In the immediate aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Democratic lawmakers immediately called for gun control measures, not just “thoughts and prayers.”
Congressional Democrats didn't just accuse their Republican counterparts of inaction but also blamed gun rights lobbies of making money off of the tragedy. They also demanded stricter gun laws, but considering the GOP’s love affair with firearms, they probably won’t get them anytime soon.
As for the Republicans, they sent their thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families — and apparently that was the last straw for Democrats.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) accused the Congress of “sitting on its a**.”
“I want my colleagues to understand the pain that comes when the victims of this kind of epidemic violence see nothing by silence from this body,” said the senator.
“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,” he added.
Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) walked out of the U.S. House of Representatives during a moment of silence to protest the inaction of Congress on gun violence.
"I can't adequately express my despair over the senseless terror and loss in Las Vegas," she tweeted.
“So-called leaders with the power to schedule a vote are too busy lining their pockets w/ gun lobby cash to notice the blood on their hands,” she later added.
So-called leaders with the power to schedule a vote are too busy lining their pockets w/ gun lobby cash to notice the blood on their hands. pic.twitter.com/DnjqLpGxVl— Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) October 2, 2017
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also said hollow sympathies were not enough.
Thoughts & prayers are NOT enough. Not when more moms & dads will bury kids this week, & more sons & daughters will grow up without parents.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) October 2, 2017
Former Vice President Joe Biden also said he was “appalled by the senseless loss of life.”
How long do we let gun violence tear families apart? Enough. Congress & the WH should act now to save lives. There's no excuse for inaction.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 2, 2017
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) called the Mandalay Bay casino shooting a “grim win” for the gun industry.
Breaking: At least 50 dead, more than 200 injured in Las Vegas shooting https://t.co/Z7KVdWNLDL— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 2, 2017
Former Marine Corps officer Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) also called the call for silence an “excuse for inaction.”
As after #Orlando, I will NOT be joining my colleagues in a moment of silence on the House Floor that just becomes an excuse for inaction.— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) October 2, 2017
Mark Kelly, retired astronaut and husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in 2011 and was critically injured, told reporters on Capitol Hill that messages of “thoughts and prayers” are not enough.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly call for stronger gun laws pic.twitter.com/El5GdwvvtO— Carbonated.TV (@CarbonatedTV) October 3, 2017
“Your thoughts and prayers aren’t going to stop the next shooting. Only action and leadership will do that,” Kelly said.
Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes also expressed his hopelessness at the situation.
The problem is that "enough" was many many years and many many brutal deaths ago. https://t.co/JKU9W2FlOY— Jim Himes (@jahimes) October 2, 2017
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) also said they would need to do more than pray to keep the American people safe.
My soul aches over Las Vegas. My prayers are with the victims. And my prayers are with our nation, may we resolve to do more stop such evil.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 2, 2017
Former Democrat vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) also said how Congress keeps allowing history to repeat itself.
We suffer these horrific events repeatedly and do nothing to stop them. We must do better.— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) October 2, 2017
The National Rifle Association has spent more than $3.5 million for current members of Congress since 1998. It has also remained silent in wake of the shooting in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Republicans are even now looking to deregulate gun silencers, legalize armor-piercing bullets for “sporting purposes” and open up concealed-carry permits across states.
This vicious cycle is repeated after every mass shooting in the United States since the Sandy Hook massacre took place. Even though the Democrats have been loudly crying about stricter gun control, they haven’t been able to make significant changes — and that’s because the American public is largely bipartisan and divided on gun control.
According to an August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, half of the respondents believe the government will go overboard in restricting their Second Amendment rights, while 45 percent said the government will not do enough to curb gun violence.
In the end, voters who care more about their gun rights are more successful in voting, volunteering and sponsoring politicians who support their views — which leads us to our current predicament.
Banner/Thumbnail credits: Reuters, Chris Wattie