Schumer Floor Remarks on the Mass Shooting in Las Vegas

October 2, 2017

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer delivered remarks on the Senate Floor regarding the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. Below are his remarks:

Mr. President. First let me thank my friend from Hawaii for his words. I will have a statement for the record on Mr. Pai. I will not give it today because of the horrible situation in Las Vegas which I want to speak about. But I agree with his vote. I’m voting no on Mr. Pai. 

Well, Mr. President, there are precious few words for days like this.

Last night, at a concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of 22,000, killing at least 58 and sending hundreds more to the hospital. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the history of our country.

Our collective hearts, so hardened now by the absurd frequency of these mass shootings, are broken once again. We mourn with the families of the fallen, we pray with the families of the wounded, and we have the deepest gratitude for every first responder, cop, and firefighter who rushed to the scene. Their heroism in this moment of national tragedy is an inspiration.

But today, we are filled with shock and horror, sadness and rage. 

This horrific massacre was perpetrated by an American on his fellow Americans – and the visitors from every corner of the world who are the very lifeblood of Las Vegas. 

And we are left with many questions whose answers we will be seeking in the coming days and weeks.

How did this monster acquire the arsenal he used to rain down death on a crowd of innocents?  Were those guns purchased and compiled legally?

What was this person’s perverted motive? Was there any history of mental health issues?

What circumstances could lead a man to commit such violence upon his fellow human beings, complete strangers? What twisted reasoning? What demented logic? What madness.

There is much more that we don’t know than what we do know. Some of the questions we have today won’t have clear answers; others are perhaps beyond our fathoming. But some will have answers. And we will have to reckon with the fact that this man was able to assemble an arsenal of military-grade weapons.

As much as we might hope to, we cannot banish evil from the earth. Congress can’t do that. Presidents can’t do that. What Congress can do; what Congress must do; is pass laws that keep our citizens safe. And that starts with laws that help prevent guns, especially the most dangerous guns, from falling into the wrong hands.

We will take care of the injured – in their bodies and their hearts – and nurse them back to health. We will mourn those lost with all our collective love and support. We will bind up this new national wound.

And then we will aggressively ferret out the facts. And based on that reality, we will confront, we must confront, the deeply troubling issues that are raised by this atrocity.

Now before I yield the floor, Mr. President, our friends and relatives and fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands should know that even while we mourn and process the incomprehensible events in Las Vegas, we remain laser-focused on the needs of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and will continue our advocacy for a more comprehensive, more sure-footed, and better coordinated response to their crisis.