Five years ago, a concert became a killing field, and our nation was once more shocked to our very core. For 10 terrifying minutes, a lone gunman fired more than 1,000 bullets into the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, taking the lives of 60 of our fellow Americans, wounding hundreds more, and leaving so many others scarred by the carnage they witnessed. This massacre remains the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
In the face of such horror, Nevadans showed what it meant to be #VegasStrong. Concertgoers risked their own lives to bring others to safety. Community members stood in line for hours to donate blood, while first responders worked swiftly to save lives. The city rallied together to raise money for medical costs and a memorial in honor of the victims.
From the Nevada desert, we heard the same cry that we’ve heard in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, Charleston, Parkland, Uvalde, Buffalo, and too many neighborhoods to count: Do something. And, my Administration has been working tirelessly to heed that call. I’ve taken more executive action to curb gun violence than any president at this point in office, including cracking down on ghost guns and rogue gun dealers. This past summer, in the face of fierce lobbying by the National Rifle Association and the gun industry, the Senate confirmed Steve Dettelbach on a bipartisan vote as the first permanent head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in more than seven years, where he is playing a leading role in getting illegal guns off our streets. And, after decades of gridlock in Congress, I signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act—the first significant gun violence reduction legislation in nearly 30 years.
But, we’re not stopping there. I am determined to seize this momentum and work with Congress to enact further commonsense gun violence prevention legislation, including banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which have enabled shooters to slaughter so many innocents. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again. The memories of the victims demand nothing less.
Jill and I mourn with all those who lost a piece of their soul on October 1st, 2017. May God bless those taken from us and comfort the loved ones of the fallen. And may we resolve to turn our heartbreak into action.