More than 24 hours after a shooting killed two people and wounded ten at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, President Donald Trump on Monday evening offered his condolences to the victims of the attack, as Democrats in Congress turned up the volume on their calls for something to be done by the Congress on gun violence.
“I want to extend our prayers and condolences to the victims of the tragic shooting in Jacksonville,” the President told an audience at a White House dinner for evangelical leaders.
“That was a terrible thing indeed. And how it happens, nobody really knows,” the President added.
The President’s less than 25 seconds of comments about the shooting attack was the first official White House reaction to the incident.
Officials had said Sunday afternoon that Mr. Trump had been briefed on the shooting, but no written statement was issued by the White House, and the President did not post anything about the attack on Twitter.
For Democrats, the President’s short comments about the shooting was exactly part the problem, as Democrats continue to argue that expressing ‘thoughts and prayers’ does nothing to address the underlying issue of gun violence.
“Families in Jacksonville will now join countless others in America grappling with the unimaginable heartbreak that follows a mass shooting,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “Enough is enough.”
“We have the power to reduce the likelihood of these shootings,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “Everyone must demand change from those who don’t support commonsense gun safety laws.”
But as with every major shooting in recent years – ranging in size from the Jacksonville incident to the much larger 2017 attack on a concert in Las Vegas that killed 59 people – there was no evidence in the Congress that any action would take place on gun violence.
“Congress can’t keep avoiding its responsibility to protect the American People,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA).