President Trump’s speech from the White House today in the aftermath of the Las Vegas active shooter massacre was Spiritual and Godly. And, his speech established the perfect tone in a masterful use of his presidential powers of persuasion and compassion in the nation’s hour of need to have our president unite us as safe and secure citizens of community, equality and liberties.
The president praised law enforcement for their bravery in rapidly tracking down the (now deceased from suicide) active shooter, Stephen Paddock, 64, high atop Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay 32nd floor (unleashing several hundred rounds of bullets from automatic weaponry through a busted out window) over 40,000 concertgoers at the nearby Route 91 Harvest country music festival site Sunday evening, shortly after 10pm PT (1am ET), saying that “in moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one” in the wake of the largest domestic mass shooting in modern U.S. history, killing nearly 58 people and injuring and hospitalizing over 500 other concertgoers.
In fact, Stephen Paddock, “who killed 58 people and injured at least 515 others at a Las Vegas concert, was a retiree with no criminal history in the Nevada county where he lived,” police said Fox News reports. MGM and law enforcement officials now (as of public reports on Friday, October 13, 2017) agree their approaching hotel security guard was shot at 10:05pm PT (1:05am ET), and then shortly afterwards Stephen Paddock opened fired into the crowd of concertgoers.
David Becker, a freelance photographer, was at the scene, on Sunday evening, October 1, 2017, where he was assigned to photograph the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas for Getty Images (photos shown below).
“There were groups of people helping each other everywhere and a real sense of people running for cover. People were fleeing, they were panicking. The gun fire was sporadic, it would stop and then more shots, then a lull and then more shots. I could hear people yelling at them to shut off the lights, to be quiet. People were cowering, they were very fearful for their lives. A woman tripped right in front of me, a man shielded a woman with his body before I saw them both get up and run away, a man in a wheelchair was helped to an exit. I was trying to capture anything that was moving and that had good lighting. That was critical, it was so dark and there was limited lighting it was really hard to get a sense of what was happening. At this stage I still just thought it was a speaker popping, so I was trying to capture people’s emotions and a sense of the panic that was around me.”
“My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” President Trump tweeted Monday morning October 2, 2017 at 6:11am ET.
President Trump said on Monday he would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Below is the video and complete transcript of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump remarks from the .@WhiteHouse on Monday, October 2, 2017 in the wake of the active shooting massacre in #LasVegas on Sunday, October 1, 2017.
My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock, and grief.
Last night a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. He brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more.
It was an act of pure evil.
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation and they will provide updates as to the investigation and how it develops.
I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts and for helping to save the lives of so many. The speed with which they acted is miraculous and prevented further loss of life. To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired, is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful. It shows what true professionalism is all about.
Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one, a parent, a child, a brother or sister. We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss. To the families of the victims, we are praying for you and we are here for you. And we ask God to help see you through this very dark period.
Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve. To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward.
In memory of the fallen, I have directed that our great flag be flown at half-staff. I will be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with law enforcement, first responders, and the families of the victims. In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has.
We call upon the bonds that unite us, our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity. Our unity cannot be shattered by evil, our bonds cannot be broken by violence, and though we feel such great anger, at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today. And always will. Forever.
In times such as these, I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.
Melania and I are praying for every American who has been hurt, wounded or lost the ones they loved so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack. We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace, and we pray for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.
May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost, may God give us the grace of healing and may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on. Thank you. God bless America. Thank you.”
Historically speaking, total numbers of firearm-related incidents have actually fallen through the decades. Before 1993, the number of people killed or wounded by firearms skyrocketed. Thereafter, America has seen a precipitous drop in deaths due to firearms, including fatal firearms accidents reduced to approximately 40 percent in the last decade, and nowadays reduced to as high as 49 percent, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conservative think-tank, with such fatal firearms accidents statistics resting now at their lowest levels ever chronicled.
Of the 31,224 people who died from gun violence, according to recent data reports on TIME.com, 12,632 people died from murderous gun violence, and the difference of 18,592 people died from self-inflicted suicide by gun fire, mostly by white men statistically.
I’m at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, where this small, very conservative community still holds onto its constitutional second amendment rights and liberties.
“The right to bear arms” was bestowed to the American citizenry by the framers of the constitution, who guarded against an over-reaching government. And, the framers included that right in the constitution before many other bills of rights, such as “the right to trial by jury, and the prohibitions against illegal search and arrest.”
Be that as it may, the issue of gun ownership has remained one of the most contentious debates in this country and there are currently over 35,000 gun-control laws on the books in this nation, which attempt to control a right that the constitution says “shall not be infringed,” and many of these laws include total gun bans in many American cities (not inclusive to several states as Texas).
Source: FactCheck.org (2013), Top 10 States with lowest gun-related death rates (in blue); Top 10 States with highestgun-related death rates (in orange)
Remarkably, the FBI finds the top weapon of choice of criminals involved in violent crimes they’ve investigated ironically is “a baseball bat” (categorized below in #9 non-firearm homicides just above #10 firearm homicides in a December 9, 2012 bar-charted statistical data comparison of Top 10 “Killers” of citizens in the U.S.).
“Why is there NO outcry to RESPECT baseball bat ownership?” asks second amendment advocates advocates, “maybe because so many law-abiding citizens enjoy (baseball bats) safely, for sport.”
And so, the debate continues with the central questions being exactly what rights do Americans have with their ability to protect themselves and their property? And how far can the government go to either violate or protect these rights?
Our ongoing and continuing gun ownership debate is a longstanding part of the sociopolitical process in this nation. And, it will continue to surface in public reaction to future extreme disaster events and recovery, like the history-making Las Vegas’ massacre, or the nightly gun killings on the harsh streets of several American cities, like Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, or Los Angeles.
Therefore, my advice is to consider all combinations of legal frameworks and social education of domestic safety and Homeland security of our citizenry, and not just simply ‘following the herd in sociopolitical reaction after Las Vegas’ extreme event of a suicidal madman’ randomly shooting into a crowd of 40,000 peacefully festive concertgoers. Remember, we all are the future of our country and the protector of both civil and human rights of all of us as citizens!
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