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Gillibrand blasts Congress in wake of Las Vegas shootings

October 6, 2017
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Outdoors Writer ( , Lake Placid News

PAUL SMITHS - A sitting United States senator blasted her congressional colleagues Monday afternoon, Oct. 2, just hours after authorities announced that the death toll from a Las Vegas mass shooting had reached 58, with more than 500 injured.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, called on Congress to implement some gun control measures in the wake of the deadliest shooting in U.S. history. The gunman opened fire from a high floor in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas strip, shooting into a large crowd that had gathered to watch a concert.

"We're still learning the details of what happened, but this kind of violence, this kind of mass murder - one of the worst we've ever seen in our country - is yet another reminder of Congress's fundamental failure, Congress's refusal to do anything to address gun violence in this country," Gillibrand said at Paul Smith's College, where she was to introduce new invasive species legislation.

"It's another disturbing example of how Congress is really too cowardly and too weak to stand up to the gun industry."

In the wake of the shooting, which took place Sunday night, Gillibrand said "we cannot allow this to become the new normal. It's not good enough to send our thoughts and prayers."

In the hours after the shooting, the death toll seemed to rise with alarming speed, as did the number of wounded. Police in Las Vegas have said the shooter was found dead from a self-inflicted gun wound in his hotel room, which also contained at least 10 guns.

Reports indicate that the guns were purchased legally, but witnesses described and concertgoers' videos recorded bursts of gunfire that seemed to indicate automatic weapons.

"If that's the case, then we know it's a military-style weapon," Gillibrand said. "The kind of weapon that really should be reserved for combat, for war, for our trained men and women in the military who know how to use these guns.

"It really should not be legal for an American to walk into a store - a civilian - (and) buy these types of weapons."

Gillibrand railed at Congress for failing to pass gun control, noting that she was not anti-Second Amendment.

"We will always protect the Second Amendment, we will always protect the rights of hunters, but what we should not be doing is protecting gun manufacturers who are truly putting profits above people," she said. "These senseless mass shootings really have to end."



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