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Schumer: Congress must 'pass laws to keep our citizens safe' after Vegas
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday that while the nation is still recovering from the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Congress must pass legislation to prevent similar incidents.
"We cannot banish evil in the earth. Congress can't do that; the president can't do that. What Congress can do, what Congress must do, is pass laws to keep our citizens safe," Schumer said from the Senate floor.
Schumer didn't advocate for a specific gun control or background check bill but said necessary action "starts with laws that help prevent guns, especially the most dangerous guns, from falling into the wrong hands."
At least 59 people were killed, and more than 520 injured, during a shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
Schumer said the shooting has sparked "horror, sadness and rage" as well as a flurry of questions about the shooter, including his personal history and the weapons used.
"How did this monster acquire the arsenal he used to rain down death on a crowd of innocents? Were those guns purchased and compiled illegally?" Schumer asked. "Some [questions] will have answers, and we'll have to reckon with the fact that this man was able to assemble an arsenal of military-grade weapons."
Democrats are using the shooting to renew their push for broader background check and tougher gun control bills, which are unlikely to advance in the GOP-controlled Congress.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is asking Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to establish a select committee on gun violence.
Schumer added on Monday that the first step is to "bind up this new national wound" and then turn to determine how the shooting was able to be carried out.
"We will ferret out the facts based on the reality we will confront; we must confront deeply troubling issues that are raised by this atrocity," he said.
The alleged gunman, Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, which is situated southwest of the concert site. But authorities have not yet announced a motive for the the 64-year-old, who police said was found dead in his hotel room.