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October 02, 2017

Philly council prez on Las Vegas: 'Thoughts and prayers will not bring back those lost'

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke delivered a forceful statement Monday after the deadly massacre in Las Vegas on Sunday night, calling on both local and national lawmakers to do more to prevent gun violence in the future.

“More than 50 people are dead this morning because once again, someone who had no business having access to a gun, got access to a gun," Clarke said.

From a room on the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel, a lone gunman open fired onto a crowd of people enjoying an outdoor country music concert in the Nevada city, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 others.

The gunman, Stephen Craig Paddock, a retired 64-year-old man from Mesquite, Nevada, was found dead in the hotel room. Authorities believe he committed suicide.

While how Paddock obtained his weapons has yet to be determined, authorities said they found 10 guns in his room, including rifles.

A motive hasn't been determined. ISIS claimed responsibly for the attack, but authorities said there didn't appear to be any immediate indication that the shooting was linked to international terrorism.

Clarke said the attack makes him "heartbroken and angry."

"I’m angry that the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world cannot muster the political will to regulate the manufacture, sale and trafficking of deadly weapons," Clarke said.

The council president cited a special committee that was convened this past summer to look at ways to prevent gun violence. The committee is set to hold hearings and make recommendations on what actions need to be taken.

He noted more than 800 people have been victimized by gun violence in Philadelphia this year.

“Thoughts and prayers will not bring back those lost to us in this national epidemic, but we can prevent more shootings and tragedies by taking action today and every day," Clarke said.

"That means keeping in regular contact with your state and congressional representatives and making yourself heard on gun-related bills – particularly bills backed by the National Rifle Association.”