Las Vegas shooting: Congress reacts to massacre

Last Updated Oct 2, 2017 12:10 PM EDT

Members of Congress began reacting Monday to the shooting massacre at a country music festival in Las Vegas that has left at least 59 people dead and more than 500 people wounded.

Republican lawmakers offered their prayers for victims and their families and thanked first responders in written statements and on Twitter. Meanwhile, as they have so many times in the past, Democrats are demanding that Congress take action to try to prevent gun violence.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, who has been outspoken on gun violence since the 2012 Newtown massacre, said in a statement that the shooting may go down as the deadliest in U.S. history but he said there have already been more mass shootings than days in the year this year.

"This must stop. It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren't public policy responses to this epidemic," Murphy said. "There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something."

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, said he's been in contact with Gov. Brian Sandoval and the White House about the shooting. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, said she's working with the City of Las Vegas and Clark County to ensure local officials "have the resources they need to support our community and investigate these tragic events."

"America woke up this morning to heartbreaking news," Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said in a statement. "This evil tragedy horrifies us all. To the people of Las Vegas and to the families of the victims, we are with you during this time. The whole country stands united in our shock, in our condolences, and in our prayers."

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, who returned to Capitol Hill for the first time last week since he was shot in the hip during the congressional baseball practice shooting in June, tweeted about the shooting.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Connecticut, expressed frustration that lawmakers have not done enough.

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-California, said there's blood on the hands of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, who was governor of his state during the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, tweeted that Congress has done nothing to stop these shootings.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.