Otis Sanford: Las Vegas tragedy highlights need for new gun laws

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Another senseless and horrifying mass shooting has befallen our nation and this one was far more tragic than any other in modern U.S. history.

A gunman repeatedly fired automatic weapons from a high rise hotel room in Las Vegas. The helpless targets were some 22,000 concert goers packed into an open air venue below. And at last count, 59 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded.

The tragedy touched individuals and families across the country including here in Tennessee.

The initial response to the carnage properly focused on the victims and we grieve for all of them. We`ve also heard stories of heroism from first responders, police officers who were spectators at the concert, and ordinary citizens who helped to save people from the hail of bullets.

But there is another storyline that cannot be ignored and should not be put off for another day. That is the absolute need to make changes to gun laws that allow people to amass so many high-powered weapons. The shooter had 23 guns and lots of ammunition in his hotel room, and another 19 weapons at a separate location.

Expanded background checks, plus a limit to where someone can possess automatic weapons and how many, are not too much to ask of our elected leaders.

No, it won`t be easy, but it is necessary.

Now is the time to do it.