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Senator finds out about school shooting during gun control debate

California shooting highlights Senate gun control debate in real time

Sen. Richard Blumenthal is passed a note about a school shooting on the Senate floor Thursday. (Senate Recording Studio/Screenshot)

When Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., started speaking on the floor Thursday morning, he had not yet heard about the mass shooting at a Southern California high school a little less than an hour before. During Blumenthal’s speech on gun control legislation, a staffer passed him a note alerting him to the shooting. Although he incorrectly stated that the shooting took place in Santa Clara, Calif. instead of Santa Clarita, Calif., Blumenthal quickly pointed to the massacre where two people died as a real-life example of the need for the legislation.

Blumenthal was one of three senators to advocate for gun control legislation Thursday morning. Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., attempted to get a voice vote on H.R. 8, the House-passed gun background check bill. The unanimous consent request was rejected by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., who said that “legislation that would affect the rights of American citizens under the Second Amendment should not be fast-tracked by the Senate.”