Cory Booker’s emotional plea for gun control during Senate filibuster
As a Democratic senator waged a nearly 15-hour filibuster into the early morning hours of Thursday, demanding votes on gun control measures in the aftermath of a shooting that left 49 dead in Orlando, he was joined by a Jersey boy.
Like filibuster leader Sen. Chris Murphy, Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker did not sit down for the full 15 hours. Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut remained on the floor for most of the debate as well.
Booker's own comments during the filibuster caught widespread attention online Wednesday night for their forceful nature and impassioned delivery. Often seeming to speak directly into the camera recording his presentation on the Senate floor, he said:
“Enough. Enough. Enough. What we are seeking is not radical. What we're seeking is not something that is partisan. What we’re seeking is common sense.”
And at another point:
"Newtown — 20 school children and 6 employees killed. Santa Monica — five Americans killed. And Washington DC, here at the naval yard, 12 people Killed. At Fort Hood, three people killed. Isla Vista, California, six people killed. Marysville, Washington, four people killed in a high shcool cafeteria. Charleston, South Carolina, nine people at a church, killed. Chattanooga, Tennessee, at a military recruiting office, four Marines and a Navy petty officer killed. Roseburg Oregon, 10 people killed at a local community college. Colorado Springs, Colorado, three people killed at a Planned Parenthood clinic. And San Bernardino, in an act of terrorism, 14 people killed. In Orlando, this past weekend, this Saturday night, 49 innocent people murdered, killed.
"So I rise to ask Sen. Murphy a question. There is a question in the hearts and minds of the majority of people of our nation. They're asking the question, 'How long will this go on?' They're asking the question, 'How can we be a nation so mighty and great, yet hold this distinction on the planet Earth where these kinds of mass killings go on at a rate at a level, nowhere else seen on the planet Earth?''
Also joining the filibuster was New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, another Democrat: "I believe this was an attack on all of us, and we need more than another moment of silence. I'm tired of saying that our hearts and prayers go out to those who lost a loved one who were injured."
Menendez also highlighted the fact that many of the patrons at Pulse nightclub were Latino. Menendez himself is the son of Cuban immigrants.
As compromise on the gun issue remained improbable, Murphy stood on the Senate floor for most of Wednesday and into Thursday, saying he would remain there "until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together." He yielded the floor at 2:11 a.m., EDT, saying he had won commitments from Republican leaders that they would hold votes on amendments to expand background checks and ban gun sales to suspected terrorists.
It is unlikely that those amendments will pass.
— The Associated Press contributed to this story