Haslam: TN officials consider how to deal with mass shooting

Gov. Bill Haslam says Tennessee’s homeland security officials are already preparing to deal with a mass shooting such as occurred in Las Vegas on Sunday, reports the Jackson Sun. He has also ordered flags at state building flown at half-staff today in honor of the victims at a country music concert in Nevada.

“It’s a horrible tragedy, but I think our folks as early as this morning were trying to think through, ‘This is one more scenario that we have to think about preventing,’” Haslam said about the mass shooting in Las Vegas. “Twenty years ago, before 9/11, we weren’t thinking about what all could someone do with an airplane who’s willing to lose their life. Now we’re thinking about all the other scenarios, where somebody is willing to lose their life, they can get a great vantage point. What do we do to stop that?”

Haslam also expressed his sorrow for at 59 people, including West Tennessee native Sonny Melton, 29, who were killed Sunday in Las Vegas.

“I know particularly our hearts are saddened by the loss of Sonny Melton, who was a member of the health care community in West Tennessee; his wife as well,” Haslam said. “The whole situation is obviously tragic, and have it be one of our own makes the pain even more real.”

… When asked if more could be done to limit access to high-capacity assault rifles in the state, Haslam said it’s too soon to discuss that.

“I think we’re all concerned when someone can cause that much loss of life in that short a period of time,” Haslam said. “Everybody has to look around and say, ‘What are the steps we can take?’ I think it’s too soon to come to a conclusion on that.”

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