- Action Alert
- Gun Violence
The Failure to Act on Gun Violence
The mass shooting in Las Vegas is a national tragedy. It also brutally lays bare our elected officials’ failure to act on gun violence.
Again. In a massacre last night in Las Vegas, a person with guns killed at least 58 people and injured more than 500 people. On the 274th day of 2017, it was the 273rd mass shooting in the U.S. this year, and one of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history.1
But while the scale of this shooting was unprecedented, the fact that it happened was not. Gun deaths have become absurdly routine in this country; nearly 100 people are killed by people with guns every day.2 In addition to almost-daily mass shootings, thousands more people are killed by guns one by one. Gun violence in the U.S. is so common that it rarely makes the news. I am baffled and appalled at how, as a nation, we have seemingly accepted that ordinary activities – going to a concert, a nightclub, a school – carry the risk of violent death.
Our elected officials have abdicated their responsibility to enact policies to keep us safe. In the wake of previous mass shootings, Congress has debated – and done nothing to stop these kinds of tragedies from happening again. We must not allow politics to once again prevent common sense, responsible legislation. Congress must act.
Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said that there was no way to prevent this massacre because the shooter was unknown to them3 – but that’s not quite the whole story. Military style weapons made this act of domestic terrorism possible, letting the shooter kill dozens of people in just minutes. Easy access to guns will continue to make it horrifyingly easy to escalate fear, hatred, and rage into slaughter. No matter the shooter’s motives, gun violence prevention must be part of the conversation.4
Gun violence prevention isn’t about partisanship or politics. It’s about keeping people alive. Every single member of Congress needs to hear that message. Call your members of Congress and tell them to take action.
We are holding in the Light the victims, their families, and their communities. We are holding in the Light the emergency and medical personnel who continue to work to save lives. And we are holding in the Light our country, as we confront this latest demonstration of the epidemic of gun violence that plagues our society.
- Report: U.S. averages nearly one mass shooting per day so far in 2017 (CBS News) — Note: U.S. massacres of Native Americans killed far more than 58 people.
- Gun violence by the numbers (Everytown for Gun Safety)
- Las Vegas shooting: What we know (CNN)
- Motive doesn't matter: Las Vegas was a terror attack, and U.S. politicians are complicit (New Statesman)