Georgia gov hopeful gets heat over resopnse to Las Vegas shootings

People scramble for shelter after a gunman opened fire at a music festival in Las Vegas. Wire photo.

Georgia politicians offered a mix of condolences and outrage on Monday after a gunman at a Las Vegas hotel killed at least 58 people and injured hundreds more when he opened fire on an outdoor concert late Sunday.

Two leading Democratic candidates for governor called for new firearms restrictions to prevent a repeat of Sunday’s carnage. Former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams urged lawmakers to summon the “political courage” to support more background checks. And ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans pushed for the end of “loopholes” that she said allows dangerous people to buy guns.

A Republican candidate for governor, meanwhile, sparked criticism of his own by invoking the NFL anthem protests. State Sen. Michael Williams questioned in a tweet whether any NFL players would “take a knee to law enforcement” during Monday night’s NFL game. “We’ll remember you,” he added, leading to a barrage of pushback on social media.

Each of the candidates also called for prayers for the victims. So did Gov. Nathan Deal, who said there’s no “logical way to explain” the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history and called it a tragedy that “we will never understand.”

He pointed to legislation approved earlier this year that raises the salary for state law enforcement officers and requires additional training.

“That’s why it’s important we did what we did to increase the salaries for state law enforcement officers to keep the best and to attract the best,” said Deal, adding that the Georgia State Patrol attracted one of its largest number of applicants in state history this year.

Here’s a look at some of the other responses: