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Brian Williams Pushes Gun Control During Interview With Blumenthal

MSNBC host Brian Williams on Monday pushed hard for gun control laws in response to that day's mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nev.

At least 58 people were killed, and more than 500 injured, on Sunday night when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on country music festival attendees from his 32nd floor room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, according to local authorities.

"Why don't we act? What is the problem? What was it about first graders losing their lives [in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary] that wasn't sad enough to result in changes?" Williams asked.

Williams' guest, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.), immediately blamed the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other special interests, saying that their "stranglehold" on the Congressional process undermined efforts to pass gun control legislation. He said that he believes Americans can honor the victims by arriving at a tipping point and changing America.

Williams then asked Blumenthal what he thought about the legislative effort to legalize silencers on guns, prompting Blumenthal to call it a "nonstarter." Williams praised former New York Police Department commissioner Bill Bratton earlier in the day for his misleading remarks about silencers effectively silencing firearms, a claim the Washington Post has debunked.

"Making the purchase or use of silencers easier is supposed to be good for the ears of the folks who are shooting," Blumenthal said. "What a travesty when you think that the reason that those folks ran from those gun shots is they could hear them. This legislation ought to be a nonstarter."

"We ought to have an agenda of common sense steps to stop gun violence, including a ban on assault weapons and the high-capacity magazines that are used for these mass killings," Blumenthal said. "Assault weapons have no purpose but to maim and kill human beings. They're weapons of war and, of course, background checks for everyone who buys a gun, especially to keep them out of the hands of dangerous people."

Williams asked Blumenthal when he thought Americans would push back against "the edges of the Second Amendment argument" enough to call for limits on the amendment.

"I believe in the Second Amendment because it's the law of the land, but those common sense measures would in no way infringe on any Constitutional right and the majority, the vast majority, more than 80 or 90 percent, believe that we ought to have background checks to keep these weapons out of the hands of dangerous people," Blumenthal said.

This is not the first time that Williams has pushed for gun control shortly after a mass shooting. He interviewed Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) in the wake of the Orlando nightclub massacre last June, the Washington Free Beacon reported.