Leftists are conveniently forgetting the major differences in the attacks in Las Vegas, NV and Manhattan, NY to accuse President Donald Trump of hypocrisy.
An ISIS-inspired terrorist killed 8 people with a truck on Tuesday while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” leading President Trump to call for stricter restrictions on immigration. Trump may have gone too far by specifically critiquing Sen. Chuck Schumer, but the bulk of his criticism was related to immigration policy.
Trump’s politicization of the terror attack angered liberals and anti-Trump politicos, who accused him of hypocrisy because the White House asked people not to politicize the Las Vegas tragedy. The implication from these commenters is that Trump is unfairly targeting this specific attack because the perpetrator is Muslim, but they ignore other major differences in the two attacks that explain Trump’s disparate response.
“After a man shot hundreds and hundreds of people in Las Vegas, we heard for weeks…that it was too early to start talking about policy,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Wednesday morning. “Once again, within minutes of an attack…Donald Trump immediately starts talking policy.”
Former New York Times editor Jim Roberts tweeted, “When it’s a Muslim, there’s an immediate reaction. When a guy kills 58 with automatic rifles, it’s too soon to discuss gun control.”
When it’s a Muslim, there’s an immediate reaction. When a guy kills 58 with automatic rifles, it’s too soon to discuss gun control. https://t.co/d6PqJtISYo
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) November 1, 2017
NYC: Muslim man killed 8, injured 13.
Trump wants policy change immediately.
VEGAS: White man killed 58, injured 546.
Trump does NOTHING.
— Michael Skullnik (@MichaelSkolnik) November 1, 2017
Senator Chuck Schumer snarkily tweeted, “I guess it’s not too soon to politicize a tragedy.”
I guess it’s not too soon to politicize a tragedy.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) November 1, 2017
A CNN reporter insisted it’s an “important story” that Trump is willing to talk about policy after the Manhattan attack.
Important story today:
The WH didn’t want to talk gun policy after Las Vegas.
Today, after the NYC attack, Trump is all about policy. https://t.co/vuCQPXJICT
— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) November 1, 2017
— Kurt Bardella (@kurtbardella) November 1, 2017
Where’s the move to get MUCH tougher and smarter on gun control?
*Asking on behalf of the dozens killed and hundreds wounded in Las Vegas. https://t.co/5C2F5RQavK
— John Fritchey (@johnfritchey) November 1, 2017
Remember Trump’s tweets about @SenSchumer the next time they tell us not to “politicize” the next mass shooting by bringing up gun control.
— John Iadarola (@johniadarola) November 1, 2017
But this criticism conveniently forgets the many reasons why politicization and policy chats after Las Vegas were inappropriate and misguided.
Most importantly, perhaps, is that investigators have still not identified a motive in the Las Vegas shooting. Stephen Paddock had no known ties to terrorist groups, next to no digital footprint, and didn’t leave any notes indicating his motive. Even the timeline of the attack has changed several times as the Mandalay Bay hotel questioned the police’s timeline.
Contrastingly, Manhattan attacker Sayfullo Saipov was an Uzbek national who shouted “Allahu Akbar” — a common phrase used by radical Islamic terrorists — while committing the attack and left a note in his truck indicating that the attack was inspired by ISIS. Police were also able to capture Saipov alive, meaning they have been able to talk to him directly to uncover his motive.
It was also difficult to have a policy discussion on the Las Vegas shooting because 1. it wasn’t immediately clear what kind of guns Paddock used in the attack and how he obtained them and 2. liberals spread a wealth of misinformation about guns after the attack.
Police indicated the day after the attack that Paddock was found with ten rifles in his hotel room, but initial reports also guessed that he had used a fully automatic weapon to commit the shooting. It wasn’t until two days after the attack that it became clear that Paddock had used a bump stock to make a semi-automatic rifle capable of firing very rapidly, and that he had passed background checks to obtain his firearms. (RELATED: The Vegas Shooter Had Two Bump Stocks In His Room, Here’s What That Means)
Before the full information came out about the shooting, liberals began attacking firearm suppressors, which ended up having nothing to do with the shooting. The attacks came with straight up falsehoods, such as the idea that suppressors “effectively silence” a weapon. (RELATED: MSNBC Spreads Fake News About Firearm Suppressors)
Other firearm falsehoods spread by the media after Las Vegas: there is no ban on fully automatic weapons, bump stocks turn a semi-auto into a fully auto firearm, bump stocks are legal to purchase and illegal to use, and more. At one point, CNN claimed to show viewers how a bump stock works while showing a firearm that didn’t even have a bump stock attached. (RELATED: MSNBC And CNN Still Don’t Know How Guns Work)
After the Vegas shooting, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters it was “premature to discuss policy when we don’t know all of the facts.”
That’s perhaps the key difference. At their comparative points early on in their timelines, the Las Vegas attack still had so many unknowns whereas many of the important questions have already been answered in New York.