We’re all well aware of the horrendous shooting this week in Las Vegas, in which Stephen Paddock – who, in typical fashion when a white guy is responsible for a mass shooting, has been described by police as a ‘lone wolf’ gunman – killed at least 59 people and injured a further 527 after firing on a festival crowd of 22,000.
The 64-year-old was reportedly armed with as many as 23 weapons (including semi-automatic rifles), and had waited for three days in his hotel suite before striking. As police prepared to storm his room, Paddock took his own life.
The attack has now been named the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
So of course Trump weighed in, on Twitter, as he is wont to do:
“Warmest condolences” isn’t exactly what the victims and their families want, presumably. It’s probably something a little more concrete they’re looking for.
Trump’s statement has caused a kick-off on Twitter, with many comparing it to his reaction to the Orlando shooting in 2016, in which a man named Omar Mateen killed 49 people in LGBT nightclub Pulse.
The president – still on the campaign trail at that point – quickly blamed “radical Islamic terrorism”.
“The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place, was because we allowed his family to come here,” he said at the time.
“That is a fact, and it’s a fact we need to talk about. We have a dysfunctional immigration system, which does not permit us to know who we let into our country, and it does not permit us to protect our citizens properly. We have an incompetent administration.”
He later tweeted:
People soon pointed out the stark differences between that tweet and his one following the Las Vegas attack (this is ludicrous):
Pretty ridiculous, no?
For example, it took him less than a day to jump on Twitter in response to terrorist attacks in Paris, Manchester and London, the last of which he used as a reason to plug his proposal for a travel ban halting refugees from entering the USA, as well as immigrants from seven ‘majority-Muslim countries’, including Syria, Somalia and Iran.
Obviously, Trump loves to condemn ‘radical Islam’ at any opportunity, but weirdly (read: not weirdly), he proved to be far more diplomatic about the white supremacist and racist groups who gathered for the recent rally in Charlottesville in August, claiming that many of them were ’fine people’ and there was blame on ‘many sides’.
Talking of ‘sides’, Donald, it appears you were, and are, clearly taking one.
Predictably, he’s also been generally slow to respond to violent incidents where Muslims are the victims.
But it’s not just Trump’s Twitter spew that has upset people, he’s also doing it in person, too. Trump’s speech following the massacre – in which he stated that the “Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” – has also been criticised, this time for handily avoiding the topic of gun control. You know, the most important issue. The reason for the dire state of the country.
Instead, Trump has previously been incredibly vocal on the subject of gun rights: earlier this year, he spoke at a National Rifle Association (NRA) gathering, promising them his support while in office, saying that the ’assault’ on the Second Amendment was over.
He also signed a bill revoking an Obama-era policy that placed mental illness checks on prospective gun buyers. He’s a gun-nut in a regrettably high position. The highest, actually.
As such, this latest ducking and swerving speech is understandably not going down well on Twitter:
If you would like to help those affected by the recent Nevada attack, the Las Vegas’ Victims Fund has raised more than $1.6 million (approximately £1.2 million) thanks to donations from around 20,000 people – funds which will be put towards funeral costs and medical bills of those caught up in the tragedy.
The National Compassion Fund is also seeking donations.
(Images: Rex Features)