Reactions from South Carolina politicians has ranged from prayerful to frustrated after Sunday night’s shootings that killed at least 58 people and injured over 500 attending a country music concert in Las Vegas.
“The unspeakable act of evil that occurred last night in Las Vegas resonates in South Carolina and across this country,” Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement. “Words cannot express the outrage and sorrow felt by millions of Americans. Peggy and I send our prayers to all those affected by this senseless tragedy. To all the first responders, thank you for your courage. Today South Carolina stands with Nevada. #prayforvegas”
McMaster said he has ordered the flags atop the South Carolina Statehouse to be flown at half-staff until Friday.
South Carolina’s 3rd District U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan:
Praying for victims, families, visitors & Law Enforcement in Las Vegas!
— Rep. Jeff Duncan (@RepJeffDuncan) October 2, 2017
Duncan’s benign post sparked some backlash, as his political critics noted the U.S. House is considering a bill Duncan sponsored which would remove restrictions on gun silencers. That included State Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, D-Charleston:
How many more die or are injured if silencers are legal? they cannot hear shots & seek safety, police response also delayed.
— Leon Stavrinakis (@leonstav) October 2, 2017
6th District U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn used his comments to call for reforming gun laws:
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. Congress needs to pass common sense reform of our gun laws.
— James E. Clyburn (@Clyburn) October 2, 2017
While not a politician, country music star and Sumter native Lee Brice posted that he had played the same stage on Friday night:
Hearts out to Vegas. Route 91 concert, stage I played two nights ago. Musicians, fans, workers, you are all in our prayers right now..
— Lee Brice (@leebrice) October 2, 2017
State Treasurer Curtis Loftis posted a quote from noted Christian author C.S. Lewis:
C.S. Lewis: God whispers to us n our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. pic.twitter.com/QE0kX2qbJh
— Curtis Loftis (@TreasurerLoftis) October 2, 2017
One Republican state legislator State Sen. Greg Gregory, R-Lancaster, posted his frustration at how politicized gun ownership has become:
Politicians brandishing / auctioning assault weapons during campaigns looks pretty asinine now.
— Sen. Greg Gregory (@KlughGregory) October 2, 2017
Other lawmakers posted fairly boilerplate statements of “thoughts and prayers” for victims and thanks for emergency crews or first responders:
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham:
Overwhelming, heartbreaking tragedy in Las Vegas. Hard to absorb.
Thoughts & prayers with victims of this horrific act & their families.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 2, 2017
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott:
This morning all of our hearts are with Las Vegas and the families of those involved. Thank you to first responders and law enforcement.
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) October 2, 2017
South Carolina’s 1st District U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford:
Horrific news from Las Vegas. Our prayers go out to the victims & their families this morning & in the days ahead.
— Mark Sanford (@RepSanfordSC) October 2, 2017
South Carolina’s 2nd District U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson:
Our thoughts and prayers are with all victims of the horrific acts in Las Vegas this morning. Grateful for the first responders on scene.
— Joe Wilson (@RepJoeWilson) October 2, 2017
South Carolina’s 7th District U.S. Rep. Tom Rice:
Last night innocent concert-goers in #LasVegas became victims of a tragic attack. My heart goes out to all those affected.
— Congressman Tom Rice (@RepTomRice) October 2, 2017
South Carolina’s 5th District U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman:
My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the tragedy in Las Vegas. Thank you to the brave first responders.
— Ralph Norman (@RepRalphNorman) October 2, 2017
Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, who is running for governor next year:
Our prayers go out to the victims of this horrific & senseless act of hate, their families & our brave first responders. #PrayForLasVegas
— Kevin Bryant (@kevinbryantsc) October 2, 2017
State Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia. A state House legislator who has indicated he may run for governor next year:
All our hearts break w/ the news #LasVegas. Prayers for the killed and injured, for their loved ones & for the first responders.
— James Smith (@RepJamesSmith) October 2, 2017
(Editor’s note: This article originally noted reports the House of Representatives might schedule a vote on U.S. Rep. Duncan’s gun silencer bill this week. Duncan maintains that was not the case)