Five years ago, a concert became a battleground, and our nation was once again shocked to the core. For 10 terrifying minutes, a lone gunman fired more than 1,000 bullets into the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing 60 of our fellow Americans, wounding hundreds more, and leaving so many others scarred by the carnage they were witnesses. This massacre remains the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
In the face of such horror, the people of Nevada showed what it meant to be #VegasStrong. Bystanders risked their own lives to get others to safety. Community members lined up for hours to donate blood, while first responders worked quickly to save lives. The city stepped up to raise funds for medical expenses and a memorial to honor the victims.
From the Nevada desert, we heard the same cry we heard in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, Charleston, Parkland, Uvalde, Buffalo and too many neighborhoods to count: Do something. And my administration has worked tirelessly to answer that call. I have taken more executive action to address gun violence than any president at this point in my term, including cracking down on phantom guns and rogue arms dealers. Last summer, in the face of fierce lobbying from the National Rifle Association and the firearms industry, the Senate confirmed Steve Dettelbach in a bipartisan vote as the first permanent Chief of the Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives in over seven years. , where he plays a leading role in removing illegal guns from our streets. And, after decades of deadlock in Congress, I signed into law the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first significant gun violence reduction legislation in nearly 30 years.
But, we don’t stop there. I am determined to seize this momentum and work with Congress to enact common-sense new gun violence prevention legislation, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, that have enabled shooters to massacre so many innocent people. We’ve done it before and we can do it again. The memories of the victims ask for no less.
Jill and I mourn with everyone who lost a piece of their soul on October 1st, 2017. May God bless those who have been taken from us and comfort the loved ones of those who have fallen. And may we resolve to turn our grief into action.