WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Members of Congress reacted and responded Monday to the deadly shooting in Las Vegas. Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was a victim of gun violence herself, had a call to action.
The news of the massacre at a country concert Sunday night brought a somber tone to the nation’s capital.
“Today our thoughts are with all of those folks who have lost family, loved ones, and friends whose lives will never be the same,” said Orrin Hatch (UT-R).
“I hope they know we are praying for them now. I hope they will find strength in the love and kindness in those around them,” said Mitch McConnell (KY-R).
While Democrats, too, offered their condolences, some had another message as well.
“We can do more than lower the flag to half-mast. We can take a stand against gun violence by passing common-sense gun safety laws,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (HI-D).
Gabby Giffords, a survivor of a gun attack in Arizona, and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, have become passionate advocates of gun control.
“The nation’s counting on you,” Giffords said to a crowd outside the Capitol.
She and Kelly say Congress is moving in the wrong direction.
“We send our thoughts and prayers, too, but they are not enough. Your thoughts and prayers aren’t going to stop the next shooting,” Kelly said.
He asked for legislation requiring universal background checks and criticized a bill introduced in the House that would make it easier to get gun silencers.
Some criticize Democrats for talking gun control so soon after a national tragedy.
“You know, if not now, when?” Kelly said.