Sen Murphy: Guns ‘throw kerosene on the fire’ of American conflict

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., discusses his new book “The Violence Inside Us: A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy” on the historical causes of gun violence in the U.S.
8:29 | 09/02/20

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Transcript for Sen Murphy: Guns ‘throw kerosene on the fire’ of American conflict
Well the protests and counter protests in Kenosha in Portland recent days have underscored the deep divide in our country right now over issues of race policing and the use of firearms by both. Law enforcement and by everyday citizens with protests in both cities. Escalating into violent and deadly confrontations. And now senator Chris Murphy Democrat from Connecticut he is out with a new book called the violence inside us a brief history of an ongoing American tragedy examining the origins. Of violence in America. And what he calls our nation's obsession with firearms senator Chris Murphy joins me now senator good to see you. Thanks Fran. You know your book he talks about violence in America particularly gun violence and its deep roots. How do we get to this point. Violence is always better part of our story and say in the book gives it we were slightly destined to be a more violent nation. But we have chosen or harassing mountains smoldering fire. While also allowing nation to people should special when he. Hurt our guns don't. Well we have to really a big step back and understand. Our our our -- its roots as a nation. I'm Al lot to do what is city's wells was a big quickest return we can do is to make sure they're pure weapons. Fewer weapons are being brought to the coach Schmidt we are watching your weapons in the streets of America you're her bail out the Al he asked. He was the upper Matt her action. But also mixed case it is out there. You gotta understand. Why we started our nation and attack the roots as. And and I want to get into what's happening to cities across the country but it didn't just sit back up a little bit because you say that your book is to make the other side. Less scared a lot of people that are scared right now. On both sides so what exactly do you mean by that. I do think this has been one of these issues zoo where we have trouble coming together described an incident in the book where a man who is waiting for after each right in our ports. Festival in Connecticut and he's very angry with medium he says are you because you're a good kid when my god. And I am very quickly try to get him into discussion about our national forward to zero. And what they do better he says well armed for knows. I went unchecked I think people from the criminal. And we understand each other better as we don't allow that an arraignment Dunlop. And this debate we can find common ground Santa are actually under a constitutional right. The private ownership group gotten out you might surprise people but I think there's an ability for us common sense discussion about guns and Schmidt. You're united at least 80% of us. As part of the answer irked what we Disney shouldn't. But you know that it's not. Stricter gun laws and background checks that are the only answer here mean every day guns are being smuggled into this country. And being used to kill people guns. Without any Trace and so. How eaten that is something that has to be tackled. In in the end. In the moment. Well that's right and in the opening story this book is the story of a young man should now urged the chills in. A verbal dispute broke her are all. In Hartford Connecticut just two months or sandy hook him he was an illegal weapon that would hold out the car. This is single and middle of the argument and did. It's promising young man life. Every illegal weapons arc the legal. Weydedat gun guy to Hartford is that somewhere along the line some criminal audit. At a gun show or on why. And who was not. A prohibited from doing so because there wasn't a background check attached to it. And he sells it is somebody on our curtain at all certain content legal. But what about the guns that are being purchased on the black market I mean. Those individuals definitely are getting a background check. But that's right but the black market I'm starts off him by the gun being sold outside of the background check system wide markers from by criminals don't. How guns are get to Connecticut and sold illegally. Well may get bought in gun shows at places like South Carolina and Florida those criminals by and they are. We're written word uttered no question to an agreement to Connecticut and sell an illegal. So by making used to need every asked to check. You can you make some real progress here and also make the broader point did you machine's life in Hartford. Enormous lead limited possibilities he didn't think he was gonna live past twenty and that's in part because. Beat the economic reality so many young people who live in DC. There's or relation between number on your community. And outside. Income poverty. And your chances of being killed or. Injured Chris boat that he or she. See you were first elected to the senate in 2012. And that was just one month before the shooting. It's sandy hook elementary and in your home state and you've been a vocal proponent of gun control measures most of which. Have not been successful even as he's deadly mass shootings have escalated in recent years why is that. On the worst. Moment of my legislative career was in spring 2013. When the checks bill fail is where many of the families from. Him. Or in the book. It was like to walk the senate chamber at least parents. I'm bad who we have lost them and the fact that many people thought the world to change. Order realized that it was that we we hadn't. I'm lost the argument is we now powerful enough political movement and porch light is all about six you have to. He stronger than the other side when gasoline doing. It builds up and bounce and is now stronger. The gun lobby groups like moms. And earth every. Winning more elections and the NRA as Harry frankly are our. What I wanted to do you have to all political power we're doing that's why we have so much success and twenty needs. And that's why I think that we'll have a lot of success on huge huge one point. So final question and trump and other Republicans really leaned on the line order. The theme that the RNC and saying that they. They'll keep the country safer than a democratic White House Joseph Biden has responded back that the violence were seen this country is happening on president trumps watched. If you do you agree. Well this is Donald Transamerica. I mean I would like to perform his job right mind trick it witchy. Makes us forget he's president and who beat us to believe that Joseph Biden is in the white. But we aren't situation dreary today with an academic. All this president. We can attain terrorist act in the spring if we operate and minutes. The president in going to Wisconsin today. Is seeking but. Unrest teachers and that these are all the more chaotic streets are. He has owned importantly no Gil. I'm he's only 2022. Incident yesterday in contempt matter who commits. Affect. Eight he reminded us all that violence in his country was going down now. Ernie meet Obama years we've seen murders in our cities increased 6% this year under trial. There's a real contrast here and I don't beginning voters in all and America are watching now in other. Senator Chris Murphy about is the violence inside S and it is out now we appreciate your time so much senator thank you. You bet.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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