On Sunday night, a lone gunman — 64-year-old Stephen Paddock — opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing at least 58 people and leaving hundreds more wounded. The incident is the deadliest mass shooting in American history, taking that descriptor away from the 2016 incident at Orlando, Florida’s Pulse nightclub.
Sen. Chris Murphy, like many other Americans, is not interested in the “thoughts and prayers” of Republican politicians following this tragedy. Murphy — who represented Newtown, Connecticut, when the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School took place — released a biting statement following the incident, demanding that Congress “get off its ass” and do something to keep this sort of thing from happening again.
‘Nowhere but America do horrific large-scale mass shootings happen with this degree of regularity…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… It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.’
Indeed; as Murphy describes in his statement, the United States doesn’t just lag behind the rest of the Western world in key areas like providing health care to its citizens; the U.S. also lags behind the West in our glaring lack of common sense gun control. As a result of this lack of gun control, Murphy notes in his statement, “[A]lready this year there have been more mass shootings than days in the year.”
Among the possible courses of action are ramped up background checks for prospective gun owners and restrictions on high powered automatic weapons such as those used by Paddock in the Las Vegas attack. Sen. Murphy — as he seems to be aware of — is one of the few in Congress willing to take a stand against the pro-gun lobby and demand common sense gun control.
The divide between those willing to do something and those unwilling to do something is exacerbated by the fact that Republicans are presently in control of Congress. Although a number of Senate Republicans have proven themselves willing to break with the president on key issues, the same can not be said of House Republicans.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, with the Islamic State terror group having claimed responsibility for the incident early Monday, claiming that the attacker had recently converted to Islam.
Sen. Murphy’s lengthier statement posted to his website followed a short statement posted to Twitter.
On Twitter, the Senator wrote:
‘Not again. My heart is with Las Vegas this morning. Sending prayers to the victims and their families.’
Check out a selection of Twitter’s response to the Senator below.
Featured Image via Zach Gibson / Stringer/ Getty Images