First off though, my heart goes out to all of those affected by the tragedy in Las Vegas.
There are two important aspects to consider from this incident: we do not yet have a motive for why this horrible atrocity was committed, and what made this guy blend in with the general population so he was not flagged by any of the intelligence agencies? How many Americans actually own more than seven firearms, and are considered “super owners”? Over 7.7 million Americans. How many of them have actually committed a mass murder with them? 1 and only 1. This means that we must distinguish what makes him different from everyone else.
Hopefully, this situation will lead to improved background checks. Wait, did I just say improved background checks, insinuating that I support background checks? Yes. Yes, I did. Thanks to effective background checks, we have the ability to weed out people who have a history of abusing firearms and committing crimes. In this respect, they do an excellent job because those people have been flagged after going through due process. You know, one of those rights listed in the Bill of Rights. Background checks suddenly become ineffective and dangerous when they try and guess if a person will commit crimes with no history and do not provide due process. Much like the recently repealed Obama-era gun law that most liberals will say took guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Except it didn’t. It took due process away from people who sought help to manage their financial situation with social security income. This is also why banning weapons from those on the no-fly list should remain illegal, because there is no due process to those placed on the list, and flying is not a right listed in the Constitution. Former Senator Ted Kennedy was placed on the list for crying out loud, even if it was a mistake that “T. Kennedy” was there.
This also leads us to debunk the number, 33,636 gun deaths every year. First off, roughly 2/3 of those deaths are by suicide. About 3% of the original figure are accidental or undetermined. The remaining 1/3 are homicides. Also, more than 80% of the 1/3 are gang and drug-related. The remaining roughly 2,100 people are killed by handguns, with a very small number of them being killed by so-called semi-automatic “assault weapons,” a.k.a. the big scary military rifles. So what we really need to take a hard look at is how to keep handguns out of criminal hands and not take them away from law-abiding citizens, who on average use a gun in self-defense every 13 seconds in the U.S.
I would also like to define the difference between manual, semi-automatic, and automatic guns. Manual are the kind used in civil wars and revolutionary eras. Semi-automatic means the rounds are reloaded without the need for human intervention. One-shot per trigger pull. Automatic means one trigger pull and the magazine is emptied. The shooter used a semi-automatic, and with training and modifications, could have fired near the rate of an automatic. Automatic weapons have been banned in the U.S. since 1934, and made stricter in 1984, with the exception of difficult to obtain permits. The bump stocks used in the attack should be banned in accordance with previous acts. The NRA also supports the ban.
But the larger issue at hand really boils down to what rights do we have as Americans, and why do we have those rights? The Second Amendment, in partnership with the Federalist papers, and the District of Columbia v. Heller case tells us that all U.S. citizens have the right to own a firearm without question. How many firearms, the capabilities of them, firearm attachments, and many other facets are left to be regulated by the federal, state, and local governments. But given examples of cities with strict gun control laws run by liberals for decades like Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, and many others, this may not be a good thing.