Now is certainly the time to pray for the victims and families of the Las Vegas shooting, but this must be just a start.
Because of the lethargy produced by America’s ongoing stream of gun violence, only such a massacre wakes up our society enough to seriously consider possible remedies. A common argument against any form of “gun control” is the false one that “our Second Amendment rights are under attack.” Actually, the Second Amendment right to bear arms is already limited. For example, this right does not include fully automatic weapons or missiles. Banning another weapon or adding a purchase qualification is simply redefining the already-existing limit, not violating the right itself.
Although the Las Vegas shooter added bump stocks, he actually fired semiautomatic guns, the type used in past massacres such as Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech. How wrong it was to end the federal ban on selling military-style semiautomatic assault weapons to civilians. They have no justifiable use in hunting or self-defense.
It’s too late to eliminate those already in circulation, but the further sale of such weapons will only increase the chances for more mass shootings. With the current proposal to legalize silencers, a future sniper could produce even more victims. The person may pull the trigger, but his particular gun does the actual killing and produces the amount of slaughter.
Scientific American has just published a report on 30 reliable studies that refute the claim that “more guns will make us safer." Statistics show that towns where more citizens have guns actually experience more gun violence than less-heavily armed towns. Interestingly, most of the gun injuries and deaths under analysis have come from causes such as crime, accidents and suicide — but only rarely from self-defense. Above all else, discussion and action are needed now.