Columns

Scalise: 'Our Whole Nation Must Respond with Countless Acts of Kindness' to Vegas Massacre

WASHINGTON — House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who just returned to Congress last week after an arduous period of recovery from a gunshot wound suffered three months ago at a morning baseball practice, urged that “in the face of unspeakable evil, our whole nation must respond with countless acts of kindness, warmth and generosity” after the Las Vegas massacre.

“I pray for the victims of this murderous attack, and our whole nation grieves with their loved ones,” Scalise said in a statement the morning after Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music festival on the Vegas Strip, killing at least 58 and wounding 515.

“We also thank the first responders and fellow citizens who did all they could to help those in harm’s way,” he added. “In this tragic moment, I encourage people across America to stand together in solidarity, and to support the Las Vegas community and all of those affected, especially by giving blood and encouraging others to do the same.”

In the Diplomatic Room of the White House this morning, President Trump delivered a statement thanking police for quickly locating and neutralizing Paddock, who unleashed automatic weapons fire on the Las Vegas Village crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay.

Trump ordered that the flag be flown at half-staff, and said he plans to visit Vegas on Wednesday.

“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,” he said. “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.”

The president branded the crime “an act of pure evil” and said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were working with local authorities.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said today that “our communities are all in mourning as we try to understand this senseless massacre on the Strip.”

“I want to thank our first responders for their swift actions and efforts that without a doubt saved numerous lives,” the senator said, adding he’s praying “for all of the victims and their families who are experiencing immense pain and grave, shocking loss that cannot be measured.”

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) also thanked first responders and extended prayers to the victims of the “vicious and senseless attack.”

“I am working with the City of Las Vegas and Clark County to ensure that local officials have the resources they need to support our community and investigate these tragic events,” she added.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) was in Vegas this morning to meet with local officials, law enforcement and victims.

“I ask that everyone take a moment to keep the people affected by this horrific tragedy in their thoughts and prayers,” he said.