What you need to know:
- Where it happened: Las Vegas, Nevada.
- How many dead: At least 50.
- How many injured: Police say more than 400 people were transported to hospitals.
- Gunman identified: Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada.
Today (Oct. 2), president Donald Trump responded on Twitter to the second mass shooting in the US to draw national attention during his first year in office. A gunman rained bullets upon an outdoor concert in Las Vegas around midnight local time, killing more than 50 people, according to initial reports.
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017
The response to the president’s tweet quickly drew criticism across social media, including from people who compared the effectiveness of reaction to the White House’s sluggish response toward helping Puerto Rico recover from a recent hurricane.
“Warmest condolences” to Vegas gun victims has same real impact as dedicating golf trophy to Puerto Rico hurricane victims. @realDonaldTrump
— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) October 2, 2017
Earlier this year, in June, the president spoke following the a shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, in which a gunman fired upon Republican Congressional lawmakers and their staffers during a baseball practice they were holding for an annual charity event. One person died in that shooting, the gunman, and four were injured by gunfire, including congressman Steve Scalise, who was the most seriously wounded. “Our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace,” Trump said after that incident.
Scalise, who returned to work in Washington just last week, also was on social media after the Las Vegas shootings:
Jennifer and I are praying for the victims of this unspeakable violence in Las Vegas.
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 2, 2017
Horrific shooting events typically spark a renewed interest in gun control in America, though the partisan divide on the issue has stymied nearly all efforts to advance that cause with national legislation. In fact, following the shooting in which Republican congress members were targeted, the party called for looser gun laws in the name of self-defense.
To be sure, America has been manufacturing more guns with each passing year for more than a decade. Compared to 2000, gunmakers in the US in 2016 were manufacturing 190% more guns.
By June 2016, during his final year in office, former president Barack Obama had given 14 speeches following mass shootings in America during his two terms.
In June 2015, he said, “I’ve had to make statements like this too many times,” after the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting.