Mere hours after a gunman rained fire onto a concert across the Las Vegas Strip, some Democrats were quick to cast blame on the nation’s gun laws. The pivot is a continuation of similar statements following the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016, as our colleague Amber Phillips explains here.
Sen. Chris Murphy D
It's time for Congress to get off its a-- and do something. ... To my colleagues: Your cowardice to act cannot be whitewashed by thoughts and prayers.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren D
Thoughts and prayers are NOT enough. Not when more moms and dads will bury kids this week, and more sons and daughters will grow up without parents.
Sen. Kamala Harris D
Oct. 2, 1 p.m.
Another moment of silence won’t suffice. Ninety Americans are killed, on average, every day by guns. We cannot simply throw up our hands or continue to justify the presence of weapons of war whose primary purpose is to kill the largest number of human beings in the shortest amount of time possible.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer D
New York senator and Senate minority leader
How did this monster acquire the arsenal he used to rain down death on a crowd of innocents? Were those guns purchased legally? ... What Congress must do is pass laws that keep our citizens safe.
Other Democrats, including those who represent Nevada in Congress, were more reserved, omitting talk of gun laws immediately following the attack. Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto raised gun control in an interview with CNN on Oct. 3.
Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto D
Praying for all those affected by this senseless tragedy. Thank you to all the first responders. I will continue to monitor the situation.
Oct. 3, 1:25 p.m.
[Speaking about gun control on CNN:] We need to have this discussion. And now I get to be a part of that disussion.
Meanwhile, Republicans nearly universally stayed within the traditional talking point of offering thoughts and prayers. Some responses from notable Republicans:
Donald Trump R
President of the United States
Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one ... We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss.
Mitch McConnell R
Kentucky senator and Senate majority leader
The news we awoke to this morning was heartbreaking. What happened in Las Vegas is shocking, it’s tragic, and — for those affected and their families — it’s devastating. It’s hard to even imagine their pain. I hope they will know that we are all praying for them now.
Sen. Tom Cotton R
Deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless shooting in Las Vegas. My thoughts and prayers are with all victims and their families.
Statements compiled by Kevin Uhrmacher. Additional work by Denise Lu.
About this story
Statements gathered from staff reports, press releases and social media accounts of lawmakers.
Originally published Oct. 2, 2017.
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