Two senators who represent a community that experienced a devastating mass shooting five years ago are urging their colleagues to act after a gunman killed at least 50 people in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy both issued statements on Monday morning lamenting the lack of action by Congress to prevent gun violence after previous tragedies.
“Although many details of this mass shooting remain unclear, one thing is certain: yet again, we are watching in horror as another American community is torn apart by the terrible devastation wrought by a gunman,” Blumenthal said.
In 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Blumenthal and Murphy have vocally advocated stricter gun control regulations since then.
Sunday’s shooting, in which police say a lone gunman positioned on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino opened fire on the crowd at an outdoor country music festival, is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. In addition to the dozens killed, at least 400 people were injured.
“It has been barely a year since what was previously the largest mass shooting in American history – the deadly attack at Pulse nightclub,” Blumenthal said. “In the interim, thousands more have been lost to the daily, ruthless toll of gun violence. Still, Congress refuses to act. I am more than frustrated, I am furious.”
In his statement, Murphy noted that large-scale mass shootings happen with an alarming degree of regularity.
“Last night's massacre may go down as the deadliest in our nation's history, but already this year there have been more mass shootings than days in the year,” he said, referring to the number of incidents in which at least four people were injured or killed by gunfire.
Although many lawmakers and political leaders from both parties have already offered their thoughts and prayers for the victims in Las Vegas, Murphy called those sentiments “cruelly hollow” if do not actually do something about it.
“This must stop. 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,” he said. “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."
Following the Pulse shooting last June, Murphy held the Senate floor for 15 hours to demand gun control legislation.