“Who thinks people would do something like this in America?” A statement from one of the Las Vegas concertgoers.
SHOOTER KILLS 59 & INJURES 527 PEOPLE (as of 10/3/2017)
The shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, unleashed a hail of bullets from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. The attacker was killed by police after sniper-style gunfire rained onto a country music festival
Police said more than 22,000 people were at the concert when Paddock began firing round after round, shooting from above into the concert area below leaving those on the ground as exposed targets.
WE ARE ALL TOUCHED BY GUN VIOLENCE. Make a difference JOIN CAGV — Stand Up. Speak Out. Resist!
CAN GRIEF LEAD TO CHANGE? We in Santa Barbara and the Coalition Against Gun Violence wish to extend our expressions of condolence to the families of the victims and people of Las Vegas. And at this moment we must also be aware that every parent who has lost a child or a family member to gun violence relives those wrenching moments of their loss for the rest of their lives. To the community of Las Vegas from the community of Santa Barbara, we understand your grief, your sorrow and pain. We have shared the loss of loved ones to gun violence and know the angst that remains.
Democrats quickly called for tighter gun laws after the Las Vegas shooting massacre, urging the GOP-controlled Congress to take action to prevent similar massacres. “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,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., in a statement. “The thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It’s time for Congress to do something.”
“If the Republican leadership of Congress and this President continue with their moral and intellectual abandon, California has and must continue to chart the path of rationality. I urge statehouses across the nation to look closely at the work we’ve accomplished here, through the legislature and the ballot box, and act.” — California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, in response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Police believe Paddock, a local resident, was a “lone wolf” attacker who was the sole shooter. Sheriff Lombardo did not give further details, however, on Paddock’s background and possible motivation, saying that police “have no idea what his belief system was.” “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath,” Sheriff Lombardo said during a later briefing. He also said that given the depiction of Paddock as a lone wolf, “I don’t know how this could have been prevented.”
Recordings of the attack suggested that Paddock used automatic weapons. Police believe Paddock smashed the window of his room with something similar to a hammer before he began firing at the people below. The gunman was found with more at least 23 rifles, some modified and large capacity ammunition devices Lombardo said. Paddock used bump-stock devices that converted semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons to fire continuously. He brought them all into the hotel himself, where he had booked 2 adjacent rooms.
Murder by gun has become a political issue because the NRA has successfully created and enforced that concept through intimidation. Congress is unable to pass the universal background checks and a ban on large ammunition clips that 90% of Americans want because politicians are intimidated by the NRA and not influenced by the river of tears that flow from the literally millions of Americans affected by gun violence. Voices crying out from Sandy Hook parents to Gabby Giffords for reasonable gun violence prevention laws in Congress have been silenced, buried by the millions spent by the NRA to continue manufacturing highly dangerous killing instruments.
ASK WHY? “Democrat-backed gun control measures like universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines have failed to gain traction.”
US Congressman Salud Carbajal responded: “Horrified by reports from #LasVegas that yet another mass shooting has claimed innocent lives. My thoughts are with those victims and their loved ones. Thank you to our first responders and medical teams, who bravely put themselves in harm’s way to save lives in the wake of this tragedy.
“While we grieve, we must also realize that offering only words and thoughts is not enough. Our nation is facing an unprecedented gun violence epidemic and Congress must take action to implement commonsense safety measures.”
Those of us who are working to find ways to reduce gun violence and help save lives know that it is not enough to grieve and offer prayers for stricken families. This is a public health and safety crisis for each of us and we must take a stand because: WE ARE ALL TOUCHED BY GUN VIOLENCE. Make a difference JOIN CAGV — Stand up, Speak Out and Resist!
Toni Wellen, CAGV Chair.