'Appalled by the Senseless Loss of Life': Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and More Politicians React to Las Vegas Shooting
Hillary Clinton, Paul Ryan, President Donald Trump and more prominent politicians are speaking out after a gunman killed at least 58 people and injured 515 others at a Las Vegas music festival on Sunday night, in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Ryan, Trump and others made public statements of sympathy for the victims while calling for national solidarity and support for the Vegas community.
But Clinton, along with former Vice President Joe Biden and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, described the mass gun violence as the latest example in an ongoing pattern in America and they urged political action in response.
Clinton took to Twitter to offer her condolences to the victims while also criticizing the National Riffle Association for its efforts to make it easier to buy silencers for guns.
“Las Vegas, we are grieving with you — the victims, those who lost loved ones, the responders, & all affected by this cold-blooded massacre,” Clinton tweeted.
“The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get,” she added. “Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.”
Dana Loesch, a talk radio host and NRA spokeswoman, tweeted in response to Clinton, “Suppressors only reduce by a few decibels, still same decibel level as a jackhammer.”
Biden also advocated for stronger gun control in his tweets on Monday, writing, “How long do we let gun violence tear families apart? Enough. Congress & the WH should act now to save lives.
“There’s no excuse for inaction,” he added.
Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was shot in the head by a gunman in a January 2011 shooting spree that killed six others, called Sunday night’s massacre “a grave tragedy for our nation.”
In a separate statement, she called on her former colleagues to “find the courage it will take to make progress on the challenging issue of gun violence.
“I know they got into politics for the same reason I did — to make a difference, to get things done. Now is the time to take positive action to keep America safer,” she continued. “Do not wait. The nation is counting on you.”
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman tweeted, “The act and insanity of a madman shall not define us or keep us from living whole and meaningful lives with pride in our shared humanity. Our prayers for everyone and a huge thank you to our great law enforcement and first responders.”
President Trump called the massacre “an act of pure evil” and sent his thoughts and prayers to the victims in a speech on Monday.
He said he will visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.
House Speaker Ryan tweeted a statement saying the “evil tragedy horrifies us all.”
“To the people of Las Vegas and the families of the victims, we are with you during this time,” he said.
Steve Scalise, the House Republican whip who was shot in June at a congressional baseball team practice, released a statement decrying Sunday’s shooting and encouraging “people across America to stand together in solidarity, and to support the Las Vegas community and all of those affected, especially by giving blood and encouraging others to do the same.”
The gunman, identified by police as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas about 10:08 p.m. Sunday from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, about 1,200 feet away.
Authorities later found Paddock dead in his room in an apparent suicide. They said he had more than 10 rifles with him.
Several witnesses described the chaos of the shooting as seemingly never-ending.
“It just kept coming,” Robyn Webb told the Las Vegas Review-Journal of the gunfire. “It was relentless.”