Trump Responds to Deadly Las Vegas Mass Shooting

The Mandalay Bay seen in 2011. (Unmodified Creative Commons photo by Jakechamp.

Late Sunday evening, Las Vegas was devastated by gunman Stephen Paddock as he fired into a country music festival killing 59 and wounding over 525 people. President Trump promptly responded to the tragedy by offering his condolences to those affected, as well as praise to the emergency responders involved in the aftermath of the shooting.

Paddock is responsible for the largest mass shooting in modern American history, and both local and national officials are working diligently to provide support to the Las Vegas area.

Early Monday, Trump tweeted “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!”

Later, Trump released a statement from the White House which offered compassion for the hundreds of Americans personally affected by the shooting, “…our fellow citizens are now in mourning…we cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss.”

According to CNN Politics, Trump has been in contact with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Las Vegs Sherriff Joseph Lombardo in order to fully understand the magnitude of the tragedy. On Wednesday, Trump visited Las Vegas.

The inexplicable nature of this shooting is leading officials to conduct a thorough investigation of Paddock’s background. As of Monday night, they have uncovered that Paddock had no criminal background; however, he was the son of a “notorious bank robber, and his own crime demonstrated some amount of sophisticated planning,” according to the Washington Post.

The Islamic State has made multiple claims that Paddock was affiliated with them; however, officials have uncovered no connection between Paddock and any other terrorist organizations at this time.

The Washington post reported that, “officials said they could not immediately tell what drove Stephen Paddock to fire at thousands of unsuspecting concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino before killing himself.”

“I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath,” Lombardo told The Washington Post as he began leading the investigation into how and why Paddock would commit such an unprecedented massacre.

Officials have reported that Paddock possessed an arsenal of 23 guns inside his hotel room while finding another 19 at his house in Mesquite, a small town 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

In the hotel, according to the special agent in charge for the ATF Jill Snyder, twelve of the guns had bump stocks, a legally sold aftermarket device which enables a weapon to mimic automatic gunfire.

Many individuals have surfaced in the wake of this disaster to argue in favor of stricter gun control laws with the goal of preventing future massacres similar to the one witnessed Sunday night.

Hillary Clinton, who stood in firm opposition to Trump on the issue of gun control throughout the campaigning process of the 2016 election tweeted, “We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.”

White House Press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to Clinton’s tweets in a briefing on Monday by stating, “I think we need to remember the only person with blood on their hands is that of the shooter, and this isn’t a time for us to go after individuals or organizations.”

Clinton, on the same day, also tweeted out against a proposal in Congress to weaken regulations on the sale of silencers, one part of the larger SHARE Act, a pro-gun measure which Congress originally delayed after the Steve Scalise shooting in June and which now been delayed again because of the Las Vegas shooting, according to NBC News.

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