Declaring that ‘enough is enough,’ Democrats in Congress on Monday called for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders in the House and Senate to move forward on ways to cut down on gun violence, arguing that there is now a never-ending cycle of mass killings followed by inaction on the part of elected leaders in Washington.
“Thoughts and prayers are good, but they are simply not enough,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on the Senate floor.
“Let’s stop the violence, let’s do something about it,” implored Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI).
“Americans are tired of living in fear that their community will be the next Newtown, Orlando, Aurora or Las Vegas,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), ticking off the sites of other mass shootings, which prompted a debate, but no change in federal gun laws.
At the White House, questions about gun policy on Monday were brushed aside, as premature.
“A motive has yet to be determined,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the Vegas shooter, adding that “today is a day for consoling the survivors.”
On Capitol Hill, many Republicans echoed that assessment.
“What we witnessed last night was a tragedy without precedent,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
“I feel very, very deeply sad and sorry,” said Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV).
While Democrats don’t have the votes to do much of anything about new gun restrictions, a number of them in Congress have become more and more outspoken about the issue, not wanting to just stay silent.
“I will not be joining my colleagues in a moment of silence on the House Floor that just becomes an excuse for inaction,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA).
“When loved ones, friends or neighbors die of cancer, we vow to eradicate cancer,” said Rep. Ted Deustch (D-FL). “Today we must vow to eradicate gun violence. And mean it.”
In the House, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi renewed a call – which she has made after other incidents of gun violence – for Congress to look at ways to stop gun violence.
“I urge you to create a Select Committee on Gun Violence to study and report back common sense legislation to help end this crisis,” Pelosi wrote.
While that will certainly garner the support of many Democrats, there has been no expectation that Republican leaders in Congress would pick up on such a suggestion, leaving the matter in a familiar and frustrating position for Democrats.
“We must act so that we do not become numb to this preventable carnage,” said Markey.
But the numbers have not been in favor of gun control for some time in Congress, dating back to a 1994 vote to approve an assault weapons ban, which played a role in Democrats losing control of Congress in that mid-term election.
Since then, the edge has been with those who support gun rights, no matter the party that has controlled Congress or the White House.