LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - As authorities learn more about Stephen Paddock and try to understand the motive behind his terrifying decision to kill 59 people and injured hundreds more, Arkansas legislators offered their thoughts and prayers to the victims.
But some are saying it's time to go beyond the prayers and it's time for action. Austin Bailey with Moms Demand Action said this shooting should be a wake-up call for gun reform in America.
"I'd like to call on them to honor the victims of this shooting with action," Bailey said. "Let's move toward meaningful gun safety reform that can save lives.
"The vast majority of Americans; Republican, Democrat, NRA members even support common sense reasonable legislation like background checks on all gun sales. There's some low hanging fruit. Let's move toward that."
She was one of the biggest critics of expanding gun laws in the state.
Earlier this year, State Representative Charlie Collins sponsored the "campus carry" law that was subsequently passed and signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson.
The bill allows Arkansans with an enhanced concealed carry license to bring their guns to college campuses, bars, churches, and even state buildings. The legislation originally allowed people to carry their gun into college stadiums and hospitals, but an amendment quickly removed that language.
"What my law, the one Arkansas has passed, will do is help deter some of these potential crazy killers,” Collins claimed.
When asked if additional laws would be needed to protect people from the next mass shooting in America, Collins said he knew of "no panacea" and that no one has offered one up to him.
"I would be happy to work on it with anybody that has a panacea to stop murderers," he said.
Collins argued people who intend to kill others operate outside the law, and therefore would get the weapons and commit the crime by any means necessary.
But Paddock's brother, Eric Paddock said his brother was just a "wealthy guy" who liked to play video poker and never showed any violent tendencies.
"If we focus on extreme punishment," Collins said, "and extreme is relevant to what the laws are of course, then what we will do of course is create a disincentive to bad behavior."
Bailey thinks the next best alternative is to honor the victims by preventing the deaths of others.
"Let's [have] everyone come together and say, 'Hey, the NRA agenda of guns everywhere for everyone, no questions asked, where has that lead us?'" she said "Well, it lead us to the largest mass shooting in our country's history. So let's diligently turn to some gun safety laws we know will save lives."
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