Jessica Hayes, Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, has issued the following statement in response to last night’s deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas:
“We condemn the senseless act of violence that ended the lives of 58 people and wounded hundreds more. We extend our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. Along with the rest of America, we mourn their loss.
“While the full details of this shooting have not yet emerged, it has become clear that the shooter was heavily armed with at least 10 rifles, including semi-automatic and possibly fully automatic weapons.
“Once again we urge our national elected leaders to examine our gun laws in light of this tragedy. There is no reason for any civilian to have machine guns or high caliber semi-automatic weapons for self-defense or hunting needs.
“America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but almost half of the civilian-owned guns around the world. Due in part to the legality of assault rifles and machine guns, we also suffer, by far, the highest rate of gun violence in the developed world. In San Diego we experienced a mass shooting as recently as May, when a man opened fire at a pool party in La Jolla, killing one and injuring seven others.
“Disturbingly, Congress is poised to take steps that likely increase gun violence. Proposed legislation moving through Congress would allow silencers on all guns and allow ‘conceal carry’ for guns in all states. We believe these bills would only lead to further loss of life.
“We call for background checks for all guns purchased, as well as a ban on all automatic weapons and high-caliber assault rifles. There is no reason for America to continue to be the capital of gun violence.”