Chris Murphy reckons with risk of ‘failure’ in his career-long gun control push

Chris Murphy reckons with risk of 'failure' in his career-long gun control push

The worst day of Chris Murphy’s career, as he tells it, came eight years ago this week. That’s when the Senate defeated a gun control bill forged after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his state. The mass shootings haven’t stopped plaguing America ever since. Nor has Congress ceased its perpetual stalemate on universal background checks for gun buyers. But Connecticut’s junior senator is leading the charge yet again on the issue — a mid-level policy change that would still be a high-water mark for activists who have spent years battling the NRA and most of the GOP. And this year, Murphy’s job is harder than ever: Expectations are high, while patience for compromise and delay is wearing thin. Democrats control all of Washington, and their frustrated base wants to get something done by any means necessary, filibuster be damned. But as gun control legislation looks headed toward the same partisan gridlock as previous efforts, despite a gun lobby at its weakest point in decades, Murphy has little to show for what both parties respect as a good-faith effort. The telegenic young senator, his last decade in the Senate defined by gun violence, is struggling. “It’s incredibly heavy to be surrounded by such tragedy,” Murphy said in an interview. “I feel a real weight that if by the time my political career is done, we haven’t made significant progress on this issue, my time in Washington will be a failure.” It’s not for lack of trying. Gun […]

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