Senator Responds to Trump’s N.R.A. Speech With Photos of Shooting Victims

As President Trump took the stage to champion the Second Amendment at a National Rifle Association convention on Friday, a United States senator sought to counter his message by unleashing a Twitter storm using the names, ages and pictures of gun violence victims.

Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, who has fought for increased gun control since the 2012 school massacre in his home state, posted on Twitter on Friday morning to urge his followers not to watch Mr. Trump’s speech and instead, “think about who we are fighting for.

Mr. Murphy then posted 11 messages showing the faces of shooting victims, many of whom were children, including four of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.
In a statement on Friday to The New York Times, he said he had started the tweet storm because he knew that “the substance” of the gun-control debate would get “totally lost” amid coverage of the president’s speech in Atlanta.
“I wanted to show some of the faces of Washington’s inaction — to share a small sliver of the lives we’ve lost because our nation is overflowing with guns,” Mr. Murphy said in the statement. “This issue is only controversial in the halls of Congress. Outside Washington, people understand the horror of gun violence and are increasingly unwilling to tolerate a Congress that is owned and operated by the gun lobby.”

A spokeswoman for the N.R.A.’s Institute for Legislative Action said that Mr. Murphy’s posts were a stunt.

“It’s appalling that Chris Murphy exploits victims to push a gun control agenda even he admits wouldn’t stop criminals from committing crimes,” said the spokeswoman, Jennifer Baker. “Voters are sick of politicians who spend more time on publicity stunts than solving problems.”

The White House did not reply to an email from The Times. But during his wide-ranging 30-minute speech, Mr. Trump told members of an enthusiastic audience that they were his “friends” and that he had come to deliver “good news.”

“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” he said. “You have a true friend and champion in the White House. No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners. No longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as Americans.”

He added: “As your president, I will never ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Never ever.”

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