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Sen. Chris Murphy announces new book on violence and guns

Chris Murphy
Sen. Chris Murphy, the Connecticut Democrat who has become a leading voice in Congress on the issue of gun control, is writing a book about violence in America.
(Chris Murphy)

Sen. Chris Murphy, the Connecticut Democrat who has become a leading voice in Congress on the issue of gun control, is writing a book about violence in America. Murphy announced the book on Twitter, writing: “I’ve got a book coming out January 2020! THE VIOLENCE INSIDE US is a deeply personal, ambitious exploration of American violence, and the biological and historical roots of why and how we hurt each other.”

According to Publisher Penguin Random House, the book “interrogates the origins of our violent impulses, the roots of our obsession with firearms, and the national mythologies that prevent us from confronting our crisis of violence.

“‘The Violence Inside Us’ examines the deep roots of human violence itself and the propensity of people to harm themselves and each other,” the publisher added. “The result is a carefully researched, deeply emotional, and personal book that dissects America’s violence obsession through an evolutionary, historical, and economic lens. It also takes a hard look at one distinctly American feature: our love of guns.”

Murphy, a former U.S. House member who was elected to the Senate in 2012, is one of the most outspoken advocates of gun control in the Congress. He has said the issue became personal after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his home state, in which 20 young children and six adults were slain by a man armed with a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle.

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“This was something different, right, in part because my son just graduated from first grade,” Murphy told Politico in 2016. “I walked out of that tragedy feeling like I had just been handed my mission in public service, that if I wasn’t able, in my career in the Senate, to do something meaningful to pay homage to those kids and those teachers, then I had failed.”

In June 2016, Murphy launched an almost 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor in an attempt to get Senate leaders to allow a vote on two amendments, one to prohibit people whose names were on watch lists of suspected terrorists from buying guns, and the other to expand mandatory background checks to gun shows and internet purchases.

Both measures were eventually voted down. Penguin Random House said Murphy’s book would tell “the story of his profound personal transformation in the wake of” the Sandy Hook massacre. “Weaving together personal narrative, captivating storytelling, and compelling history, Murphy takes on all the familiar arguments, obliterates the stale talking points, and points the way to a fresh, less polarized conversation about violence and the weapons that enable it — a conversation we urgently need in order to transform the national dialogue,” the publisher said.

“The Violence Inside Us: A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy” is slated for publication on Jan. 7.


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