Schapiro, Illinois politicians respond to Las Vegas shooting


(Huang Chao/Xinhua/Zuma Press/TNS)

Police vehicles are seen Monday near the site of the Las Vegas shooting the night before. Nearly 60 people were killed and more than 520 were injured in the incident, which took place at a concert outside of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Ally Mauch, Assistant Campus Editor

University President Morton Schapiro and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), along with several other Illinois public figures, spoke out after the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, expressing their support for the victims and their families.

As of late Monday, the shooting had left 59 people dead and 527 injured, according to the Associated Press. The gunman, who was found dead in his hotel room, fired shots from his room on the 32nd floor into a crowd of concert attendees below.

In a Monday statement, Schapiro said he hopes the “senseless act” will motivate the Northwestern community to make a difference in society.

“At a time when divisiveness and inflammatory rhetoric continue to grow in our country, the need for meaningful change, peace and understanding has never been greater,” Schapiro said. “We can achieve those goals only by working together, and I hope you will join me in doing so.”

Schakowsky offered her condolences to those affected and advocated for gun safety legislation in a Monday news release.

She cited the June 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando and recent statistics regarding gun-related deaths in Chicago as additional examples of gun violence.

“As a country, we cannot accept this as the new normal,” Schakowsky said in the release. “Gun violence is a scourge and an epidemic, and it requires bold legislative action. We cannot continue to make excuses. Federal comprehensive gun safety legislation must be a national priority.”

State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) also expressed their support for victims via Twitter on Monday.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) took to the Senate floor Monday to speak out against gun violence. In his speech, Durbin called the incident “the worst mass shooting to date” in the U.S. and noted that instances of devastating gun violence are becoming a common occurrence. He urged his fellow senators to take action.

“What are we going to do about it?” Durbin said. “There will be outrage over the death and grief over the loss, but then what? We’re the U.S. Senate. … We’re supposed to pass laws to make America safer. What will we do because of what happened in Las Vegas last night?”

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Twitter: @allymauch