After Vegas massacre, Jewish groups call for tougher gun controls

59 people killed and hundreds more injured after property developer opened fire from hotel room window on Monday


Jewish groups in America have led calls for tougher gun controls in the wake of the Las Vegas gun massacre that left 59 people dead and hundreds more injured.

The Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Reform movement all issued statements condemning the violence and demanding new gun control legislation.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the Anti-Defamation League national director said: “While we are still learning details and do not know the impetus for the killings, one thing is clear: the threat of mass violence against innocent civilians in America has not abated. This threat must be taken seriously.”

He called for the introduction of “tough, effective gun violence prevention measures.”

A statement by B’nai B’rith International said it was “well past” the time for bipartisan gun laws.

The organisation also said: “Though information about the shooter and his arsenal is still being uncovered, we have long held there is no acceptable, reasonable need for civilians to have access to large rounds of ammunition.”

Nancy Kaufman, chief executive of the National Council of Jewish Women, called added her voice to calls for action.

She added said “Federal lawmakers must act now to restrict access to automatic weapons, reject the current bill before Congress that would make it easier to buy silencers, and instead focus on how to make our communities and our country safer.

“NCJW expects nothing less from our elected officials,”

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said the mass shooting cannot be termed a random act of violence.

“Even before all the facts are known we know this: rather than revere gun rights our country must finally revere human life,” he said.

“We mourn those callously slaughtered in Las Vegas and pray for the wounded. But our prayers must be followed by action, long overdue limits to the easy access to fire arms.”

Stephen Paddock, the 64 year-old gunman responsible for America’s worst mass shooting was revealed to have fired as many as 19 weapons – including automatic and semi-automatic rifles – on concert goers from the vantage point of a 32nd floor hotel room in Los Vegas.

The lone-wolf attacker is reported to have waited for three days in his room before firing on the crowd of 22,000 people who had gathered for a music festival on the Las Vegas strip.

Police burst into the killer’s hotel room to find he had already shot.

Claims by the Islamic State group that Paddock had converted to Islam online months ago were not verified by the FBI who said there was no evidence linking him to any terror group.

Paddock was revealed to have been a retired accountant from the town of Mesquite, Nevada.

Fears that thousands of Israelis may have been caught up in the incident also proved unfounded.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that all Israeli citizens had been accounted for after the tragedy that left 527 injured.

There are over 70,000 Jews and at least 19 synagogues in Las Vegas, according to the website.

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