Watch Senator Rosen’s Speech HERE
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) spoke on the Senate floor to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the 1 October shooting, the deadliest mass shooting in American history, and honor the lives lost as a result of the worst.
During her time in the Senate, Senator Rosen has been a staunch advocate for taking action to reduce gun violence. She recently helped pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which enhances background checks on firearm purchases for individuals under 21, funds the implementation of red flag laws, combats firearms trafficking, and makes historic investments in school safety and mental health programs.
Read Senator Rosen’s Full Remarks Below:
I rise today to honor the memories of the lives we lost and all who were injured or impacted in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017.
Five years ago, Nevada experienced tragedy on an unprecedented scale.
In just ten minutes, ten minutes, fifty-eight innocent lives were taken, hundreds of people were injured by gunfire, and hundreds more were injured in the chaos that followed.
Sadly, in the years since, two more victims of that night’s attack died because of injuries they received during that shooting; bringing the death toll to sixty.
During the attack, scores of heroic first responders – police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and others – arrived at the scene in an attempt to neutralize the threat and provide aid to victims. Then hundreds of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, well they worked nonstop to save the lives of those on the scene.
That day, the attack on the Route 91 Harvest festival, became the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Let me repeat that – the deadliest mass shooting in American History.
And to this day sadly – even with all of the mass shootings we have endured over the past few years since then – One October still remains the single deadliest mass shooting in American history.
And all it took, all it took, was just ten minutes, ten minutes, [for] dozens of lives to be cut short, hundreds more injured and traumatized, with emotional and physical scars they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
These were our friends. These were our neighbors. For some, they were their family.
And now there are sixty families that will never be the same; sixty families that will forever have an empty chair every night at their kitchen table.
One October changed our community and the history of our state forever. It left a hole that can never be filled.
We are united in our grief for those we lost, and also in our gratitude and admiration for the heroes that day who worked to rescue and aid those in danger.
This dark day put on full display the tight-knit community of southern Nevada that we all know and love.
We came together to celebrate and thank the heroism of those who helped – our law enforcement officers, our first responders, our medical professionals, and so many everyday people – they ran towards danger, they ran towards danger to help get people to safety.
Hundreds lined up for blocks to donate blood; they offered their cars for people who were displaced by the chaos.
Our community, well it rallied together not just in the immediate aftermath, but in the days, weeks, and months, and now, years after.
And I know why. Because we are Vegas Strong. We are Nevada strong.
And today, as we reflect on the five-year anniversary since this horrific event, I stand here to honor the sixty individuals who lost their lives; the hundreds of survivors; and all of those, all of those who experienced that traumatic event.
I stand here today to honor the heroes – our first responders, our community members – those who risked their lives to help others.
In Nevada, the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center that supports those affected by the One October tragedy have launched a wide array of efforts to help people heal from, and cope with, the trauma, and take action to honor the victims…
One of the projects the Resiliency Center’s organizing on this fifth anniversary is creating lanterns… this lantern is going to serve as a sign of solidarity and respect for victims, survivors, and responders to this tragic shooting as it lights up the night with hope.
Because the lanterns are a symbol, representing the fact that out of the darkness of that night came the strongest light, shining on the countless examples of heroism – big and small – displayed by Nevadans.
But as we remember this fifth anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves to action.
In the nearly five years since One October, the epidemic of gun violence has impacted even more communities, and broke more families’ hearts all across our great nation.
And finally, after the recent mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas Congress was able to finally come together and act.
We passed the most significant gun safety legislation in almost thirty years.
This was a breakthrough, and we know it will help save lives by keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
But it cannot be the endpoint.
We can and we must do more to prevent these shootings. And I know we can do this while also respecting people’s constitutional rights.
We can take common sense, bipartisan actions like permanently banning bump stocks [and] high capacity magazines — which allowed the shooter on One October to fire so many rounds and cause so much carnage.
Bump stocks, in particular, are modifications that only make guns more deadly.
The previous administration took regulatory action to address this issue, but the move to ban bump stocks now faces a wave of troubling legal challenges that threaten to reverse that progress.
That’s why I call on this chamber to finally pass legislation that will permanently ban bump stocks – permanently ban bump stocks and cut off access to these deadly and unnecessary weapons devices.
Remember – remember this – with these devices, a shooter can fire hundreds of rounds to end or damage lives in mere minutes. One October – just ten minutes.
Inaction is not an option. We owe it to those who have experienced the pain of gun violence to do more; we owe it to future generations to keep up our efforts.
At the end of the day, this is all about keeping communities safe. We must continue working to prevent more tragedies like the one that brought so much heartbreak to my hometown.
And, Mr. President, I ask all of my colleagues in this chamber to remember and honor the memory of the sixty victims of One October as we mark this five-year anniversary.