With nearly 60 people dead and hundreds more injured, the nation was shocked to wake up Monday and find that one single shooter had fired an automatic assault rifle into a crowd during the Route 91 country music festival on the Las Vegas strip. Less than 12 hours later, the incident is being called the deadliest mass shooting in US history, sparking President Trump to speak on the latest act of terror, calling the Las Vegas attack, “an act of pure evil.”
Staying closely on script, and with a reserved voice, President Trump shared his condolences with a shocked nation saying, “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.”
While the president was quick to condemn the violence in Las Vegas, he stopped short of calling it an act of terror, which The Independent points out this mass shooting can be defined as, according to Nevada Law. “[An] act of terrorism means any act that involves the use or attempted use of sabotage, coercion or violence which is intended to cause great bodily harm or death to the general population,” the Nevada State Statute says.
Although the president’s remarks surrounding Vegas have been swift and sincere, some are pointing out that his response to other terror attacks in recent years has been less gentle than today’s. NBC’s Mark Murray noted on Twitter that in the aftermath of attacks in Orlando and San Bernadino in 2016 and 2015, Trump aggressively blamed the former administration and Islam for the attacks. He has remained silent on the lone gunman in the Vegas shooting (of whom little information is known).
The Las Vegas attack is the worst act of civilian violence in US history, but it is also the 338th mass shooting this year. In fact, it wasn’t even the only mass shooting on October 1st; a gunman opened fire, killing three and wounding two others in Lawrence, Kansas yesterday.
(Photo via Ethan Miller / Getty)