Watch Senator Rosen’s Speech HERE.
WASHINGTON, DC – During a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) commemorated the tragic October 1, 2017 mass shooting, the deadliest in American history. In her remarks, Senator Rosen honored the victims and survivors of that tragic day, expressed her gratitude to the heroic first responders, and urged Congress to take further action to prevent gun violence.
Senator Rosen has been a leader in the fight against gun violence. Earlier this year, she helped introduce the Resources for Victims of Gun Violence Act to provide all victims of gun violence and their loved ones with the resources to help meet medical, legal, financial, and other needs. Rosen also recently helped introduce the Background Check Expansion Act to expand federal background checks to all commercial gun sales, including those made online and at gun shows. Last year, Senator Rosen helped pass the historic Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to enhance background checks on firearm purchases for individuals under 21, fund the implementation of red flag laws, combat firearms trafficking, and invest in school safety and mental health programs.
Watch Senator Rosen’s full remarks here.
Below are Senator Rosen’s floor remarks as delivered:
It’s been nearly six years since my hometown of Las Vegas experienced an unimaginable tragedy – an attack that ripped families apart, destroyed lives, and left its mark on our state forever.
During any given weekend, our city, well we’re just buzzing with tourists and visitors from all across the country and all around the world.
On the night of October 1, 2017, tens of thousands of people came to attend a music festival.
But that night – that night would be different – a night that would forever change our city.
Because that night, a gunman opened fire on the crowd of concert goers.
In just ten minutes – ten minutes – 58 innocent people were struck down, hundreds of others were injured by gunfire, and hundreds more were hurt in the chaos that followed.
In the years since, we’ve lost more individuals as a result of this tragedy – the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
So, just think about what that means, Madam President. It means families who will forever have an empty chair at their kitchen table. Families who will relive this horrific night each and every year.
Families who didn’t get to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and families who never got to say goodbye to their loved ones.
That night also changed the lives of everyone [there] – people who were attending, or working at the festival, and first responders, well they ran towards the danger.
The full extent of the damage caused by this brutal attack, it can never be truly measured.
But in this dark moment, we saw our community go above and beyond to help others.
Las Vegas, actually our entire state – we rallied together not just in the immediate aftermath but in the days, weeks, months, and even years after.
In the chaos and confusion of that night, our heroic first responders – police officers, firefighters, paramedics – they ran into the scene to help.
And their efforts that night saved lives.
And in the following days, we saw lines of people, lines of people around entire blocks willing to donate blood…wanting to donate blood.
And one story really sticks out to me: I remember speaking to a woman waiting to give blood in line.
And when I went up to talk to her, she lifted up her arms like this to me, and she had tears in her eyes, and she said, “I don’t have much, but I have my blood to give. This is what I can give.”
I remember her face to this day – it stays with me. And this kind of selflessness, this really embodies the incredible spirit of our community. And that woman’s donation, and the stories that she’ll tell, and me meeting her has left an indelible imprint on me.
And so, we come together to mourn those we lost and to support those who survived.
This horrible moment showed the country why we’re Vegas Strong.
And I’m here today to honor the memories of those who were impacted by that terrible night. So, as we remember and reflect on this event, we must also commit ourselves to action.
And in the years since, we have made some progress. After decades of inaction, Democrats and Republicans in Congress came together to pass the most significant gun safety legislation in almost 30 years. This bipartisan law is making a difference. But we can, and we must, do more to stop mass shootings.
No community…no community should ever have to experience the same pain and suffering that we went through in Las Vegas.
So, we can take common sense, bipartisan steps like permanently banning bump stocks and high capacity magazines — these things allowed the shooter to fire so many rounds and cause so much carnage.
Doing nothing…it is not an option. We owe it to those who have experienced the pain of gun violence to do more, and we owe it to future generations to do more.
And at the end of the day, what this really is about, it’s about keeping people and communities safe. It’s about people and communities – keeping them safe – keeping us safe.
And we must keep working to prevent these tragedies.
And, Madam President, as we approach the six-year mark since this horrific shooting, I ask all of my colleagues in this chamber to remember and honor the victims of October One – their lives, their legacy, and their families.