Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and several Senate Democrats have urged Congress to legislate gun control measures following the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
On Oct. 1, 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock of Nevada killed 58 people and injured at least 515 others during a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip. Paddock fired into the crowd nonstop from the 32nd floor of a hotel before taking his own life. Law enforcement disclosed that the attacker had roughly 10 firearms in his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, The Associated Press reports.
Eric Paddock, the suspect's brother, told reporters that Stephen never exhibited any violent tendencies before carrying out the act.
"He was my brother and it's like an asteroid fell out of the sky," Eric said from his home in Florida, according to CNN.
On Oct. 2, Sanders expressed condolences to the victims of the mass shooting and asserted there needs to be a policy change to prevent another high-fatality attack.
"Last night's attack is the deadliest mass shooting in our country's modern history, and this year there have been more mass shootings than days in the year," Sanders said, according to The Hill. "In light of the terrible tragedy in Las Vegas and mass shootings across the country, it should be clear to all that we have got to do everything we can to stop guns from falling into the hands of people who should not have them."
The Vermont senator concluded: "It is long past time for Congress to take action on gun safety to save innocent lives."
As of Aug. 29, the Gun Violence Archive had recorded 244 mass shootings across the U.S. in 2017. That date marked the 240th day in the 2017 calendar year, according to Newsweek.
Several congressional Democrats joined Sanders in calling for stricter gun controls, Axios reports.
"This senseless violence must end -- thoughts and prayers are simply not enough," Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York tweeted. "We must act to prevent this from happening again."
"Thinking of everyone in [Las Vegas], and praying Congress will have the courage to do more than stand in silence to commemorate them," tweeted Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who became a vocal advocate for stricter gun laws following the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012, released a statement blasting current gun policy and the National Rifle Association.
"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," Murphy said. "There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with legislative indifference. It's time for Congress to get off its a*s and do something."