Nevada terror attack overshadows troubles for gun industry
By Paul Brandus, MarketWatch
Under Trump, the industry lacks the boogeyman it had in Obama
The laws of Nevada classify last night's massacre as a terror attack (https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-202.html#NRS202Sec4415) -- thus the worst on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001. It also presents Donald Trump with a bunch of awkward and highly inconvenient dilemmas.
He'll be pressured to visit Vegas in the near future to console families of the victims, something that doesn't come naturally to Trump. Living your whole life in a privileged bubble high atop Fifth Avenue, hermetically sealed in gold and marble from the real world, will do that to a guy.
But respond Trump must, for consoler-in-chief is just one of the hats we expect our presidents to wear. He'll have to hug people, get their tears on his poorly fitted suits. They'll show him pictures of those they've lost, and tell him, sobbing, about the hopes and dreams that have been snuffed out. He'll have to take it. It's the kind of thing that makes him squirm.
Past presidents have described these moments as the worst of their time in office. George W. Bush and Barack Obama shed tears in the aftermath of tragedy; it'll be interesting to see if Donald Trump is capable of showing similar emotions.
Aside from Trump's built-in immunity to the suffering of others, this will be awkward for him, given his hardcore support for the National Rifle Association. The gun lobby bet big on Trump last year, contributing more than $30 million to his campaign, according to federal records. It owns Trump and expects a return on its investment. Don't look for Trump to say that gun restrictions are needed. Look for him to say that bad guys will always find a way to get guns, and, perhaps, that more guns are needed to prevent lawlessness.
Of course, it's hard to figure out how more guns would have prevented this massacre, given that the terrorist -- who police have identified as 64 year-old Stephen Paddock -- apparently fired from high atop the Mandalay Bay hotel, some distance from the music festival. Concertgoers were sitting ducks in the dark. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/reports-of-dead-injured-after-mass-shooting-at-las-vegas-concert-2017-10-02)