Sarah Sanders took the White House briefing stand in the wake of the horrific shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
The shooting has left 58 dead and over 500 injured.
After an emotional opening statement, Sanders was immediately asked if the massacre has led President Donald Trump to reconsider “pursuing tighter gun laws to prevent massacres like this from happening again?”
Sanders paused and took a moment to define that this is not the time to politicize a tragedy. Sanders said:
“Look, this is an unspeakable tragedy. Today is a day for consoling survivors and mourning those we lost. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those individuals. There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is time to unite as a country. There’s currently an open and ongoing law enforcement investigation, a motive is yet to be determined, and it would be premature for us to discuss policy when we don’t fully know all the facts or what took place last night.”
She followed up that this debate will happen in the future:
“Today is more a day of reflection, a day of mourning, a day of gratefulness for those that were saved. I think that there will be certainly time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place that we’re in at this moment. Certainly, I think there’s a time for that to happen.”
When pressed a third time if Trump would be focusing on the “bipartisan” solution to gun violence, Sanders used a very liberal city as an example of a broken gun policy. Chicago, one of America’s deadliest cities and former President Barack Obama’s hometown, was brought up by Sanders as an example of failed gun control policy.
“One of the things that we don’t want to do is try to create laws that won’t create or stop these type of things from happening,” Sanders said, “If you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country.”
Sanders continued, “That certainly hasn’t helped there. When that time comes for those conversations to take place, then I think we need to look at things that may actually have a real impact.”
According to gun murder data site Dnainfo, there have been 516 murders in Chicago in 2017 so far.