Gun Violence Protest Erupts Outside California Congressman Darrell Issa's Office in Vista - NBC Bay Area

Gun Violence Protest Erupts Outside California Congressman Darrell Issa's Office in Vista

Raucous drum beats echoed before the congressman's office, each representing the heartbeat of a fatal shooting victim

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    NBC 7's Dave Summers reports the latest gun laws and statistics in the U.S. (Published Monday, Oct. 2, 2017)

    A protest against gun violence erupted outside the office of California Rep. Darrell Issa (R-49th District) Tuesday, in the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people plus the shooter and injured hundreds.

    "Congress has to come together," Carol Landale said, a member of the San Diego Brady Campaign Chapter To Prevent Gun Violence, which organized the rally at Issa's office in Vista.

    "We have to talk to the gun lobby and find common ground because otherwise--this slaughter is going to continue," Landale added.

    Demonstrators gathered near Issa's office building shortly before 10 a.m. to address a number of issues but calls for gun control were front and center.

    According to one woman, demonstrators from several organizations gather near the office building every week. This week, they were also protesting gun violence in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.

    Issa has weighed in on the issue of gun violence from Washington, D.C., responding that now is the time for "thoughtful reflection" as opposed to "political jockeying."

    Rally organizers kicked off the protest with raucous drum beats -- each sharp thump symbolizing the heartbeat of each victim killed in the Las Vegas massacre.

    Protesters said the shooting in Las Vegas underscores the need for a serious conversation about gun laws. They would like to emphasize the availability of assault weapons and also close loopholes that allow guns to fall into the hands of criminals and mentally unstable people.

    Issa touched on the Las Vegas shooting via Twitter Monday morning: "Horrific news out of Las Vegas this morning. Praying for victims, their families, first responders and all those affected. We are with you."

    According to the National Rifle Association, Nevada carries relatively light restrictions on gun rights. In order to purchase handguns, rifles and shotguns, no permits are required. Residents may carry guns openly throughout the state. It is also legal to possess semi-automatic guns with a permit and fully automatic guns with a state permit and special permission from the Treasury Department.

    Democrats' calls for stricter gun control resounded strongly following the massacre. Before the mass shooting occurred, the Republican-controlled Congress had been pursuing legislation to ease regulations on gun silencers. Rep. Jeff Duncan of Southern Carolina said it would help protect the hearing of hunters.

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the nation not to renew a debate over gun control right after the deadliest mass shooting in the nation's history.

    Rep. Susan Davis (D-53th District) was part of last year's gun violence sit-in and co-sponsored legislation including the Assault Weapons Ban and closing the gun show loophole. Congressman Scott Peters (D-52nd District) also said Congress needs to pass safety measures for Nevada similar to California.

    However, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50th District) said the killer should be held responsible rather than using a tragedy to pursue a political agenda and criticize people who support the Second Amendment.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan released the following statement about the Las Vegas massacre:

    "This evil tragedy horrifies us all. To the people of Las Vegas and to the families of the victims, we are with you during this time. The whole country stands united in our shock, in our condolences and in our prayers."

    According to the research group Gun Violence Archive, more than 11,000 people have died from gun violence in 2017 with 275 mass shootings in the U.S.