TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - While visiting survivors and doctors at a trauma center in Las Vegas on Wednesday, a reporter asked Trump about gun violence in the United States which takes the lives of more than 100,000 Americans every year.
“We're not going to talk about that today. We won't talk about that,” said Trump, who is against gun control laws.
Trump’s 2016 election campaign was heavily funded by the National Rifle Association (NRA), an organization which advocates for gun rights. In response, the billionaire had pledged to protect the American gun owners' right to keep and bear arms, assuring them that they now have a “true friend” in the White House.
On Wednesday, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump met with survivors and doctors at a trauma center in Las Vegas, three days after the deadly attack that killed 58 and injured more than 500 people.
The shooter, Stephen Paddock, purchased 33 automatic weapons in the last year. Police found a total of 47 guns in the hotel room and house of 64-year-old, who rained down a barrage of bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards an open-air concert Sunday night.
At least one of the rifles found in the hotel suite was outfitted with a “bump stock,” a legal attachment that allows a semi-automatic weapon to fire at the same rate as a fully automatic firearm.
Addressing police officers and first responders to the deadly shooting on Wednesday, Trump said, “America is truly a nation in mourning.”
“We cannot be defined by the evil that threatens us or the violence that incites such terror,” he added.
Trump has been an outspoken ally to the gun lobby both as a candidate and president. In April, he told the National Rifle Association convention that they had a "true friend and champion in the White House."
More than 100,000 people are shot each year in the US at a total cost of $45 billion, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs hours after the shooting in Las Vegas.