President Donald Trump addressed the country on Monday, Oct. 2 in the wake of the Las Vegas, Nevada shooting, deemed the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Video of Trump's Las Vegas speech shows an important moment in his presidency as his second address to the nation following a shooting. The president began his speech to the American people by saying, "My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief."
While investigators are still trying to understand the motive behind the shooting that killed at least 58 and injured more than 500, Trump called the tragedy an "act of pure of evil." The president thanked the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all the first responders for their "courageous efforts in helping to save the lives of so many." He described the speed with which first responders and police acted was "miraculous" and "prevented further loss of life."
SWAT units stormed the shooter's 32nd-floor hotel room quickly, where he had opened fire from his window, with 10 guns and additional rifles by his side. The president continued to praise law enforcement by saying,
To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired, is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful. It shows what true professionalism is all about.
Trump went on to address the families who are mourning the loss of loved ones affected by the shooting. He said, "We cannot fathom their pain; we cannot imagine their loss." He then said directly to those mourning families, "We are praying for you. We are here for you, and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period. The president went on to quote Psalm 34:18 from the Bible. He said,
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 God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.
The president then addressed the wounded and recovering victims in the hospital by saying he is praying for a "full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward." While some may be shocked or unmoved by Trump's Bible references, as I see it, it is understandable for a president to use religion in order to console the country, especially considering many of the victims at the country music festival are likely Trump supporters.
Trump said he will direct the American flag at the White House to be flown at half-staff "in memory of the fallen," and that he will be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday, Oct. 4 to meet with law enforcement, first responders, and families of the victims. He then said, "In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has."
Trump went on to say something a bit out of character about unity and love, but is something that many grieving Americans want to hear from their leader in times of tragedy. He said,
We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity. 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.
Trump continued by saying that he and first lady Melania Trump are praying for "every American who has been hurt, wounded, or lost the ones they loved so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack." He said that are praying for the day when "evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear."
While it is unclear what "day" he is referring to, there is much that can be done presently in his and the government's control to prevent another deadly shooting like this from happening.
Trump closed out the speech by saying,
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.
The Las Vegas shooting investigation is ongoing, as well as the pursuit to locate victims and tend to the wounded. Here's how you can help victims, law enforcement officials, and hospitals near the attack.
You can see the full video of Trump's speech here: