A Horrible Weekend
Many Americans woke up this morning to shocking news. A gunman had opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas last night, killing at least 58 people. Area hospitals reported that more than 500 people were treated for various injuries.
It was a horrible weekend for evil. In addition to the shooting in Las Vegas, there were terrorist attacks in Canada and France. ISIS is taking credit for the attacks in Marseille and Las Vegas, claiming that Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, a 64 year-old retired accountant, "converted to Islam a few months ago."
According to Reuters, senior U.S. officials say there is no evidence connecting Paddock to any terrorist organization. These attacks come just days after the latest audio recording of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was released.
Trump Addresses America
President Trump addressed the nation this morning and called the shooting in Las Vegas, "an act of pure evil." Below are some excerpts of his remarks:
"My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock, and grief. Last night, a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. . . It was an act of pure evil. . .
"I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts. . . The speed with which they acted is miraculous, and prevented further loss of life. . .
"To the families of the victims: We are praying for you and we are here for you, and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period. Scripture teaches us, 'The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.' We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve. . .
"In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one -- and it always has. We call upon the bonds that unite us -- our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity. . .
"May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost. May God give us the grace of healing. And may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on. . ."
Heroism Amid Chaos
In a country where hundreds of millionaire football players have been kneeling to protest police injustice, hundreds of police officers stood up and ran into the teeth of danger last night in Las Vegas. Two off-duty police officers were killed and two on-duty officers were injured during the hail of bullets.
When officers reached Paddock's room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, they found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. They also found "a cache of weapons." Reports indicate that Paddock checked into the room on September 28th, suggesting this attack was planned well in advance.
Just a few weeks ago, the Las Vegas Police Department was berated for alleged racism by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. But after reviewing hundreds of videos, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo concluded that his officers acted appropriately.
If they kneel for anything, I strongly urge all NFL players to take a knee tonight in honor of our law enforcement officers. Every day they risk their lives to protect and defend us. They deserve our respect.
We are also learning about incredible stories of heroism amid the chaos.
One woman said she was there with her sister. When the shooting started, a man threw himself on top them and stayed there for several minutes. A financial advisor shielded his two kids. "They're 20. I'm 53. I've lived a good life," he said.
One woman loaded victims into the back of her pickup truck and drove them to the hospital. Hotel vans were commandeered to transport victims to area hospitals.
After Todd Blyleven got his friends out of the park, he ran back in and helped dozens more escape. "I would hope that if me, or my family, was in a situation like that, that someone would come in and get me," Blyleven said.
There are reports of people ripping off their shirts to bind wounds. Individuals grabbed tables and broke down fences to use as stretchers, carrying bodies for blocks. And hundreds lined up to donate blood this morning.
Many were not so fortunate. Tennessee resident Sonny Melton, one of the first victims publicly identified, reportedly died protecting his wife.
I would really like to focus this report on the facts of what took place in Las Vegas and the need to pray for the victims and their families. But, unfortunately, there is such insanity on the left that I can't ignore it. Almost immediately, so-called "progressives" began to politicize the shooting, just as they do with every tragedy that happens in the country, including Hurricane Maria.
Hillary Clinton went on a tweet storm, posting among other things, "We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again." But Hillary is injecting politics herself with that statement.
Drexel University Professor George Ciccariello tweeted, "It's the white supremacist patriarchy, stupid." Huh?
But the most outrageous reaction, so far, comes from a CBS legal executive. Referring to the Sandy Hook shooting, Hayley Geftman-Gold posted the following on her Facebook page:
"If they wouldn't do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing. I'm actually not even sympathetic [because] country music fans often are Republican gun toters."
That is an ignorant and disgusting statement to make while people are mourning their murdered family members. I am pleased to report that CBS has fired her!