there is nothing we can do about it because of course we can come together and find a path forward. Yes, we are on the floor demanding a vote because it would be unconscionable to leave this week without having a specific debate on these measures and without trying to find a path forward.

I will say to my friend that my greatest hope is that we can find common ground on these measures, but in absence of common ground, in absence of a willingness on behalf of the majority party to actually sit down and negotiate this, then let's have the vote. Then let's have the vote and see where Members of this body stand, up or down. Let's see what Members choose to do a week after the worst mass shooting in the history of this country, when they are proffered with the question: Do you want terrorists to be able to own guns in this country? Do you want individuals who have known connections to terrorist organizations to be able to buy military assault-style weapons?

Let's put that question on the floor of the Senate and see what everyone's answer is.

I thank the Senator, and I yield to Senator Brown for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I give credit to Senators Booker and Blumenthal, who have also been here. I think Senator Booker has been physically standing for the exact same amount of time that I have been standing as well. Hopefully, we are answering that question right now.

Let me just give the evidence of what is happening in social media today. This filibuster has been the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter all day long. So there is nothing that is being discussed more on the most popular social media application in the country than our effort to bring light to this epidemic of tragedy that exists in our cities every day.

The Senator from Ohio probably doesn't know this, but last year there was a mass shooting, on average, more than once a day. If you categorize a mass shooting as four or more people being shot at any one time, there were mass shootings in Cleveland, Baltimore, New Orleans, Bridgeport, and Chicago on a regular basis.

I hope this effort is not just in the service of trying to bring a vote and a debate to the floor on these two measures but on opening of this country's eyes to the epidemic of gun violence that exists.

Second, I think we need to do more of what Senator Baldwin did tonight. We need to come to the floor and go out in our communities and tell the stories of who these victims are. We need to tell the story of who these young 17- and 18-year-olds are who died in your cities and my cities. We need to tell the stories of their moms and dads who were left behind. We need to personalize this in a way that is not real right now for most Americans.

I have been asked a number of times tonight: Why haven't we been able to move this debate? I think some of it is on us for not being as relentless as we can on the floor of the Senate and out in our districts on commanding attention to this issue of the routineness of gun violence in our cities.

Frankly, it warms my heart to look around the room today and see 8 or 9 or 10 Senators still sitting on the floor at 10 p.m. at night. Maybe this is a means for us to recommit ourselves to bringing the message of the reality of everyday gun violence in our cities to every single corner of this country.

I thank the Senator from Ohio and will yield for any further questions.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I yield for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for his question. I will just remind him and others that this concept of the Second Amendment that my friend has offered is embedded in the Heller decision. The Heller decision itself--and Senator King chided me for referring to the majority opinion in that decision by Justice Scalia earlier--says very specifically that though the majority holds that there is an individual right to own a gun, that right is absolutely not absolute. He actually gives specific examples in the majority decision of ways in which you can condition that right in order to affect the public safety, like for instance, restricting the types of weapons that are bought or restricting guns and firearms from individuals who are deemed dangerous. This isn't theoretical. This is the law and the interpretation of the Second Amendment as determined by this Court.

On this question of inconsistency, let's just keep it packed into the question of the terrorist watch list. I have not heard one of my Republican colleagues come down to the floor and defend the right of those on that list to get into any airplane they want and travel anywhere in the world. There is no one who has done that, nor will they, and that is because of this inconsistency--this inconsistency in which the absolute protection of Second Amendment rights is treated in a fundamentally different way than the protection of other rights.

It is no less dangerous for an individual to pick up a dangerous assault weapon that can kill hundreds of people at a time than it might be in order to get on a crowded airplane. You could conceivably kill the same number of people with an assault weapon as you can with an airplane. Yet, those two rights--the right to travel and the right to own a gun--are treated differently.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from New York, and through the Chair, I yield for a question from the Senator from Minnesota without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I will.

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Mr. MURPHY. It shows, I say to Senator Klobuchar, that we are intentionally putting our constituents in danger, that we have data which tells us that when people on the terrorist watch list are walking into gun stores, they are getting approved at a 90-percent rate. By the way, the 10 percent who aren't getting approved because they are on the terrorist watch list--it is because they are on some other list. But that is a chilling statistic. If you play it out over the course of 10 years, it is the same percentage. Over the course of 10 years, 90 percent of individuals who walked into gun stores who were on the terrorist watch list have been handed a gun that they could walk out with. It is a small number on a year-to-year basis--200 people--but it only takes one of those individuals in order to commit a mass atrocity.

I thank the Senator for coming back to the floor here tonight and making this very clear case because what we are asking for is eminently reasonable. We are asking, Senator Klobuchar, as you know, for debates and votes on two commonsense, bipartisan amendments to the underlying bill: first, legislation that would make sure that if you are on the terrorist watch list, if you are on the no-fly list, that you cannot get a weapon, that you are prohibited from buying a weapon, just like a criminal; and second, that background checks be extended to gun shows and to Internet sales so we make sure we have a net wide enough to capture these terrorists wherever they are trying to obtain weapons. That will, as Senator Durbin has said over and over again for the last 10 hours, have an ancillary effect on the gun violence that is plaguing his city, my city, and your city, Senator Klobuchar, because many of the weapons that flow into Chicago and Hartford and Minneapolis come through sales that happen outside of gun shows and that aren't subject to background checks.

So it is thrilling to me, frankly, to have a floor that is full of Senators at 10 o'clock at night. It is thrilling to me, as I stated earlier, that we have been--our collective effort has been the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter over the course of the entire day. It is thrilling to me that, as I just heard, our phone lines in our office are still ringing off the hook right now as we speak with people all around the country who are demanding that we continue to stand on this floor as long as we can, as long as I can, until we get these votes.

I thank the Senator for bringing this issue back to the floor.

I would be thrilled to yield for a question, without losing my right to the floor, to the Senator from Washington.

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Mr. MURPHY. I am aware, and I wish that weren't the case. I wish that citizens through referendum didn't have to take up this cause on a State-by-State basis because of utter inaction from this body.

I will cite statistics in a moment, maybe, Senator Cantwell, but when States act, it makes a difference. When States act, it results in an appreciable decline in gun homicide rates, but it is much better and much more effective if the Federal Government acts.

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Mr. MURPHY. Let me just respond by giving some statistics about what happened in States with strong background check laws that they require for every gun purchase. We know what the numbers are. This is unequivocal; this isn't guesswork or conjecture. We know what they are with universal background check laws and States without them.

In States that have universal background check laws, 64 percent fewer guns are trafficked out of State. There are 48 percent fewer firearms suicides, 48 percent fewer police officers are killed, and 46 percent fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners. That is in States that have universal background checks, and those numbers would be even better and even stronger if we had that law applied nationally because what we know is that those intimate partners who are buying a gun in the midst of their fury, those criminals who are trying to traffic in illegal arms--all they have to do sometimes is cross a simple State line in order to find those weapons of destruction and bring them back into a State that has universal background check laws. So there is no doubt that stronger background check laws lead to fewer gun deaths. That is what the data shows. Washington is proving that, Connecticut is proving that, and it is absurd that the U.S. Congress with 90 percent of the American public supporting this proposition doesn't assure this protection for everyone who lives under the umbrella of security of this Congress.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Washington, and I thank her for the work she did to allow the citizens of Washington to pass that referendum. That was a bright spot, and it was a reminder that when you take this question out of the political morass that is Washington, DC, and you give it to voters, you give it to citizens, they choose the protections that we are asking for votes on here.

I would note that Senator King is still on the floor. There are referendums planned in Maine; there are referendums planned in Nevada. This campaign of citizen-based activism, demanding change in gun laws to reflect the overwhelming majority will of the public, is happening. It is inevitable. It is not stopping; it is marching forward. We would do well to listen to that tempest and adopt these measures.

I will at this point yield for a question, without losing my right to the floor, to the Senator from Virginia.

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Mr. MURPHY. It is in there for a reason.

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Mr. MURPHY. The First Amendment is as important as the Second Amendment, but it comes with conditions and responsibilities. One of them is that you can't slander your fellow citizens. You can't yell ``fire'' in a crowded theater. There have been important limitations since the beginning of the Republic built around the First Amendment which, frankly, are as sacred as any of the individual rights that are encompassed in the Bill of Rights.

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Mr. MURPHY. Another qualified right of the Bill of Rights.

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Mr. MURPHY. I haven't memorized portions of the Constitution as well as Senator King has, but he very eloquently stated for us the preamble of the Constitution, which commits us first and foremost to preserve domestic tranquility and to protect the common defense. So at the very beginning of the Constitution is this obligation to take the issue of public safety as a sacred duty upon inheriting the mantle of preserving and defending the Constitution.

So, as he has stated, all of those rights in the Bill of Rights come with conditions and responsibilities demanded by the American people, and when we talk about the Second Amendment, it is educated by that very important preamble which commands all of us to do whatever is necessary to protect the safety of our citizens.

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Mr. MURPHY. Whereas the First Amendment doesn't place the condition into the text--they are read into it--the Second Amendment has conditions in the literal text.

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Mr. MURPHY. It is a wonderful subtext to all of the rhetoric that comes from the gun lobby and the NRA that there is this secret agenda to essentially get the camel's nose under the tent through an expansion of background checks or a restriction on individuals who are on the terrorist watch list as far as buying guns, because the ultimate goal is to eventually parachute into people's homes and take away all of their weapons--gun confiscation.

Of course, that is a mythology that has been created by the gun lobby in order to sell more weapons and in order to make people scared of their government so they have to arm themselves. There is no logic to it.

As you state in reference to your question, there has never been a proposal before the U.S. Congress to engage in any of the widespread confiscation efforts that have been imagined out of thin air by these advocacy organizations.

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Mr. MURPHY. When we passed the background checks law initially, I say to Senator Kaine, it was pretty good at keeping guns out of the hands of bad guys because at that time the vast majority of gun sales occurred in brick-and-mortar gun stores. But what has happened, as you know, is that sales of guns have transferred from brick-and-mortar stores to online sales and to sales in gun shows. Because the law has not caught up, there are quite literally thousands of criminals and convicts and felons who are now walking into gun stores are just typing in armslist.com online and buying guns with no background check because the law has not kept up.

So if you are truly sincere about stopping the bad guys from getting the guns, then by definition you have to expand the number of sales that are subject to background checks to those that are happening in 40 percent of the sales, which occur now online and in gun shows--never mind the fact that the baddest of the guys are probably the ones who have had known connections and communications with terrorist groups and who are not on that list today of those who are prohibited from buying guns.

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Mr. MURPHY. Quite the opposite. They would rise to the highest level of concern for most of our constituents.

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Mr. MURPHY. I assume you have gun clubs in Virginia, just as we have them in Connecticut.

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Mr. MURPHY. If you walk into a gun club in Connecticut, there is going to be pretty solid consensus that criminals shouldn't buy guns. And those law-abiding gun owners who sit in those gun clubs on Saturdays and Sundays have absolutely no problem with sales online or sales at gun shows being subject to background checks because they have gone through background check. They know that on average a background check takes less than 10 minutes. They know that it is nothing more than a 9-minute, on average, inconvenience for someone who is buying a gun, and they support it further. Frankly, those guys in the gun clubs are amongst the loudest in their concern that terrorists have the ability today to buy dangerous weapons and commit mass murder like we saw in Orlando.

So this consensus that exists out there in the American public is not a consensus amongst progressive Democrats; it is a consensus amongst gun owners, non-gun owners, Democrats, Republicans, moms, dads, conservatives, liberals, Georgia, Connecticut, California. There isn't a cross-section of the American public that doesn't support keeping bad guys from getting guns and thus the two reforms we are asking for here today--a law that prohibits people on the terrorist watch list from getting guns and a law that expands background checks to all of the forms in which guns are sold today.

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Mr. MURPHY. Senator Kaine, they support it. NRA members support it at the exact same rate that non-gun owners and non-NRA members support it. In fact, NRA members, frankly, have been historically those who have been most supportive of provisions that would prevent guns from getting into the hands of criminals because by and large NRA members are law- abiding gun owners. Historically, they have had some of the greatest concern about this, which is why it is so hard to understand this disconnect between where their members are, where gun owners are, and where the advocacy organization is.

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Mr. MURPHY. When you present these issues to the American public, they scratch their heads, or they scratch their heads because they assume already that individuals on the terrorist watch list cannot buy guns. They think it is absurd that we passed a law that subjects toy guns to a greater standard of negligence than real guns. I mean, that is what that law effectively did. That law said that if you sell a toy gun, then you are going to be subject to a higher standard of negligence if that gun misperforms than a gun company is going to be held to if its gun--its real gun--misfires. When you explain that to somebody in your State, whether you are in a red State or a blue State, they scratch their heads. It doesn't make sense to them.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Virginia. That is as compelling a case as can be made.

This, for Senator Blumenthal and me, is rooted in our history as well.

I was not more than 30 days from my election to the Senate--a celebratory moment in my life--when I was sitting on a train platform, waiting to go to New York City with my then-4-year-old and 1-year-old to see the Christmas lights, when I got the call about the shooting at Sandy Hook, and Senator Blumenthal and I were there hours later. And there are certainly days when I wish I wasn't there and I didn't witness the things I saw and connect with the tragedy that was evidenced that day. But our challenge from those families is to stop being bystanders, and there are similar stories of heroism that maybe I will get the chance to tell later tonight from inside those classrooms, but a letter I keep with me is from a mother whose child survived Sandy Hook.

So let me just read an excerpt from it before yielding the floor to Senator Blumenthal, to make this challenge real from a mom who thinks about this every day. She said:

In addition to the tragic loss of her playmates, friends and teachers, my first grader suffers from PTSD. She was in the first room by the entrance to the school. Her teacher was able to gather the children into a tiny bathroom inside the classroom. There she stood with 14 of her classmates and her teacher, all of them crying.

You see, she heard what was happening on the other side of the wall. She heard everything. She was sure she was going to die that day. She didn't want to die for Christmas.

Imagine what that must have been like. She struggles nightly with nightmares, difficulty falling asleep, and being afraid to go anywhere in her own home. At school, she becomes withdrawn--crying daily, covering her ears when it gets too loud, and waiting for this to happen again. She is six, and we are furious.

I want to read the rest of this to challenge us to stop being bystanders.

[We are] furious that 26 families must suffer with grief so deep and so wide that it is unimaginable. Furious that the innocence and safety of my children's lives has been taken. Furious that someone had access to the type of weapon used in this massacre. Furious that gun makers make ammunition with such high rounds, and our government does nothing to stop them. Furious that the ban on assault weapons was carelessly left to expire. Furious that lawmakers let the gun lobbyists have so much control. Furious that somehow someone's right to own a gun is more important than my child's right to life. Furious that lawmakers are too scared to take a stand.

This mother of a child who survived one of those Sandy Hook classrooms finishes by saying:

I ask you to think about your choices. Look at the pictures of the 26 innocent lives taken so needlessly and wastefully, using a weapon that never should have been in the hands of civilians. Really think. Changing the laws may inconvenience some gun owners, but it may also save a life--perhaps a life that is dear to me or you.

Are you willing to risk it? You have a responsibility and an obligation to act now and to change the laws. I hope and I pray that you do not fail.

This was written by the mother of a girl who survived the massacre at Sandy Hook.

I yield to my colleague from Connecticut--who has been here with me and Senator Booker since the beginning, 12 hours ago--for a question, without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for that question, and I guess we both agree that of course it has to be possible. There just aren't many moments in which the American public is so resolute in their belief that we should do something and this place is so resolute in its belief it should stay on the outside of consensus. There just aren't many issues where the American public has decided at a 90-percent rate that we should act and we refuse to do so.

So my belief is, democracy doesn't allow for this condition to persist for very long, but I will be honest with my colleague. The burden is not so much on us. The burden is on our Republican friends to come to the table with proposals that mirror those that are supported by the American public.

Today, the proposals we are asking for votes on enjoy the support of 90 percent of Americans--increasing the range of background checks and making sure terrorists don't get weapons. So given the fact the American public supports our position, frankly, it would be irresponsible of us to agree to something that is an abandonment of those fundamental beliefs on behalf of Americans.

Our frustration is that we have had lots of time to work out a compromise. It was 6 months ago when we last had a vote on the issue of terrorist access to weapons, and we still have not had any effort, any outreach from the Republican side of the aisle, to try and find common ground. So the answer is, of course, yes, we can find that common ground, but there has to be another party to work with.

I would commend my Republican friends to take a look at the language Senator Feinstein filed today. It is not her original bill that was 18 pages long. The bill she filed today is a simple bill of about 2 to 3 pages, which simply gives to the Attorney General the ability to put a system in place whereby individuals who have demonstrable connections to terrorist organizations cannot buy weapons and a clear exit ramp for individuals who are on that list wrongly to be able to purchase firearms.

So I think that amendment has addressed the concerns Republicans have raised, and I hope, if we can get an agreement to bring that amendment to a vote, they will see it as that consensus product and allow us to adopt it.

I thank Senator Donnelly again for joining us, and I yield to the Senator from Indiana for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I think this is a wonderfully simple question which a lot of people are probably asking: What is the problem? Is there a catch? Why isn't there consensus? The simple answer is that there is no catch, and there is no secret agenda. There is no alternative story line. This is about saying that if you are on the terrorist watch list, you shouldn't buy a gun, period, stop. And if you want to buy a gun in a commercial sale, you should prove that you are not a criminal first, period, stop. Those are the only two things that we are asking for a debate and a vote on--no secret agenda, no hidden prefaces. That is it.

I thank Senator Donnelly, and I yield to my great friend who has been with us for a majority of the evening here on the floor. He has not yet posed a question. I yield to my friend from Hawaii for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for that question, and I appreciate your talking about how this happened organically. We didn't decide to do this until this morning. We certainly had been talking about the need to show that we were sick and tired of the normal trajectory of thoughts and prayers being sent out and then a dissipation into nothingness, as is the trend line after these tragedies. We knew we had to do something different. But what is wonderful about this is that much of this is organic. This is now a dozen colleagues who are on the floor at close to midnight this evening, and the gallery is increasing in numbers at this very time. I think the last I saw, 100,000 people were talking about this right now on Twitter. It has been the top trending topic all day long. Thousands of calls are coming in to our office. I hope this is a moment in which we all get to remind ourselves that this change will not happen without vigilance--that it is not just going to be this moment. It is going to have to be repeated moments in which we engage the consciousness of this Nation.

So I do feel momentum here. We are hopeful we will be able to proceed to at least votes on these measures so we can show the American public where everybody is. If we don't win those votes, we will live to fight another day. But these are galvanizing moments, and it is heartwarming to know that there are so many colleagues who have stepped up to the plate to take part.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator for bringing up this bogeyman issue that continues to come up about due process. Let's first be clear that there is a double standard here. There is not a single Member of the Republican majority who decries the lack of due process when it comes to individuals who are denied the right to fly because of their inclusion on this list. Nobody stands up and says that there isn't the ability to grieve the fact that you are on the list of those individuals who are prohibited to fly. Yet there is some special consideration that is supposed to be given to an individual who is deemed to have an association with a terrorist group who wants to buy an assault weapon. It would seem almost the opposite. Maybe that individual should be given extra consideration.

Of course, this idea that has been proffered in the Cornyn amendment that we voted on in December is laughable. It is not a serious attempt to solve this problem in that it would provide for a court determination and a court process before anybody on that list would be denied a firearm. That individual would have to walk into a gun store. The gun store would say, no, you have been flagged by the Department of Justice, and we are going to call them to see if they would like to take you to court over the next 72 hours in a process that no one knows what it would look like. There would be potential discovery, the ability to rebut the claim that you were a terrorist. It would be a laughingstock, a mockery of the judicial process.

I think those who have supported the amendment probably know that. They are voting for it so they can claim that they supported something other than the piece of legislation that the majority of Americans support, which is the simple addition to the list of those who are prohibited from buying weapons of individuals who are on the terrorist no-fly list.

I will state very quickly as to your second question, yes, of course, if you are serious about solving this problem, you can't just put those individuals on the no-fly list, on the list of those who are prohibited from buying weapons. You actually have to also close that loophole that allows for thousands upon thousands of gun sales to occur at gun shows and online because a terrorist or a would-be terrorist may get denied at the bricks-and-mortar gun store, but then they can later that day go online or that weekend go to a gun show at the convention center and buy a weapon. So you have to do both, which is why we are asking for both of these votes.

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Mr. MURPHY. This may sound strange, but you look to Justice Scalia for that balance. He writes in the majority opinion in Heller, a decision that a lot of our friends disagree with, that the Second Amendment right is not an unlimited right, just like all of the other amendments that Senator Kaine and I spoke about.

In an interaction that I had with Senator Udall earlier in the day, we were remarking that neither of us believe that this really was a debate about the Second Amendment. This has nothing do with the Second Amendment because the Second Amendment very clearly, as interpreted by the Supreme Court very recently, is a right that comes with conditions. There are certain weapons that civilians shouldn't be able to own, and there are certain individuals who shouldn't be able to own any weapons at all if they have lost that right through, for instance, the commission of a felony. We just shouldn't accept this juxtaposition that gets made between those who say that you either support the Second Amendment or you want to stop criminals from getting guns at gun shows. These two goals are not mutually exclusive.

Every single one of us can be a supporter of the Second Amendment and recognize, as the Supreme Court has very clearly, that there are limitations on that right; for instance, your ability to lose that right if you committed a crime or if you have had known association with terrorist organizations.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield to Senator Baldwin for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. That was 6 hours ago?

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Mr. MURPHY. Wow.

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Mr. MURPHY. Madam President, I thank the Senator for this question, which is at the center of this moment. This can't just be about the 30- some odd Senators who have taken to the floor over the last 12 hours. And by the way, we have now been on the floor for over 12 hours.

This has to be about something bigger. This has to be about a national movement that commands this place to act. It has happened before, and it has to happen here. It means voters have to elevate this issue on their priority list. It means more people have to start asking questions about why their Members of Congress, why their Senators, are voting in a way that is contrary to the vast majority of their constituents. It means everyone in this country deciding not to accept what exists today as the status quo.

And let's remind everyone, as Senator Durbin has over and over again, that what exists today is not just a regularity of mass shootings; that prior to 2008, it happened at the pace of one per every 2 months--these are the big shootings--that now happen once every single month. It is also the regularity of gun violence that happens in our cities, such that kids in Hartford, CT, explained to me a year ago that police sirens and ambulance sirens are their lullaby at night because it is just a regular facet of their existence. The American people can't accept that either.

Let me just say before I turn the floor over to Senator Merkley how proud I am of all of our colleagues, not just for joining in but for the way in which we have conducted this debate over the last 12 hours. We are angry at a lot of people, but I am really proud that this debate has been on the level and that we have tried to remain as dispassionate as we can about the path forward.

Let me add one statistic to the mix. I just heard that my office has received 10,000 phone calls today. I actually have no idea how my office could handle 10,000 phone calls, so I asked to double and triple check that number. We only have two phones up front. But we have apparently received 10,000 phone calls today encouraging all of us to continue on this mission.

I appreciate the work that is being done by the staff on the floor. They are staying and laboring extra hours. We know that is not in their job description. This is the professional staff who man the desks and also the political staff within both caucuses and the personal staff. There are a lot of people who didn't know they were going to be staying this late tonight, including those who are reporting our words, and I thank them as well.

I want to acknowledge that there is progress being made as we speak on trying to find a path forward. So I want to thank those on both sides of the aisle who are working to try to find a way forward to take these votes.

We are hopeful at this hour. We still have more to say, and at this point I will yield for a question to Senator Merkley without relinquishing my right to the floor.

(Mr. ROUNDS assumed the Chair.)

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Oregon for his passion on both of these topics and for laying out the challenge for us, which is to move forward on these consensus proposals to close the terrorist loophole, to expand the number of sales that are subject to background checks, and to make sure everybody who buys a gun through a commercial sale has to prove they are not a criminal, but linking together what I would call doubling down on inclusiveness that has to happen in the wake of Orlando.

An incident like this has a tendency to pull a community apart. Yet what we know is that the way to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again is for to us recommit ourselves to inclusiveness and to tolerance and to fighting discrimination.

I can't say anything more than the Senator said with respect to that commitment as it applies to LGBT Americans. I do hope we are able to move the Equality Act through this body. I think we are in a long and frustratingly slow transition to a place that we all know we are going to get to, which is the full right to individuals no matter their sexual orientation.

I also know that coming off this tragedy, there is going to be a tendency to marginalize another community, and that is the Muslim community in this country. As we talk about our efforts to build an inclusive society, we have to remember that the way in which we make our Nation safe is by building these inclusive communities where Muslim Americans feel a part of the whole, not feel excluded, because it builds and plays straight into the recruiting rhetoric of these terrorist groups if we are divided, if we push people out to the extremes.

So I think this is a very important message for us all to hear, that fighting terrorism, whether it be hate-based crimes or politically based crimes inspired by terrorist groups--we combat it best, yes, when we tailor our gun laws to make sure that those who are thinking about these crimes, these horrific murderers, don't get guns, but also when we build these inclusive communities, which acts as a pretty strong prophylactic to terror.

I yield to the Senator from Pennsylvania for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Pennsylvania for his comments and the question. Of course, the answer is that there is absolutely no risk involved in the votes that we are hopeful to bring forward in the Senate. Why? Because these are propositions that are supported by the vast majority of the American public. There is no controversy over either of these issues.

The risk is in doing nothing. The risk is in continuing to allow for this very large loophole for would-be terrorists to walk through.

I won't read it again, but several times on the floor today I have read this quote from a now-deceased Al Qaeda operative in which he very clearly advertises to recruits here in the United States:

You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check. . . . So what are you waiting for?

This is one of Al Qaeda's top operatives, directing individuals in the United States to take advantage of this loophole. We have seen this trend line away from other means of terrorist attacks to the assault weapon, to the firearm. So we should pay attention to this trend and do something about it.

The real risk is doing nothing, Senator Casey. There is no risk in voting for this. You will be celebrated by the American people. After tonight, I hope there will be even more who will join our call.

The real risk is in standing pat and allowing for ISIS to recruit straight into the loophole that we have created. Think about what we are doing. We are selling guns to the enemy knowingly if we allow our set of laws today to persist. That is why we have to move forward and enact these commonsense measures.

With that, I yield to Senator King for a question, who has been great to be with us for the majority of this late evening, without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Maine, especially because, as he mentioned in his previous comments, he sits on the Intelligence Committee and so he is, frankly, privy to information he likely cannot state on the floor but is directly on point, which is this notion these terrorist groups, whether it be Al Qaeda or ISIS, now are more dependent than ever on inspiring and launching lone-wolf attacks. Why? Because they are losing ground in Syria and in Iraq, and this notion there was going to be an inevitable caliphate that was going to grow and prosper and control large amounts of territory in the Middle East is no longer a reality.

As someone earlier today said on the floor, there is a record-low trickle of American citizens today going abroad--maybe it was my colleague from Maine--to join Al Qaeda, which suggests how their pull, how their gravitational pull has been greatly reduced.

It means there are right ways and wrong ways to engage in this second front, this effort to try to launch lone-wolf attacks. The wrong way is to marginalize Muslim communities in this country by telling them they are less than, by telling them they are threats, by nature of their ethnicities or their religion, to the United States.

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Mr. MURPHY. I will yield for a question.

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Mr. MURPHY. The name Dabiq itself, which is the name of the publication this organization--that ISIS sends to the rest of the world is rooted in a spot that is representative to this terrorist group of the historic clash between East and West. So the entire orthodoxy of ISIS is based on this idea that we convince would-be converts that this is a fight between the Muslim faith and the Christian faith, which just again speaks to the fact that there are right ways and wrong ways to go about fulfilling the mission my colleague has articulated in the preamble of the Constitution.

The wrong way is to blame these attacks on everyone who shares the Muslim faith. The right way is to target the very small subset of individuals of any faith who have connections to terrorist groups. The good news is that because of a network of surveillance we have endorsed, we can do much better than before in finding what individuals have that contact with terrorist groups, and when we find that out, it simply makes sense that we shouldn't sell them weapons.

I thank the Senator.

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Mr. MURPHY. I would say in yielding to Senator Durbin for a question, just personally, it has meant so much to me to have Senator Durbin on the floor for almost the entirety of the now 13-plus hours. He is frankly a hero to those of us who showed up relatively late to this fight for justice on the issue of combating gun violence. I am so thankful to Senator Durbin for being here consistently with us, and I yield to him for a question without losing my right to the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator from Illinois. I thank him for setting an example of how to speak truth to power in this body. We have talked over the course of this afternoon about the influence of special interests and how they have affected this debate. There is simply no one in the U.S. Senate who, over a period of time, has ignored special interests and money and power and just done and said and fought for the right thing over and over again. To the extent that people like Senator Booker and I made the choice to run for this body even amidst its reputation for dysfunction, it is because we hoped that when we got here we could maybe--we could maybe--equal some portion of the example that the Senator has set. So personally--and I think I can speak on behalf of Senator Booker and Senator Blumenthal and myself. Certainly, for me it has meant so much that the Senator has been here for the totality of this debate. I say to Senator Durbin, thank you.

It has meant just as much to me to have all our colleagues here today. It has meant the world to me to have Senator Blumenthal, my partner, engaging in this together and to have Senator Booker, as was mentioned, in an act of wonderful sympathy, make the decision to stand on his feet for the duration of this time as well.

This has been organic. We sent out the word that we thought this was something important, but this really happened of its own volition. Everything that has happened outside of this Chamber today and tonight, with the hundreds of thousands of interactions, the ten thousand phone calls that have just come into our office alone speak to the wellspring of desire there is in this country to act--to act on the issue of the epidemic of gun violence.

Of course, what we have proffered here are two simple measures that we think we are on our way to perhaps getting votes on. But we don't want votes; we ultimately want agreement. Hopefully, the momentum that comes from today and tonight and the 13 hours that we have been on the floor will get us there.

I will yield for a question at this point, without losing my right to the floor, to Senator Booker.

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Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I thank my friend for the question, and I thank him for standing, quite literally, with me every second of these last 13-plus hours. I thank my friend from Connecticut as well, who is about to speak, for doing the same.

It is nice to have friends. It is nice to have friends who are committed to the same thing as you are, but it is just nice to have friends.

It doesn't have to be like this. There are so many things in this country that we accept as inevitable, true, and unchangeable, and we are right on the precipice of getting to the point in this country where we accept this level of gun violence and gun homicide as just a normal facet of life in this country. I know it because I heard the kids in the North End of Hartford tell me that the sound of ambulances and police sirens is their goodnight lullaby. They are used to falling asleep to the response of the next shooting.

I knew it at the beginning of this week, when, as the news was filled with not just another mass shooting but the worst mass shooting in the history of this country, this body signaled that it wasn't going to take up any measures to combat the epidemic of gun violence in the wake of the worst mass shooting in the history of this country. It has felt like we have fallen upon the precipice of accepting this as the new normal in this country.

All we are doing tonight is standing here and talking. We are asking for a vote. And I think, as I will speak to in a moment, we have gotten to a place where we are going to get votes on these important amendments, but all we are doing here is talking.

Senator Booker was right when he said that what has happened this afternoon and this evening is a platform for sustained and collective action that demands that this not be just a one-time phenomenon, that this passion you heard from dozens of Members of the Senate who came down here organically just because they cared sustains throughout the day, the months, and the years.

As I said earlier on this floor, great change movements are defined by their obstacles and failures, and we have already had a bunch of failures when it comes to our fight for gun violence measures. We lost a big vote on the floor of the Senate in 2013. There are State legislatures that have gone in the other direction and made it easier to get weapons. We lost a vote here in December when we tried to expand our background check system to make sure that people who are on the terrorist watch list are captured by it. We have had our share of defeats and losses.

As it turns out, we will get to have votes on these amendments, and maybe we will lose those too. But every great change movement in this country is defined by persistence in the face of obstacles and failures, and this change movement isn't defined by what we do here, it is defined by the 90 percent of Americans who believe in the righteousness of what we are proposing.

Frankly, we aren't in the business of changing the minds of millions of Americans; we are in the business of changing the minds of a few dozen Members of Congress. It doesn't sound that bad when you put it that way, right? We don't have to convince the broad electorate that something has to change; we just have to convince a few people here. And that can happen--it can--but it won't happen through Senator Booker, Senator Blumenthal, and me coming down here and doing this week after week; it will happen because members of the public decided to make those 10,000 phone calls that somehow plausibly fit themselves into the phone lines to my office today. Those phone calls need to go to every other office in the Senate and House over the course of the coming days, weeks, and months as we lead up to these meaningful votes. This is an issue that voters prioritize when they go to the voting booth. They need to pay attention to whether their Member of Congress is voting with or against them when it comes to commonsense issues like expanding background checks to cover gun shows and Internet sales and making sure terrorists don't get guns. It is a commitment to never lose that sense of empathy which has to be at the root of this.

Luis Vielma was 22 years old when he was shot and killed late Sunday night in Orlando in the largest mass shooting in American history. He had been so excited that night because he was hosting a friend of his who was visiting from Miami. He wanted to show him this wonderful nightclub that he had found, this place where the community could come together and celebrate themselves. His father Jose suggested that the two of them come over to his house for some homemade Mexican food, but Luis was so excited to have a great time that night with his visiting friend that he put off his dad and said: I am going down to the club. I am heading downtown.

On his way to the club, he texted to his dad: ``I love you.'' Those were the last words Jose ever heard from his son.

His family said that he went to the club that night to dance. ``Oh, and he can dance and get down,'' a family friend said. ``Yes, he can.''

He was born in Florida, but he loved the Mexican national football team, adored his family, liked to play tricks on his younger brother, and was a huge Harry Potter fan. He had a job at Universal Studios. He worked on the Harry Potter ride, and that was a big deal to Luis.

Upon hearing of his death, J.K. Rowling tweeted out a tribute to him. His job at Universal was a passion for him because he loved Harry Potter, but it was also paying for his education. He was studying to be a physical therapist at Seminole State College.

His friend Will Randle said:

Luis was by far the best person I knew. He inherently made us all better people by simply existing around us. Part of him will always live on in every good decision that I make.

Kelly, a friend of his on Facebook, asked: ``How could this happen to someone so kind?'' How could this happen to anyone?

In December of 2015, Jonathan Aranda was shot and killed in the morning hours of December 8 in New Haven, CT. He was 19 years old. He had just graduated from Eli Whitney Technical High School in Hamden, CT. In a statement, the superintendent of schools talked about the devastation in the entire educational community because of the loss of this beautiful young man. His cousin said he was hard-working, and he was well-liked. He worked at Brook & Whittle, a packaging company in Guilford. He was getting out of work. He had stopped at a friend's house to talk about cars, and then, bam, this senseless act of violence happened.

His friend said that he was quick to lend a hand when you needed help and he wouldn't ask for anything in return. He worked the third shift and he came home, and then he helped his friends and his family. His younger sister said that he was a humble and loving person, and he never picked fights. A very, very likeable kid, said his cousin. He didn't have a problem with anybody.

Luis Vielma was 22 years old when he was killed on Saturday night in the worst mass shooting in the history of this country. This shooting has gotten a lot of publicity, and it has prompted us to come down to this floor and demand change. But nobody in this country knows about Jonathan Aranda. He was killed in December of last year on the streets of New Haven, and his family and friends and his educational family mourn for him, but he didn't make headlines. There are the 80 others that day on December 8 who died didn't make headlines either, but their deaths are just as meaningful, just as impactful, and just as unacceptable as the 50 people who died late on Saturday night, early Sunday morning in Orlando.

It doesn't have to be like this. That is why we have come to the floor this evening.

I am going to turn the floor over to Senator Blumenthal in a moment. Actually, I will turn it over to Senator Booker for some comments and then to Senator Blumenthal. But let me just finish these remarks by talking about the families of Sandy Hook. Senator Booker was talking about courageous acts of empathy. I think it is a wonderful turn of a phrase. I think about the courageous act of empathy inherent in the decision made by the families of those murdered in Sandy Hook to come to the Congress to argue in 2013 and then again in 2014, 2015, and 2016 for background checks, because if you know the facts of the case in Sandy Hook, background checks on sales at gun shows or with respect to online sales wouldn't have mattered in that case, because that sale was done with a background check. To the families of Sandy Hook, what would matter much more is a ban on military-style assault weapons like the kind that was used to kill every single kid that was shot in Sandy Hook or a ban on high-capacity magazines.

Let me tell you this. There are kids who survived that shooting. They survived that shooting because the shooter fumbled when he went to reload and a handful of kids snuck out. But because he was using 30- round magazines, he only had to reload a handful of times. Had he been forced to reload after discharging 10 bullets rather than 30 bullets, there are a lot of families in Newtown who think there would be more kids alive today. That mattered to them. But they came to Washington in a courageous act of empathy to argue on behalf of Jonathan Aranda, who was still alive in the spring of 2013 when we took that vote. They came to this Congress to argue on behalf of those still living on the streets of this country who could benefit by an expanded background check system that would stem the flow of illegal weapons on their streets. Had we been successful, had we been able to pick up a few more votes to persist and beat that filibuster, maybe Jonathan Aranda would be alive today. Had we years ago passed a law that puts people who have had an intersection with the FBI with respect to terrorist connections on the list of those who are prohibited from buying guns, maybe that network would have caught up with Omar Mateen, and he would never have bought the weapon that he used to kill those in Orlando.

Those are all maybes, but life isn't always a game of certainties. What we have been asking for here today is to just take a step forward and take a vote on two commonsense measures that can start to show that we have the ability to make progress as a body. There is a laundry list of other things that everyone who has spoken wants to happen. Our families in Sandy Hook have a laundry list of other things that they want to occur. But we want to start with these two commonsense measures.

Through the Chair to Senator Booker and Senator Blumenthal, I think we can report some very meaningful progress over the course of these 13 hours. When we began this debate on the floor, when we declared that we were not going to move forward on the CJS bill without a commitment to talk about what happened in Orlando, to talk about how we fix it, and when we began, there was no commitment, no plan to debate these measures. It is our understanding that the Republican leader and the Democratic leader have spoken and that we have been given a commitment on a path forward to get votes on the floor of the Senate on a measure to assure that those on the terrorist watch list do not get guns, the Feinstein amendment, and an amendment introduced by myself and Senator Booker and Senator Schumer to expand background checks to gun shows and to Internet sales.

Now, we still have to get from here to there, but we did not have that commitment when we started today, and we have that understanding at the end of the day. There is no guarantee that those amendments will pass. But we will have some time to take the movement that existed before we started and maybe is a little bit stronger now and try to prevail upon Members to take these two measures and turn them into law.

So I am deeply grateful to be standing here at now 1:40 in the morning with both of my friends who started here with me now going on 14 hours ago. I gladly yield to my friend Senator Booker for a question and any final comments that he has.

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Mr. MURPHY. I yield for a question without relinquishing my control of the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank the Senator. This is an important start, but it is not sufficient.

What is unacceptable is to do nothing. What would have been unacceptable is to spend this entire week on legislative business that was irrelevant to the epidemic of gun violence that has been made more real than ever by the tragedy in Orlando. So I thank the Senator for helping us convene our colleagues over the course of 14-some odd hours. I think we can report having made progress, but certainly not enough.

I will yield for a question to my friend Senator Blumenthal, who has been on the floor with us for the entirety of this time, standing with me, and frankly I have been standing with him, my senior Senator in this fight since 2012. I yield to him for a question without relinquishing control of the floor.

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Mr. MURPHY. I would ask the Senator to withdraw that request at this time.

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Mr. MURPHY. I thank Senator Blumenthal for the final question. Let me reiterate my thanks to everyone who has persisted this evening--for all of our colleagues who have come down to the floor to join in this exercise, and, again, to all of the staff and the pages who, indeed, just showed up a week ago for standing with us and for their commitment to public service and to those who sat in the Chair. I have done that for an overnight session or two. I know it is not exactly the way to plan to spend your Wednesday evening. Most importantly, I thank Senator Booker for standing with me quite literally since 11:20 this morning and Senator Blumenthal for being a perpetual friend and partner.

I woke up this morning determined to make sure that this wasn't going to be a lost week, and I have been furious since those days following Sandy Hook. I have been so angry that this Congress has mustered absolutely no response to mass shooting after mass shooting in city after city that is plagued by gun violence, such that the children who grow up in the east end of Bridgeport or the north end of Hartford live through stress and trauma that affects their brains in irreparable ways.

I am embarrassed that it took me so long to become a convert to this issue. I am embarrassed, frankly, that it took the tragedy in Sandy Hook for me to wake up to the fact that people all around this country, in Newark, in cities in my State, have been living through this horror without attention from this body. There is no silver lining to what happened in Newtown, but inarguably what has happened in the 4 years since has been the focus of attention from all over this country on the inaction of this body and the failure of it to respond, and that is what is so perplexing to me. We have disagreements over what should be done, but what I have not understood is why we don't even attempt to find common ground on this floor--why, week after week, there is not a single vote or debate scheduled on any of the measures that have been proposed to try to stop this carnage. There hasn't been a debate scheduled on the floor of the Senate. There haven't been debates in committees. I am not saying we aren't doing important work, but there are 30,000 people dying every year on the streets of this country. Those whom they leave behind--their moms, their dads, their little sisters and brothers--don't get the total indifference we portray.

I know we are not indifferent. I know, in talking to my Republican colleagues, that they feel just as deeply about the loss in Orlando and about the loss in New Haven or Chicago or Newark as we do. I know there is a commonality of emotion here that betrays the story line we portray to the American people.

This exercise over the course of the last 14 hours in many ways has been a plea for this body to find a way to come together on answers, because it is devastating. It is devastating to the families who live through this trauma to watch the U.S. Senate do nothing, absolutely nothing, week after week. Think about that. Sandy Hook was 4 years ago, 3\1/2\ years ago, and Congress hasn't passed a single measure that would make the next mass shooting, the next murder of kids in this country, less likely.

I don't know what the vote is going to be--if we are successful, as we believe we will be, in getting these votes--but I do know it will be another chance for our colleagues to come together on two measures that we have carefully selected as being the most likely to get bipartisan votes.

That is why we chose to demand votes on these two measures--A, because they are significant, they will make a difference, and B, because they are as noncontroversial as you can get.

The American people have already made up their minds. They want a background check system that captures potential terrorists. They want to make sure everybody who buys a gun through a commercial sale has to prove they are not a criminal before they buy it. The American people have made up their minds.

We chose to ask for the two least controversial provisions possible that still will do a world of good. I am pleased that we are on a path to get those votes. It is a necessary but insufficient response to the carnage that we witness in this country every single day.

This is personal to all of us. Senator Kaine said it well earlier tonight--that we have scar tissue, but it is razor-thin scar tissue compared to those today in Orlando who are living through the catastrophe of losing a 21-year-old son in the prime of his life or losing a 24-year-old daughter with all of her potential ahead of her. Our scar tissue is there, but it is tiny.

I close by telling a story that I told during my first speech on the floor of the Senate. I introduce you to Dylan Christopher Jack Hockley, who in this picture is age 6. According to just about everybody who knew him, it was impossible not to fall in love with Dylan Hockley if you met him. He loved video games, and he loved jumping on the trampoline and watching movies. He loved munching garlic bread. He had dimples, he had blue eyes, and he had this very mischievous little grin. You can see it here. And he is wearing one of his favorite shirts. His beaming smile would light up almost any room he was in. He loved to cuddle. He loved to play tag every single morning with the neighbors at the bus stop. He liked to watch movies, the color purple, and he loved seeing the Moon. He loved eating his favorite foods, especially chocolate. He was so proud that he was learning how to read, and he would bring a new book home every day. Most importantly, he adored his big brother Jake, who was his best friend and his role model.

Dylan's mom Nicole, who has been a champion in the cause of ending gun violence in the country, always thought that Dylan was, in her words, ``a bit special, a bit different.'' She said:

He was late to develop speech. He was late to learn to crawl, and there was always a little something about him, but we couldn't put our finger on it.

He said he only liked bland foods and he wanted only plain spaghetti. He had a habit of flapping his hands when he got excited. He would put his hands over his ears when he heard sudden or loud noises. He was diagnosed with autism, but, as his father points out, autism is a spectrum with many different facets to it.

Dylan loved repetition, and he would watch his favorite movies over and over again--``Up,'' ``Wall-E,'' and ``The Gruffalo.'' He would find a particular portion of that movie that he loved and he watched that portion. He would rewind, he would watch it, he would rewind, and he would watch it. When he watched his favorite parts, his laugh was infectious.

Dylan was struggling with autism as a student at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but he was a special boy who was going to turn into a special young man.

He idolized his brother Jake, but he idolized someone else as well. He idolized a woman named Anne Marie Murphy. Anne Marie Murphy was his special education teacher and his personal aide. Over the course of the beginning of his first grade year, they formed a bond, a deep bond that is often hard to form for kids with autism like Dylan. Their bond was so tight that he had a picture of her on the refrigerator, along with his class. Every day when he would walk by the refrigerator, he would point to the picture and say ``There's my class! There's Mrs. Murphy!'' It meant something to him to have that relationship, and he loved going to school in large part because he knew he had someone there who loved him back.

Senator Booker has talked about the expectations that we should have for each other, that expectation of deep, passionate love for each other. Dylan and Anne Marie Murphy had it.

Senator Blumenthal and I got to Sandy Hook Elementary School after most of the families had come to realize that their loved ones weren't coming back, that their little boys and girls were probably lying on the floor of those classrooms. We still saw and heard things that I think we both wish we didn't hear and see.

When Nicole Hockley was standing in or outside the firehouse, when she came to the slow, awful, crippling realization that her little boy was not coming back, she had a moment where she thought to herself, maybe Anne Marie will come back and she will tell me what happened to my little boy. Then she had a second thought: that Anne Marie probably wouldn't leave Dylan if he was in danger.

When Adam Lanza walked into that classroom and aimed his military- style assault weapon with clips attached to it, holding 30 bullets, Anne Marie Murphy probably had a chance to run or to hide or to panic. Instead, Anne Marie Murphy made the most courageous decision that any of us could imagine. Instead of running, instead of hiding, instead of panicking, Anne Marie Murphy found Dylan Hockley and embraced him. Do you know how we know that? Because when the police entered the classroom, that is how they found Dylan Hockley--dead, wrapped in the embrace of Anne Marie Murphy.

It doesn't take courage to stand on the floor of the Senate for 2 hours or 6 hours or 14 hours. It doesn't take courage to stand up to the gun lobby when 90 percent of your constituents want change to happen. It takes courage to look into the eye of a shooter instead of running, wrapping your arms around a 6-year-old boy and accepting death as a trade for just a tiny, little, itty piece of increased peace of mind for a little boy under your charge.

So this has been a day of questions. I ask you all this question: If Anne Marie Murphy could do that, then ask yourself what you can do to make sure that Orlando or Sandy Hook never ever happens again.

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