Father of daughter shot in Las Vegas not mad at gunman

There isn’t going to be any change to gun laws in the United States in the aftermath of Sunday’s mass shooting by a member of the well-regulated militia. That much is clear because of history and because the near murder of a man’s daughter hasn’t shaken the notion that everybody should be able to have a gun and 10,000 rounds of ammunition.

NPR’s interview this morning was a pail of cold water on the mass-shooting ritual that includes, of course, talk of the role of guns in America.

Danai Gibbs is in the hospital in Las Vegas, shot by the gunman on Sunday.

She apologized to her father and mother for being shot, her dad tells NPR’s Steve Inskeep in an interview broadcast this morning. “I didn’t mean for this to happen,” her text to her mother read.

She was wounded twice by one bullet, which will remain near her spine.

Her father has raced to Las Vegas to be with his daughter.

“I’m not mad at the gunman. He didn’t know my daughter. He acted selfishly. I’m a Second Amendment person. The weapon didn’t do it. It was the person behind it.”

“What do you think is causing these mass shootings?” Inskeep asked.

“A godless society,” he said.

(Download audio)

Related: Mass Shootings Don’t Lead to Inaction—They Lead to Loosening Gun Restrictions (The Atlantic)

How America has silently accepted the rage of white men (CNN)

  • kevins

    Right..and God likes firearms.

    • Rob

      Surely He must, as He makes so many of them…

      • kevins

        True That!

  • jon

    I see now why the Evangelical right likes Trump so much…

    I was wrong when I said it was all about abortions… it’s still a little about abortions…

    But It’s also about character, the God of the evangelical right and Trump have the same character… if something good happens they take full responsibility, if something bad happens it because they weren’t involved in any way and it’s some one else’s fault.

  • BJ
    • MikeB

      Agreed. Cannot judge the personal grief the father is feeling but can judge what he thinks caused this tragedy. An odd statement.

  • Rob

    Neil deGrasse Tyson had an excellent take on this nation’s gun mania and folks such as Danial’s dad: “Some claim the USA is a Christian nation, compelling me to wonder what kind of assault rifle Jesus would choose.” My thought is that Jesus would surely pick something with fully automatic capabilities.

  • MrE85

    Both responses from father and daughter strike me as sounding odd, but who am I to judge?

    I can and do judge the killer, and those who helped him do it.

  • Mike

    Wow, her parents terrify her so much she apologies to them…after getting shot. I hope she and her family can use their Christian teachings to reach healing, peace, and happiness.

  • Gary F

    “never let a good crisis go to waste” Rahm Emanuel.

    This guy knows that there is evil in the world and no law is going to stop them. He sees it every day in his work.

    • Rob

      The gun-induced carnage in Las Vegas and everywhere else “is the price we pay for freedom.” — Bill O’Reilly

      • Mike Worcester

        Harsh statement alert — If that is how Mr. O’Reilly truly feels, then he can volunteer himself to be first in line the next time some whackadoodle takes aim. Because….you know…freedom and all that.

    • >>This guy knows that there is evil in the world and no law is going to stop them.<<

      One can make it a bit harder to wound and massacre several hundred people though.

    • jon


      Nothing is going to stop people from driving drunk, shouldn’t be the law.
      Nothing is going to stop people from getting abortions, so laws are stupid.
      Nothing is going to stop people from selling booze on sunday, so no need for a law.
      Nothing is going to stop people from speeding so speed limits are stupid.
      Nothing is going to stop people from building cars that don’t meet emissions standards so we should do away with them.
      Nothing is going to stop congressmen from shooting anyone who isn’t going to vote for them, so we shouldn’t have any laws against it!

      Laws are stupid, we need anarchy, because the constitution (highest law in the land) is a lie and needs to be done away with!

      Ladies and gentlemen I give you the beliefs of the “american patriot”

      • Gary F

        There is always going to be someone who doesn’t think laws pertain to them whether an alcoholic or someone who has serious mental problems. There have been millions of AR style rifles sold since they were available to the public in 1957 and only a few deranged people have used them for such evil.

        • BJ

          > There have been millions of AR style rifles sold since they were available to the public in 1957 and only a few deranged people have used them for such evil

          Naming a single weapon deflects the talking point. There are about 114 million handguns, 110 million rifles, and 86 million shotguns – numbers from around 2010.

          • X.A. Smith

            And 6 mass shootings for every 7 days.

          • jon

            Taking the sabbath off?
            And some one has the nerve to call us a godless nation.

        • RBHolb

          So why do we single out guns as the topic of the “unenforceable, therefore not to be enacted” laws?

        • Rob

          Gosh, we certainly should be thankful that more people in the U.S. who own AR style weapons – with their large-capacity, rapid fire capabilities that serve no sporting purposes whatsoever – aren’t committing mass murder. We are getting off sooooo easy!

    • BJ

      And yet laws do, every day. And they allow for prosecution of people who break them.

    • Ralphy

      If you are going to quote someone, please have the courtesy to get the quote right and in context. Thank you.

      Emanuel, Nov. 19, 2008: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before. I think America as a whole in 1973 and 1974, and not just my view but obviously the administration’s, missed the opportunity to deal with the energy crisis that was before us. For a long time our entire energy policy came down to cheap oil. This is an opportunity, what used to be long-term problems, be they in the health care area, energy area, education area, fiscal area, tax area, regulatory reform area, things that we have postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity, for us, as I would say, the opportunity to do things that you could not do before. The good news, I suppose, if you want to see a silver lining, is the problems are big enough that they lend themselves to ideas from both parties for the solution.”

    • My problem with the many of the gun toting right wing nut jobs is that their definition of evil tends to be closely aligned with words like liberal, black, democrat, urban, feminist, atheist, immigrant, etc. I used to laugh at these people because I thought they honestly believed that their guns somehow gave them freedom. I called the gun lobby the hobby lobby, because they are largely just man-children that want to play with dangerous toys. I was wrong. I get it now. They don’t cling to their guns because they are afraid of the government. They cling to their guns in the hope that will someday be able to use them silence, marginalize, or kill those who they disagree with. They will tell you as much if you get them talking. I used to shrug that kind of thing off, but if a group keeps making threats at some point you have to at least consider the possibility that they’ll carry through with them.

      I spent time in the Balkans. I’ve seen where this can lead. If it does go there, and I increasingly think it will, this country will bleed in a way that will make Bosnia look like nothing.

      • Wayne

        This has been my experience as well.
        It’s like they spend the money on the firearm with protecting themselves as the excuse and they really want to get some use of out it.

        I worked with one guy who lived in a northern exurb who once said “When the have-nots come knocking at my door, I’ll be ready.”
        I suggested that the have-nots didn’t have cars and that it was too far to walk, but he didn’t think it was very funny.

        They just really, really seem like they want to shoot someone.
        Anecdotally, most I’ve known that fit this profile live in outer ring suburbs or exurbs, and often (but, not always) don’t have any prior military experience.

  • Mike

    I wonder if it’s the “godless” people who are also the ones shooting abortion doctors.

    In related news, the Trump administration – beloved of many Christianists – voted last week in the UN against a resolution that condemns using the death penalty to punish GLBT people. Just what Jesus would have wanted.

    (In fairness to Trump, no American administration since WWII has ever been willing to object to any barbarity endorsed by our Saudi “allies.”)

    • jon

      We can’t restrict guns, even if the second amendment says “well regulated militia” the supreme court said guns are a right!

      Though they also said abortions are a right, and we’ve gotten a very good blueprint for how to regulate things that are a constitutional right according to the supreme court.

      So, I propose in order to sell a gun, the seller must have admitting rights at a hospital.
      The facility in which the gun is sold needs to be build to the same codes as hospitals.
      Mandatory 72 hour waiting period, and pre-gun purchase counseling, where false information is distributed about how many people guns just kill, and how they cause breast cancer (in both genders!)

      Seems like fair play to me…

      • Lindsey

        Also, you have to see pictures of something…I can’t think of what would be analogous to pictures of the fetus/zygote.

        • jon

          crime scene photos after mass shootings…

        • jon

          I also forgot about the transvaginal ultrasound equivalent…

          I bet that firing a gun with colon problems could lead to serious complications…. so a full physical complete with prostate exam and colonoscopy should probably also be required.

          I’m just trying to make things safe for gun owners, their safety and ability to make an informed decision is paramount importance!

          Edit: oh, and no government funds should be available for any of these exams, they are at the expense of the purchaser.

          • BJ

            Inspection for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy should be required as well.

  • >>She apologized to her father and mother for being shot<<

    This makes me wonder what sort of brainwashing her parents have done to her while growing up.

    • Barton

      I kinda think this is just a female in our society thing (yes, b/c of brainwashing society has done). Most women seem to apologize for abuse they receive, as they are somehow at fault. Someone runs into/bumps into us on the street, we apologize – we weren’t the ones in the wrong, but we apologize. It’s crap, but I’m sorry to say that is what we have been programmed to do. (yup, I put that in there on purpose).

      That said, with her dad’s attitude, I’m sure he is blaming her for not being that “good guy with a gun.”

    • RBHolb

      I kinda think she was still shaken by the trauma of being a victim in a mass shooting.

      • Jeff

        Yes, I’m inclined to give anyone who went through something like that the benefit of the doubt.

        • RBHolb

          Just the daughter, though. Dad’s comments were [scatological reference to the order Chiroptera] crazy.

    • Dan

      “Don’t apologize to me, dear. Apologize to the gun”.

  • Lindsey

    I think this man would be surprised at the number of religious folk in the US. I know he would be if he only watches Fox News. Regardless, obviously, a god would not be able to prevent gun tragedies, at least not without some reasonable laws as backup.

  • Chris

    Pessimism is for the old. The gun gropers are a minority in this country. Things can change.

    • Barton

      You must be very young, indeed. But do keep the attitude and fight for the change!

    • Rob

      I think you’re confusing pessimism with being realistic.
      The gun gropers/NRA may be the minority, but they’ve got this country in an unshakable death grip.
      Hoping for change is fine, but as the saying goes, “If wishes were horses, we’d all be riding.”

  • crystals
  • Jerry

    It must have taken some gold medal level mental gymnastics to reach that conclusion.

  • kennedy

    The kicker in that quote is “godless society”. It’s such a judging, divisive statement. And it seems to me that our willingness to demean, devalue and discount those who are different is at the root of much anger and violence. And by the way, it’s actually the opposite of what Christianity teaches.

  • AL287

    I wonder how “forgiving” he would have been if his daughter had died in the massacre.

    Death has an odd way of rearranging your priorities, especially when your child is the victim.

    “A well-armed militia,” was intended for fighting invading forces which at the time of American independence were very much a real danger as we soon found out in the War of 1812.

    Radical Islam is also an invader and it got in by means of technology and stealth on the dark web.

    A good education and decent pay are the best defenses against falling victim to rogue ideologies. If you are content in your personal and professional life, you’re less likely to be swayed.

    45 got elected by preying on the weak and uneducated.

    We are now reaping what we have sown over the last 40 years.

    • JamieHX

      >> “A well-armed militia…” <<
      I don't know if you said that on purpose, but I believe it actually says "a well regulated militia…" There's a big difference.

      • AL287

        Yes and the gun lobby has their own interpretation of what “well-regulated” means. Regulation/law.

        Again the citizen militia in the early days of the country was to defend against foreign invaders.

        Our founding fathers would be horrified at how their amendment has been twisted around and misinterpreted.

  • Jay T. Berken

    I was going to write about that after hearing “A godless society,” comment; can we have a conversation about this country and the blind trust of religion and the influence in the country.

    But then I just listened to Inskeep’s report about walking around Vegas interviewing people going to the site and already going to (outdoor?) concerts in Vegas. The religion is the cop out to the argument; its just people do not want to be inconvenienced to do anything about it. I don’t know if it is a laziness as much more it as a natural (or nurture for that matter) being in our subconscious for survival. I think of me not saying anything to a co-worker for making insensitive comments, me not saying something whether it be about gun control or the NFL protest to friends and family, to the inconvenience to write my representatives about my thoughts and wants. I watched in horror the Vietnam documentary of the people on mopeds driving past hundreds of dead people on the side of the road seemingly unfazed, but really they just wanted to live day by day to the best they can. To stop and grieve or reflect for the dead would be inconvenient. I do not know what I would do, but probably the same.

    Nobody wants to do the right things of this mass shooting, including this father of a victim, because we would have to look into ourselves and question our very being and do some leg work. It truly takes special leader to come along to pick up that torch and bring it closer to resolve. This person usual is once in a couple generations (e.g. looking only at U.S. a Lincoln, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, the “Founding Fathers”, Martin Luther King, etc). When Robert Kennedy was shot, could he have carried that weight? When Wellstone died in the plane crash, could he have done it? Were there people out of place of the times or didn’t have the circumstances to become the leader we needed for the time. I do not know what it takes.

  • MrE85

    I just saw a pro-gun meme on Facebook pointing to the exact same culprit that the father cited. Exactly the same wording. Maybe that’s where that came from.

  • Michele Ireland

    By the father’s logic, I see why he’s not mad at the gun. But he said it’s the person behind the gun. That’s the gunman, yet he says he’s not mad at the gunman…

  • Nato Coles

    Her father is so heavenly minded, he’s no earthly good.

  • WayneTC

    It always amazes me that gun owners thoughtlessly say guns are irrelevant to gun massacres. People know they own guns because they are more effective and efficient at killing than other weapons. A person determined to kill people cannot kill 58 people and wound five hundred from several hundred feet away with a thousand knifes or ten thousand rocks! A person with a knife cannot easily kill twenty or more people in a crowd in a minute, and people have a chance to stop the killer with a knife or flee, that the people in Las Vegas did not have.
    The second amendment has nothing to do with individual defense, it is clearly about a collective right to collective defense. You don’t call a militia when someone is breaking in to your house. Outside of being available to serve in a government militia our gun right is fair game to regulation including keeping modern military grade weapons not available in 1789, out of civilians hands. No we shouldn’t have the right to keep and bear a rocket propelled grenade launcher.
    Get real arms owners!