President Donald Trump, currently on a 13-day, five-country tour through Asia, reacted to the shooting in a Texas church that has left 26 dead and many more injured from Japan. Trump’s response focused on overcoming the tragedy and he made no mention of gun control. This shooting has been the deadliest in the state's history.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Trump began. “We cannot put into words the grief and pain we all feel.”
“But in dark times such as these, Americans do what they do best: we pull together. We join hands, we lock arms, and through the tears, and through the sadness, we stand strong, oh so strong,” he continued. “My administration will provide its full support to the great state of Texas and all local authorities investigating this horrible crime.”
In Tokyo, President Trump speaks about the mass shooting in Texas: “All of America is praying” for the victims https://t.co/AwoEAomPsb— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 6, 2017
Trump also tweeted out in response to the shooting, offering prayers and claiming he is “monitoring the situation from Japan.”
May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2017
Texas Governor Greg Abbott had a similar response.
Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act. Our thanks to law enforcement for their response. More details from DPS soon. https://t.co/KMCRmOPkiM— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 5, 2017
Just last week, eight people were killed in Manhattan when a truck rammed into people on a bike path. Trump immediately called for the suspension of the visa program that the attacker had used to become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. He later walked back those comments, but still called for the death penalty for the driver of truck.
The terrorist came into our country through what is called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program," a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter). @foxandfriends— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2017
By contrast, when a gunman killed 59 and injured 527 more in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history just a few weeks ago in Las Vegas, Trump’s response involved thanking first responders and a call for prayers. In that instance, he again failed to make any mention of any policy that might help stop or at least abate these incidents in America.
In February, Trump chose to roll back a measure put in place by the Obama administration that added those with mental illnesses to the national background check database, which would in theory make it harder for those with mental illnesses to buy a gun.
In February, Trump signed a law rolling back Obama's attempt to add mental health to background checks for gun buys https://t.co/RIsGc72h9Q— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) October 2, 2017
Barack Obama has also responded to the Sutherland Springs tragedy. In a series of tweets, Obama said he “grieve[s] with all the families in Sutherland Springs harmed by this act of hatred,” and also asks for “the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry.”
We grieve with all the families in Sutherland Springs harmed by this act of hatred, and we’ll stand with the survivors as they recover...— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 6, 2017
May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 6, 2017
Others have had even stronger reactions.
Can you sleep tonight, colleagues, when the price of gun lobby goodwill is this - blood soaked church and school floors, city streets?— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 5, 2017
Senseless gun violence has torn apart another community — this time in a house of worship. When do we say enough is enough? https://t.co/gsW1KN54xc— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 5, 2017
When a plane crashes, air travel becomes exponentially safer bc of the lessons learned. But 1 mass shooting after another...nothing.— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) November 5, 2017