WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the largest mass shooting in U.S. history last night in Las Vegas, NV, the Very Rev. Randy Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral, issued the following statement:

“We grieve with the nation as we learn the details of last night’s tragic shooting in Las Vegas. We are angered as the epidemic of gun violence continues in this country. And we are grateful to law enforcement who acted quickly to bring the situation under control.”

“Sadly, we have become so numb to gun violence that it is only when these so called ‘mass shootings’ happen that we stop to pay attention. And yet, on average, there are 93 people killed every day by gun violence. Last night’s tragedy will only add to that number.”

“It goes without saying that our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. But that is not enough, and it has not been enough for a long time. Prayer is powerful and it can be a healing force in a divided nation. However, ‘thoughts and prayers’ on their own will not solve the epidemic of gun violence. The nation is looking for real answers and substantive policy recommendations that will end this epidemic. How can we be a catalyst for cultural change aimed at reducing gun violence? We need to engage in a real national conversation and ask ourselves how we can properly balance the right to bear arms with the need to keep weapons – whose only purpose is to kill other humans on a mass scale – out of circulation.”