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Shaheen on Las Vegas Shooting: 'This is Terrorism'

Senator Jeanne Shaheen calls the mass shooting in Las Vegas an act of terrorism.


Shaheen spoke about the incident today on The Exchange. She expressed condolences to the victims and their families. She says the U.S. must address gun violence. She says it can be done while respecting the rights of gun owners.


It remains under investigation. But does the heinous act of violence in Las Vegas on Sunday night meet the definition of terrorism?

New York Congressman Lee Zeldin, a Republican, has called the identified shooter a “domestic terrorist.”

Not everyone agrees.

UNH security studies professor James Ramsay tells The Exchange that it may not meet the legal definition of terrorism. He cites the apparent lack of an ideological-driven component.

Ramsay says that all terrorism is crime but not all crime is terrorism. "So this is an example of violent crime and people are terrified," he says. "But from a practical perspective and a legal perspective, I'm not sure we can actually label it as terrorism yet despite, you know, the need to kind of label it as something in order to help the process move forward."

President Donald Trump did not call the Las Vegas gunman a "terrorist," and the Internet took notice- and took issue.

New Hampshire’s senior senator says Congress should revisit potential gun control measures. After the Newtown school shooting, she advocated for stricter background checks. Gov. Chris Sununu told reporters Monday that now is the time for mourning those lost - not the time to debate further restrictions on guns.

Ramsay says there needs to be continued discussion about preparedness and balance with living in a free society.

Perry Plummer, director of the New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security and Emergency management, says state authorities received a multi-agency law enforcement briefing. There are no known New Hampshire ties. Threat assessment is a regular process for major events and much of the review the public does not see, he says.

Social psychologist Gerri King and Leanne Tigert, the hospice care manager for Concord Regional VNA, joined The Exchange to talk about the emotional toll of mass shootings or major disasters that can be experienced far from the crime scene.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed. To feel numb. And it's natural, they say. It can take time to process. Tigert calls it the "natural novocaine of denial."


Dan is a long-time New Hampshire journalist who has written for outlets including Foster's Daily Democrat, The Citizen of Laconia, The Boston Globe, and The Eagle-Tribune. He comes to NHPR from the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he reported on state, local, and national politics.

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