Fewer people would have died in the Las Vegas shooting attack if a ban on assault weapons had still been in place, according to Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., during an appearance on the CBS News podcast, "The Takeout."
Stephen Paddock, who killed 58 people, passed background checks to obtain the weapons he used in the attack.
"But what if he did not have an assault weapon? What if the assault weapons ban still applied? What if he was up in that hotel with a pistol or a shotgun or a non-semiautomatic rifle? Maybe he would have gone through with the crime, but I guarantee you less people would be dead," Murphy asked on the podcast.
Murphy was the congressman that represented Newtown, Connecticut when a shooter killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. He referenced an assault weapons ban from former President Bill Clinton's administration in 1994, which expired in 2004, according to CBS News.
"I also think there's an interesting question about the kind of bizarre, perverse confidence that is given to a killer when they have tactical-style machinery," Murphy said on the podcast.
Gun control advocates such as the Brady Campaign and Gabby Giffords' Americans for Responsible Solutions have not been effective at promoting gun control, Murphy said.
"The Democratic Party was culpable in this respect. There was a mythology built up after 1994 that Democrats lost their seats because of their vote on the crime bill that included the assault weapons ban. I've looked at all the data and I'll tell you that's not the case," said the senator.
The senator hopes to evolve the Democratic message in the future, including working on an entity that can step up and counter the National Rifle Association. "We just can't make a playing field that's as big as the NRA," Murphy said on the podcast.
"Until members actually fear losing their seat over voting against the 90 percent of constituents that actually want universal background checks, it's going to be tough sledding," he added.
Following the Las Vegas shooting, Murphy said it was time for Congress to "get off its ass and do something."
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