Republicans sifting through the stack of legally purchased guns that Stephen Paddock brought into his bedroom, half of which he'd converted into simulated automatic weapons, are at a loss to see how the massacre that killed 58 innocent people could have been avoided.
Waving an AR-15 for emphasis, Mitch McConnell said that "If there were something we could do to prevent these mass shootings, we would do it immediately."
House Speaker Ryan singled out the random nature of this and similar attacks as the main problem. He pointed out how in recent years one mass shooting was committed by a grandfather with an arsenal of legally purchased guns, another by a couple of teenagers with an arsenal of legally purchased guns, and now this one by a poker-playing accountant real estate investor with an arsenal of legally purchased guns.
"Without anything linking these attacks it's difficult to know how to proceed," he said. "What we don't want to do is limit access to lethal weapons by anyone who wants one. That would be kind of nutty," he added.
Standing on top of a huge pile of legally purchased ammunition, Vice President Pence said that the impulse following a mass shooting was to rush in and make a common sense decision. "As a Republican with a long history of being funded by the NRA, I'm wary of going down that path," he said.
"The most important thing we can do now at this dark hour," continued the Vice President as he reached for his phone, "is to send off a tweet and a prayer to the loved ones of all those killed in the massacre."