Tragedy In Las Vegas: Prayers Aren't Enough
By: Kayla Pasacreta
Sunday night on the Las Vegas Strip, 64-year old Stephen Paddock unloaded fire on attendees of a country music concert. The result was heartbreaking - over 515 injured and 58 people confirmed dead, making history as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. This act of terrorism is absolutely heart wrenching - but lawmakers offering prayers simply isn't enough.
Donald Trump offered his condolences on Twitter, as did Republican lawmakers like Paul Ryan. White house Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the series of events a tragedy. What do their responses have in common? Though they offered their condolences (and didn't call out the shooter for what he is, a terrorist) they have yet to offer up any preventative action. Why, you ask? They're too closely affiliated with the National Rifle Association (NRA).
As uncomfortable or inappropriate it may seem to discuss the need for gun control right after these events happen, we must continue the conversation. Quite frankly, I don't know what it will take for Republican lawmakers to cut their affiliation and loyalty to the NRA and get serious about keeping machine guns out of the hands of every day citizens. After the Sandy Hook massacre, when the lives of twenty children were taken by gun violence, Republicans in Congress did nothing. If an event like that can't shake the conscience of Republican lawmakers, I don't know what will.
Per the Huffington Post, Democratic Connecticut senator Chris Murphy expressed his frustration with Congress' inaction when it comes to gun control,
“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.
— SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY
Senator Murphy isn't the only one calling out Congress. Nelba Márquez Green, mother of a child who died in Sandy Hook, took to Twitter to condemn Congress for not doing more to make stricter gun control laws.
This country can simply not afford to keep holding off gun legislation. I urge you to hold lawmakers who accept large donations from the NRA accountable. We offer up our prayers for the victims of senseless gun violence, as well as lead the fight to advocate for stricter gun control laws.