Senator Murphy Tells Congress to ‘Get Off Its Ass’ After Las Vegas Shooting

"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," Sen. Chris Murphy says

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy has some harsh words for his colleagues in Congress after the shooting in Las Vegas and says it's "time for Congress to get off its ass and do something."

Murphy and other Connecticut elected officials have been fighting for stricter gun control laws in the years since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and they are again calling for something to be done after 58 people were killed and more than 500 others were wounded at a country music festival in Las Vegas overnight. 

"Not again," Murphy tweeted, saying his heart is with Las Vegas and that he is sending prayers to the victims.

"My heart goes out to the victims, their families, the first responders, and the entire Las Vegas community," Murphy said in a statement. "Nowhere but America do horrific large-scale mass shootings happen with this 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.

“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. 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," Murphy said.

Gov. Dannel Malloy held a news conference on Monday afternoon and said he is anxious to see how the shooter obtained so many weapons.

"What we need in the nation is a universal background check," Malloy said. "And where those guns can last be traced to."

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal tweeted that his heart breaks for Las Vegas and the nation's conscience must be galvanized.

“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 a statement. "My heart breaks for Las Vegas: the victims, their families, their friends, and their entire community. It has been barely a year since what was previously the largest mass shooting in American history – the deadly attack at Pulse nightclub. 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.”

Twenty-six people, including 20 first graders, were killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 and there have been several mass shootings since.

Twelve people were killed and eight were injured in a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16, 2013; nine people were killed at a prayer meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 18, 2015; 14 people were killed and 22 were wounded at a meeting of San Bernadino County employees in California on Dec. 2, 2015; and 49 people were killed and 53 wounded in a shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016.

With 58 dead and more than 500 hospitalized, the shooting in Las Vegas would become the largest mass shooting in the United States.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a Connecticut-based grass-roots gun rights organization, released a statement.

"CCDL sympathizes with victims and families of this horrible mass murder in Las Vegas. We are eager for answers about what motivated this mass murderer and other questions about him as well," the organization said in a statement. "We would like to acknowledge the speedy response of law enforcement and their efforts to put an end to the incident as quickly as possible."   

 “I can understand the feelings and sentiments of a lot of people. I think we need more answers as far as the firearms used and his motives. One thing we don’t want to see is, gun control proponents are out there right now calling for knee-jerk legislation,” Scott Wilson, President of CCCDL, said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes tweeted that "once again" he's devastated by the carnage in Nevada. 

“The carnage does not end. The shooting in Las Vegas appears to be the worst in American history.  The families destroyed, lives disrupted and violence rained down on a peaceful music festival are the stuff of nightmares. As always, I am immensely grateful to the first responders who mitigated the loss of life and rushed into harm’s way,” Himes said in a statement. 

“Once again, Congress will retreat into grief and silence. After the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year, I excoriated Congress for its continued inaction in the face of endless bloodshed – not only mass shootings, but the ceaseless gun violence that butchers tens of thousands of Americans each year. I refused to stand in silence doing nothing while my fellow countrymen were being slaughtered,” Himes wrote. 

Almost five years have passed since the shooting in Newtown and Himes said Congress has done nothing.

“Until we face down the gun lobby and have the spine to take the steps necessary to protect our families, there is blood on our hands and this tragic, terrible story will play out again and again and again and again …,” Himes wrote.

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro called the Las Vegas shooting "horrific in its scale and senseless."

“The attack overnight in Las Vegas— the largest mass shooting in our nation’s history — is horrific in its scale and senselessness. My thoughts and prayers are with the hundreds of victims injured and killed, their families, and the community as they grieve following this tragedy," DeLauro said in a statement. 

“The frequency of these awful events—Newtown, Aurora, Orlando, Las Vegas, and the list unfortunately goes on—is striking and must be met with immediate action. Gun violence has taken far too many American lives from us too soon. Commonsense reforms such as banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring a background check for every commercial gun sale, and supporting federal research into the causes of gun violence, can help save lives. I urge Speaker Ryan to immediately allow Congress to take up these and other measures to prevent gun violence.  We owe it to the victims and their families to do everything we can to prevent these atrocities from occurring again and again.”

On Monday afternoon, Malloy released a statement expressing his heartbreak and said Connecticut stands with the victims.

“Our hearts are breaking for the Las Vegas community. This morning, our nation woke up to yet another senseless tragedy - one that we have seen repeated far too many times. While we do not know all the details of what took place in Las Vegas - we are incredibly grateful to the first responders and the everyday citizens who bravely risked their lives to save others," Malloy said. "We send our sincerest condolences to those who have lost loved ones and we pray for the recovery of the survivors. To all those impacted by last night’s shooting - Connecticut stands with you. “

President Donald Trump has directed that flags be lowered to honor the victims and Malloy said both state and United States flags will be lowered until sunset Friday in according with the president's proclamation.

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said Connecticut joins the country in mourning those who were killed and commended the first responders and everyone whose actions saved lives.  

“We join the country in mourning the citizens who were killed in Las Vegas last night. Our thoughts are with the injured, and with the families who were plunged into the horror of waiting for news on their loved ones," Wyman said in a statement. "I want to commend the first responders and other citizens who acted with bravery and courage despite the terrible events. Their actions saved lives and we thank them for what they did to protect residents.”

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