Early Wednesday morning, President Trump left Washington en route to Las Vegas where he plans to meet with the victims, first responders and doctors in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Trump is expected to meet with survivors of Sunday’s massacre — in which Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor concert audience from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing at least 59 people and wounding more than 520 others.
The motive for the attack is still unknown. Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said, “I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during Tuesday’s briefing that the purpose of the President’s trip was to “grieve with the friends and family of the victims” and offer “support to those recovering from wounds and thank courageous first responders.”
But even after critics urging the President to discuss gun control, the Trump will likely avoid the opportunity. “With this investigation still in its early phases, we should avoid making sweeping policy decisions,” a White House official told Politico.
Trump hinted as much himself Tuesday, when asked about Las Vegas prior to his visit to hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico.
“Look, we have a tragedy,” Trump told reporters. “What happened [in Las Vegas] is, in many ways, a miracle. The police department, they’ve done such an incredible job. And we’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes on.”
In the long run though, be difficult to avoid questions about gun control, as a majority of Americans support strengthening existing gun laws, USA Today reported. Senior Democratic politicians have also urged Trump to push for additional regulations.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., appealed to Trump’s previous stance of supporting some gun control.
“President Trump, before he ran for office, was for certain sane, rational, limited aspects of gun control,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Maybe he can have a bit of a reawakening because of the horror of what happened as he goes to Las Vegas tomorrow.”