PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Officials across Pennsylvania are offering their condolences to the victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas.
A heavily-armed man opened fire on a crowd of people enjoying a country music concert Sunday night. In all, at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded.
Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf said he was devastated by the news of the shooting.
“Frances and I are praying for the victims, their families and all those in Nevada who awoke to sadness and fear that few can fathom. Reports suggest this was a lone actor, but state and local law enforcement are monitoring the situation out of an abundance of caution.
“Each time – too often lately – when I learn of a mass causality incident like the shooting in Las Vegas, I’m reminded of the words of a great Pennsylvanian, Fred Rogers, who said “Look for the helpers.”
“Last night in Nevada, concertgoers experienced pure evil. Yet, despite the unimaginable terror and horror, we saw so many helpers. Police officers, some off-duty, who ran towards the shooter. Victims who stayed with the injured amid gunfire to try to keep them alive. Ordinary citizens who helped victims find shelter or get medical help by driving strangers to the hospital.
“Today, let us all seek the strength of these helpers who put others before themselves. We must continue to work to reduce violence and seek ways to better keep our citizens, community gatherings, and first responders safe.”
Sen. Bob Casey also offered prayers to the victims and took this opportunity to stress the importance of taking action to curb gun violence.
“While we pray for the victims of this horrific attack and their families, it is not sufficient to just offer thoughts and prayers. The nation’s security continues to be at risk because Congress refuses to take real, meaningful action to curb gun violence. Congress must engage in a robust debate about commonsense ways to keep guns, particularly military-style weapons, out of the wrong hands. Congress should take up and vote on legislation to ban military-style weapons, limit the size and capacity of magazines, which contribute to deadly mass shootings, and put in place universal background checks. If Congress continues to fail its most basic obligation to keep America safe, then these mass shootings will continue to occur.”
Pennsylvania Officials Offer Condolences To Las Vegas Mass Shooting Victims —
Declaring gun control a pro-life issue, Catholic Bishop David Zubik in the Diocese of Pittsburgh called on lawmakers to enact common sense laws to prevent the senseless loss of life as in Las Vegas.
Zubik also offered his prayers to the victims and their loved ones.
“My heart and my prayers go out to the victims of the Las Vegas massacre and their loved ones. We should all be grateful for the courageous actions of the Las Vegas police. But we must also look beyond this tragedy to broader patterns that allowed it to happen. While little is yet known about motive, this shows that gun control is a pro-life issue.
As I stated in June 2016, following shootings in Orlando, South Carolina and Wilkinsburg:
Jesus is weeping with us and for us.”
From France, Zubik wrote in a statement, “It is important that our government require background checks for all gun purchases, limit civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines, make gun trafficking a federal crime, and ensure that those on ‘no-fly’ list cannot buy guns.”
But most lawmakers are skeptical this Congress will do anything even in the wake of the nation’s largest mass shooting.
“You know, Jon, I don’t know what it takes for us to even have a discussion about this,” U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday.
Doyle, a Forest Hills Democrat, has an F-rating from the National Rifle Association.
Doyle said military assault weapons should not have been accessible to the killer or any civilian.
“So the question is, why are those kinds of weapons permitted in civilian hands?” he said.
U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, who has an A-rating from the NRA, said the laws on these weapons are already tough, and it’s too early to speculate.
“I suspect that with very, very strict laws, we’ll be finding out, did he have these guns legally? Did he purchase them on some black market? What else happened here? We don’t know, so we can’t comment on the laws yet,” he said.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, has opposed any ban on assault weapons, but he does support tougher background checks and closing the no-fly terrorist loophole.
In Philadelphia, a somber Casey, a Democrat, said banning military-style weapons would help.
“If we have some legislation in place, it will reduce the likelihood. I hope we can move in that direction,” he said.
But nobody is predicting congressional action.