President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the White House on Monday morning, Oct. 2, following the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The president had a somber tone as he began his remarks on the Oct. 1 Las Vegas, Nevada shooting. President Trump then quoted a Bible verse in his speech, and that left many people scratching their heads.
According to Heavy, Trump used Psalm 34:18 as he said,
Scripture teaches us that 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.
The president took a very spiritual tone for the rest of his speech. According to a full transcript of the speech posted by The New York Times, the president also continued on with spiritually inspired words when he said,
We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace, and we pray for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.
While many appreciated the measured tone of the president and the sympathies he offered to the victims and their families, there was also a feeling that there was something missing from the speech — namely, anything to do with gun control.
It came off to some as inactive in terms of denouncing gun violence and assuring Americans that concrete actions will be taken in order to prevent a repeat of the incident. Trump somewhat addressed the question of what will happen next when 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, while offering words of comfort to those affected, leaned on prayers and scripture to explain the tragedy.
After news of the president's speech, many people took to Twitter to express their confusion of the president's focus on scripture. From the content of the responses on Twitter, the feeling isn't so much that he shouldn't have quoted scripture, but they're more so wondering why he stopped there, instead of also discussing ways to prevent this in the future — beyond prayer and hope.
The religious tone of the speech was noticed by many.
Some wanted to hear what would be done to prevent this from happening again.
Even former Vice President Joe Biden expressed his desire to see gun control reform.
While this speech came across in a somber and sympathetic tone, some people weren't convinced that the president actually feels the way he spoke this morning.
Some people couldn't be convinced that Trump sincerely felt the sentiments he was sharing with the nation.
According to The New York Times' transcript, the president closed his speech with,
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. Thank you. God bless America. Thank you.
Even though the sincerity of the president's words was questioned by some, according to the responses on Twitter, it sounds like some Americans just wanted to hear more about what will be done to ensure that the safety of Americans is the first and foremost priority when it comes to gun control legislation.
Scripture or no scripture, these people are calling for action.