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People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival during a mass shooting on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to latest figures released by law enforcement officials on Monday, at least 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured. (Photo: David Becker/Getty Images)

Message to US Lawmakers: 'Quit Praying and Start Drafting Gun Control Legislation'

"It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something."

Jon Queally

While President Donald Trump offered his repeated prayers for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting in Las Vegas in a televised statement on Monday morning—and called the murder of at least 58 people "an act of pure evil"—he offered no comment on the scourge of gun violence that has become a common occurrence in the modern era of the United States.

"It's not too soon to talk about solutions to gun violence. It's too late."
—Moms Take Action
And though it's a gracious and natural response to issue thoughts of sympathy and prayers in the wake of such tragedies, patience is wearing thin for lawmakers who repeatedly offer prayers following such massacres, but refuse to stand up to the gun industry lobby to pass meaningful gun control legislation.

"We don't need your "We have answers and now we need action! gun violence!"

"Last night in Las Vegas, America suffered the deadliest mass shooting in our nation's history," said Kris Brown and Avery Gardiner, co-presidents of the Brady Campaign and Center, in a statement. "Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and to all Americans who have had enough of gun violence in this country. Americans need to be safe in public places, whether at country music concerts, dance clubs, schools, churches, or baseball fields.

But, they added, "We are done debating. We need comprehensive gun safety laws in order to protect our citizens from these random acts of violence that threaten our everyday lives. Congress needs to act now to ensure the safety of all Americans."

That sentiment was widely shared on social media:

As the gun control advocacy groups Moms Demands Action said Monday morning in the wake of the Vegas shooting, "It's not too soon to talk about solutions to gun violence. It's too late."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), meanwhile, called on her Senate colleagues to do more than pray.

In his statement released on Monday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said his "heart goes out" to all the victims, their families, first responders, and the local community. But even as he noted the unprecedented scale of the Las Vegas carnage, Murphy said "already this year there have been more mass shootings than days in the year."

According to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 273 mass shooting incidents—defined as shooting with four or more victims—so far this year.

"This must stop," Murphy said. "It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren't public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something."


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