'We Cannot Accept This': A Former FBI Agent's Emotional Response To The Florida School Shooting

"We're all Philip Mudd."

For a moment on Wednesday afternoon, Philip Mudd spoke for much of America.

Mudd, a former CIA and FBI analyst, is a counterterrorism expert and regular CNN contributor. He appeared on the network to discuss the Parkland, Florida school shooting with host Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday. Officials report that at least 17 people were killed by the shooting.

"I have 10 nieces and nephews who are talking about bump stocks. We're talking about legislation," he said, referencing the controversial devices used by the Las Vegas mass shooter in October so that his guns could mimic the speed of automatic weapons. Despite a bipartisan effort, Congress failed to restrict bump stocks after the Las Vegas shooting, leaving the matter to state legislatures.

"A child of God is dead," Mudd continued, becoming visibly emotional. "Can not we acknowledge in this country that we can't – we cannot accept this."


With apologies to Blitzer, a teary Mudd bowed out of the broadcast, reappearing later in the program.

Mudd's heartbreak and his unwillingness to "accept" school shootings in the United Statesand, apparently, the unparalleled rate at which they occur — resonated with many on social media. Americans tweeted and retweeted the clip. One Florida State alum wrote that Mudd "speaks for a lot of us today."

The bump stock restrictions that Congress failed to pass despite bipartisan support have become a symbol of Washington's stalemate on gun control. A number of lawmakers, including Sen. Chris Murphy, who represented Newtown's congressional district at the time of the Sandy Hook school shooting, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Cortez Masto, and Sen. Tammy Duckworth called for change and "common-sense gun safety" measures after news of the Parkland shooting broke.

Sen. Kamala Harris echoed Mudd's own choice of words, tweeting: "This is the 18th school shooting in the first 43 days of 2018. We cannot accept this as normal. We must address gun violence."


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