Trump Silent on Gun Control During Las Vegas Visit

Critics say ‘symbolism’ not enough.

By EFE News Service

President Donald Trump on Wednesday concluded his visit to Las Vegas, Nevada, where 58 people were killed Sunday and more than 500 were wounded by a heavily armed gunman, without any mention of the country’s gun control laws.

The president, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, visited with some of the survivors and first responders to the horrendous attack on people attending a country music concert at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.WEB Mandalay Bay

During his visit to the University Medical Center, a Level 1 Trauma Center where multiple victims of the gun violence are being treated, Trump said now is not the time to discuss “gun violence.”

“We will not talk today about gun violence. This was the work of a sick and demented person,” said the president in a brief meeting with the media after completing his visit to the medical center.

“I want to highlight the work of the professionals who have treated the victims. They have done an indescribable work. We do not want to see something like that again, “Trump said, calling the doctors and the rest of the hospital staff “some of the most incredible people” he has ever met.

“I have been with victims who are terribly injured. What I have seen here is an incredible tribute to the professionalism of all the staff. The bravery of the police and all the people who helped the wounded are incredible. It makes me feel proud,” he said.

He was also pleased to learn that most of the injured in the medical center will be discharged in the next few hours, days and weeks.

Finally, he praised the “exceptional” job done by police and the elite SWAT unit that burst into the hotel room of Stephen Paddock, ending his attack on concertgoers 32-stories below, and the shooter’s life.

“They located him in 11 minutes. They did a fantastic job and saved many lives,” the president said.

Following his visit to the University Medical Center, Trump next went to the headquarters of the Las Vegas Police, where he met with security forces and emergency services personnel who responded to the attack.

There Trump again appeared before the media and, after giving a solemn speech in which he affirmed that “the USA is a nation that is mourning” and that the city of Las Vegas has shown its “true courage and personality,” did not take questions.

Since the massacre, the president has continued to avoid talking about the control of firearms in the United States, although on Tuesday, he acknowledged aboard Air Force One that “maybe” that debate would open “at some point.”

During the 2016 presidential election campaign, Trump was supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the largest anti gun control lobby in the country. The NRA has allocated millions of dollars in what its says is an effort to protect the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which protects the right to bear arms.

The president’s failure to directly address one way or the other calls for stricter gun control laws, or his failure to support legislation that could have restricted the purchase of weapons by persons’ deemed mentally unfit, has been with strong criticism by anti-gun activists and elected officials.

The message, “If not now, when?” has been flooding social media.

At the White House Monday, the president called for lowering the nation’s flag to half-staff. With the first lady, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, and staff from his administration at his side, the president led a “moment of silence” in front of the White House.

While a moving tribute, Los Angeles Rep. Jimmy Gomez said Wednesday that symbolism is not enough.

The freshman congressman is co-sponsoring H. Resolution 370, “Moments of Silence Are Not Enough,” to require that “every moment of silence related to a tragedy involving gun violence is promptly followed by a committee hearing on the subject of the tragedy.”

“Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas has shaken our nation to its core…

“But, Americans have had enough. Moments of silence without action fail to honor victims and offer little solace to their families. How many times must we mourn the victims of horrific mass shootings before Congress takes action on the senseless plague of gun violence? It’s our responsibility as lawmakers to stop this violence. Congress must act to prevent future tragedies.” Gomez said.

On Sunday, from his 32nd-floor room window, Paddock, a 64-year-old retiree, shot at the crowd attending the country music festival for 9 to11 minutes, using semi-automatic rifles modified to shoot faster.

On Wednesday, it was reported Paddock in June was prescribed 50 tablets of 10 milligrams of the sedative diazepam (valium), an anti-anxiety drug that can in some cases provoke aggressive behavior, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Paddock bought the pills at a Walgreens pharmacy in Reno, Nevada on the day they were prescribed.

Abuse of the drug can provoke psychotic experiences in the consumer, according to information on the website.

Authorities have recovered 47 guns at three different locations, the Mandalay Bay Hotel and two of Paddock’s residences.

Sources from the investigation told the Los Angeles Times that although Paddock began buying weapons more than 20 years ago, most of the discovered arsenal was bought since October 2016.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is questioning Paddock’s live-in girlfriend, 62-year-old Marilou Danley, who has been declared a “person of interest” in the investigation.

Danley, of Filipino origin and Australian nationality, arrived Tuesday night in Los Angeles (California) after spending at least 15 days outside the United States.

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October 5, 2017  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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