Gun control debate rekindled after Las Vegas massacre

Posted: Updated:
WOODBURY -

The mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 and wounded hundreds over the weekend has sparked another debate in Washington on gun control. 

Former Democratic Rep. Steve Israel says taking up gun control will be a difficult task in Congress. He says there is condemnation and prayers after each mass shooting, but no action. He blames the powerful gun lobby on Capitol Hill that puts enormous pressure on legislators to vote down any gun restriction bills.

"They want us to be numb to this stuff," says Israel. "They want us to accept 59 deaths in Las Vegas as the new normal because when we begin to succumb to that and we become complacent, then we stop asking our elected officials for action."

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin says he looks at all meaningful gun legislation that comes across his desk. Fellow Republican Rep. Peter King says he's introduced legislation to keep guns out of the hands of people on the terrorist no-fly list, but Congress never addresses it.

"It's very difficult to pass any kind of…legislation that will put any type of restriction or regulation on the use of guns," says Rep. King.

Reports say Stephen Paddock gunned down 59 people from his high-rise hotel suite overlooking a country music festival attended by more than 20,000 people. He had 23 guns in his hotel room, along with devices that enabled semi-automatic rifles to behave like automatic rifles. He took his own life as authorities closed in on his hotel room.

According to the Washington Post, the NRA has donated $62,600 to New York members of Congress. The list shows Zeldin as the group's No. 1 recipient, receiving $14,850.  

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