Mass shooting in Las Vegas: ‘Not the time’ for gun control debate, says White House

The White House press secretary has said that now is not the time for a debate on U.S. gun control, following the Las Vegas massacre Sunday night.

In an emotional press briefing which saw President Trump’s spokeswoman choking over her words at times, she said such a conversation was “premature”, citing a lack of facts at the time.

This follows Donald Trump’s earlier televised address in which he described the attack as “an act of pure evil”.

Mr Trump said that America “comes together as one, and always has”. He also announced that he plans to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with victims and first responders.

A popular country guitarist who performed at the concert, Caleb Keeter, has come out in support of gun control in the wake of the massacre.

 

“I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was.

“Enough is enough. We need gun control RIGHT. NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it. We are unbelievably fortunate to not be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac.”

– Caleb Keteer, Josh Abbott Band

U.S. politician Chris Murphy has urged Congress to “get off it’s ass and do something”, encouraging his colleagues in U.S. government to bring an end to the mass shootings that the United States has become so accustomed to.

Former vice president Joe Biden echoed Murphy’s comments urging Congress and the White House to act on the issue.

Former presidential nominee, senator and secretary of state Hillary Clinton tweeted in opposition to the National Rifle Association’s campaign to allow easier access to gun silencers: “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.”

The National Rifle Association spent over $21 million supporting Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to NBC News.

The gunman attacked concert-goers in the city late Sunday night from a vantage point on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. Police found him dead surrounded by firearms. It is thought he killed himself.

59 people were killed in the attack, and over 500 injured as they attended the country music festival.

Prime Minister Theresa May released a statement saying that the “UK’s thoughts” were with those affected by the shooting.

The first victims of the attack have been named as Sonny Melton, 29, Jordan McIldoon, 23, and Quinton Robbins, 20.

Mr Melton was a registered nurse. His wife said he “saved my life and lost his” as they attempted to escape the onslaught of bullets.

Mr McIldoon, a Canadian, was on holiday with his girlfriend. His parents said they were due to return from Las Vegas Monday night.

Mr Robbins’ death was confirmed by his aunt on Facebook: “”He was the most kind and loving soul. Everyone who met him loved him. His contagious laugh and smile. He was truly an amazing person.”

Sunday night’s massacre was the worst mass shooting that the United States has ever seen.

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