Posted tagged ‘Las Vegas massacre’

White House talking points on Las Vegas urge Republicans to reject new gun laws

October 4, 2017

White House talking points on Las Vegas urge Republicans to reject new gun laws, Washington ExaminerGabby Morrongiello, October 3, 2017

White House talking points circulated to allies of the Trump administration on Tuesday urged Republicans to resist new gun control measures that would “curtail the freedoms of law abiding citizens.”

The document, obtained by the Washington Examiner, contains several bullet points that aim to help GOP lawmakers and pro-Trump pundits navigate the heated debate over the need for stricter gun laws in the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, which resulted in a death toll of 59 and left hundreds more injured.

President Trump welcomes “a reasoned and well-informed debate on public safety,” the talking points said, but holds fast to the view that the Second Amendment “is a key constitutional right that is meant to protect people’s freedoms.”

“The President believes that our founding principles, like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms must be protected while maintaining public safety,” the memo reads.

A section titled “Why Wait?”, presumably in reference to the gun control debate that began mere hours after the shooting occurred, reminds memo recipients that several “unknowns” remain surrounding the shooter’s motive, religious beliefs, mental health, and firearm purchases.

Here’s a sampling of how the White House has urged Republicans to respond to renewed calls for increased gun control:

  • “When it comes to gun control, let’s be clear: new laws won’t stop a mad man committed to harming innocent people. They will curtail the freedoms of law abiding citizens.”
  • “We’ve seen terrorist attacks committed with knives, by people driving cars into crowds, and hijacking airplanes…
  • “We’ve had examples where concealed carry has allowed people to protect themselves and stop a mass shooting in its tracks, such as last month in a church in Texas.”
  • “… more laws on the books may not work. The problems in these cities (Chicago and Baltimore) and many others isn’t too few gun laws.”
  • “We welcome a reasoned and well-informed debate on public safety and our constitutional freedoms, but we reject the false choice that we can’t have both.”

Trump said earlier Tuesday that he and congressional Republicans “will be talking about gun laws as time goes on,” though he declined to weigh in on current legislation that would loosen restrictions on gun silencers.

A day earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that having a debate on gun control so soon after the Vegas shooting is “not the place that we’re in at this moment.”

The White House talking points are below:

Las Vegas Shooting

The President’s thoughts and prayers are with the hundreds of victims who were killed and injured in this senseless act of violence.
We are monitoring the situation closely and offer our full support to state and local officials.

All of those affected are in our thoughts and prayers.

The FBI, Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security are working with local law enforcement officials to determine the facts surrounding this tragedy, and it wouldn’t be appropriate to start having a political debate before we even know the facts, less than 24 hours after local law enforcement and first responders arrived on the scene.

ISIS:

The FBI has said there is no evidence of a link between the suspect and an international terrorist organization at this time.

Gun Control:

Let’s gather the facts before we make sweeping policy arguments for curtailing the Second Amendment. The investigation is still in its earliest stages.
The Second Amendment has endured for more than two centuries for a reason: it is a key constitutional right that is meant to protect people’s freedoms, and the President understands that.

The President believes that our founding principles, like freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to bear arms must be protected while maintaining public safety.

We welcome a reasoned and well-informed debate on public safety and our constitutional freedoms, but we reject the false choice that we can’t have both.

And when it comes to gun control, let’s be clear: new laws won’t stop a mad man committed to harming innocent people. They will curtail the freedoms of law abiding citizens.

We’ve seen terrorist attacks committed with knives, by people driving cars into crowds, and hijacking airplanes.
And some of America’s cities with the strictest gun laws have the highest rates of gun violence. Examples include:

Chicago last year had over 4,300 shooting victims

Baltimore last year had over 900 shooting victims

This shows that more laws on the books may not work. The problems in these cities and many others isn’t too few gun laws.

Also, we’ve had examples where concealed carry has allowed people to protect themselves and stop a mass shooting in its tracks, such as last month in a church in Texas.

Again, we welcome this debate, but in the wake of Sunday night’s tragedy, we shouldn’t rush toward compromising our freedoms before we have all the facts.

WHY WAIT?:

Some of the unknowns we must learn from investigators:

· What motivated this individual?
· Did he have radical ties?
· Did he have mental health issues?
· How was his weapon obtained?

Was Las Vegas a Jihad Attack?

October 3, 2017

Was Las Vegas a Jihad Attack? FrontPage MagazineRobert Spencer, October 3, 2017

(Please see also, Active Shooters at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas possibly at Harvest Festival. — DM)

 “The propaganda organs of ISIS such as Amaq exaggerate but do not falsely take credit for attacks mounted by other entities.”

In light of all this, it looks as if the Las Vegas massacre was likely a jihad attack. But since that doesn’t fit the establishment media narrative, or the agenda of all too many in law enforcement, don’t expect it to be announced forthrightly by any authorities anytime soon, if ever

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Memphis imam Yasir Qadhi said that the Las Vegas massacre was a manifestation of “white privilege.” Texas imam Omar Suleiman tweeted ridicule of ISIS’ claim of responsibility for the attack: “Breaking: ISIS claims responsibility for hurricane Harvey saying he became Muslim days before hitting Houston.”

They didn’t ridicule the ISIS claim, but unnamed U.S. officials did decisively dismiss it: Reuters reported that “two senior US officials said on Monday that there was no evidence that the shooter who killed at least 50 people in Las Vegas was tied to any international militant group….One of the two US officials discounted Islamic State’s claim of responsibility and said there was reason to believe that the shooter, whom police identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, had a history of psychological problems.”

The only one insisting that the Islamic State was responsible was the Islamic State itself. Its Amaq news agency initially announced: “The Las Vegas attack was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried it out in response to calls to target states of the coalition. The Las Vegas attacker converted to Islam a few months ago.”

Then, after its initial claim was dismissed everywhere, the Islamic State doubled down, issuing an official communiqué identifying Paddock as “Abu Abd Abdulbar al-Ameriki.” Even after their claim was dismissed everywhere, they didn’t back away from it. They don’t seem to be afraid that Stephen Paddock will turn out to be a white supremacist neo-Nazi or some such. They don’t seem to be worried about being exposed as grandiose liars.

And historically, they haven’t been liars, at least when they claimed responsibility for jihad attacks. Islamic State expert Graeme Wood notes in The Atlantic that “the idea that the Islamic State simply scans the news in search of mass killings, then sends out press releases in hope of stealing glory, is false,” and that those who claim that ISIS is in the habit of taking credit for attacks it had nothing to do with “do not have a preponderance of prior examples on their side.” Contradicting Suleiman’s ridicule, Wood notes: “The Islamic State does not claim natural disasters. Its supporters rejoice in them, but they reserve their official media for intentional acts.”

This doesn’t mean that Wood accepts everything ISIS says at face value. He reports one false ISIS claim: “In June, a gambling addict shot up and torched the Resorts World casino in Manila, Philippines. The Islamic State claimed credit, with a dubious follow-up alleging that Jessie Javier Carlos, 42, converted to Islam some months before, without telling anyone. That explanation appears to be a total lie.”

Others, however, disagree. Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, said: “It’s very likely that the Resorts World was a terrorist operation.” Veryan Khan, editorial director and founder of Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC), added that the attack was not just a terror attack, but specifically an ISIS one, “at the very minimum sanctioned – if not directed – by the Islamic State.”

What’s more, Jones added: “It isn’t true that ISIS has a history of claiming others’ attacks as their own.” And Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside al-Qaeda and head of the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research, likewise vouched for the general veracity of ISIS’ claims of responsibility: “The propaganda organs of ISIS such as Amaq exaggerate but do not falsely take credit for attacks mounted by other entities.”

While social media is abuzz with charges that only racist, bigoted “Islamophobes” are taking the Islamic State’s claim seriously, it should be noted that neither Jones nor Gunaratna have ever been accused of “Islamophobia,” and that both stated that the Islamic State was generally trustworthy in its claims of responsibility not in response to the Las Vegas attack, but back in July.

In light of all this, it looks as if the Las Vegas massacre was likely a jihad attack. But since that doesn’t fit the establishment media narrative, or the agenda of all too many in law enforcement, don’t expect it to be announced forthrightly by any authorities anytime soon, if ever.