LAS VEGAS (CBS) — Representative Seth Moulton said he would not take part in a moment of silence in Congress for the mass shooting in Las Vegas because “that just becomes an excuse for inaction.”
At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded when a sole gunman opened fire on a music festival on the Las Vegas strip from a nearby hotel.
Moulton said this was the same decision he made after the Orlando nightclub shooting in June of 2016.
Instead, he said now was the time for action.
“We can respect the Second Amendment and still have common sense measures to prevent gun violence,” Moulton said to reporters on Monday.
Moulton plans to continue backing a bi-partisan gun bill that would prevent terrorists from buying guns, he explained.
“I think the main obstacle is Republican leadership in Congress who dont have the courage to do their jobs and stop listening to the NRA.”
He then addressed Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan directly, “How many innocent Americans have to die, Mr. Speaker before you simply do your job and allow a vote on these bills?”
According to Moulton, nine out of ten Americans support universal background checks on gun purchases and Congress should be able to put that to a vote.
He also pointed out that the state of Massachusetts can lead by example to show that stricter gun laws will decrease gun violence.
“The reality is that there are evil people out there, in the world and here in America. So we have to take common-sense measures to prevent violence from happening,” Moulton said.
Rep. Katherine Clark, who walked out of the moment of silence Monday night, said lawmakers who are lining their pockets with gun lobby cash have blood on their hands.
“America is strong enough to have a conversation about ending gun violence, and families deserve a debate and a vote on measures that could save lives,” Rep. Clark said in a statement.
“But unfortunately, it’s almost certain that there will be no vote. The so-called leaders with the power to schedule that vote are too busy lining their pockets with cash from the gun lobby to notice the blood on their hands.”
Many Massachusetts leaders have offered their condolences after the attack, which is now the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history.
Senator Elizabeth Warren also took to Twitter to say “thoughts & prayers are NOT enough.”