Congresswoman Chellie Pingree released the following statement on the mass shooting in Las Vegas that has claimed 58 lives and injured more than 500.
Today, America woke to the deadliest mass shooting in modern history. The fear, sadness, and heartbreak felt in Las Vegas reverberates in our communities and leaves us wondering how we could allow this to happen once again. The 58 dead and more than 500 injured deserve more than our sympathies and sentiments—they deserve to know their lives and losses prevented another tragedy.
Last June, in the wake of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, House Democrats demanded action on common-sense gun legislation. I sat with my Democratic colleagues on the floor of the U.S. House and said no one else should die at the hands of a reckless gunman because of Congressional inaction. Republicans blocked our effort and never allowed for debate on the bill. More than a year later, the nation is reeling from the most devastating mass shooting in modern history with no sign of a safer tomorrow.
Four out of five Americans support universal background checks, so why won't Congress listen to their constituents and pass a bill to prevent weapons from getting into the hands of irresponsible gun owners once again? Recently, House Republicans have pushed to take up bills that would reduce restrictions on silencers and allow greater access to armor piercing bullets. Not only are these bills completely out-of-touch, they would make it more difficult to know where gunshots are being fired and put law enforcement officers in danger.
Enough is enough.
Unless Congress stands on the side of public safety to pass common-sense gun legislation now, what happened in Las Vegas today could happen anywhere in America tomorrow. I urge Speaker Ryan to allow a vote on legislation that would help prevent future mass shootings immediately.