On October 1st, a mass shooting took place during a country music concert on the Las Vegas strip. A total of 59 people were killed and over 525 were injured, leaving the country in a complete state of mourning. This tragic event quickly became the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States, and many questions are still needing to be answered.
Shots Were Fired From The Mandalay Bay Resort And Casino
The gunfire came from the 32nd floor of the resort, and once law enforcement reached the exact room they found quite a scene. The perpetrator had an alarming amount of firearms in his room that he used to shoot at the massive crowd below. And, under further investigation, the world learned more about this monster.
Stephen Paddock — a 64-year-old avid gambler who spent the majority of his time at the Las Vegas casinos — used up to 23 weapons to shoot hundreds of rounds at a country music festival taking place on the Las Vegas strip. He then took his own life, as police found him in his hotel room with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Most concerning was the types of weapons recovered from the scene.
Of the 23 weapons found in Paddock's room within the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, a handful of them had been modified to shoot faster and harm more people. Over 12 of the firearms used to commit the massacre were modified to imitate an automatic weapon — legally. The device that Paddock used is flying off gun store shelves since the tragic shooting, and consumer demand has been astronomical.
Bump stocks are added to a semiautomatic weapon to give it the shooting power of a machine gun. A total of six online gun retailers have completely sold out of bump stocks, due to word spreading about Stephen Paddock's dangerously-modified weapons. Consumers are trying to get their hands on bump stocks before any laws are put in place to stop them.
A major manufacturer of bump stocks in Texas — a company called Slide Fire — had sold out of bump stocks shortly after Paddock went on his killing spree. Only a couple of days after the shooting, the company was out of product completely. Another Texas-based company was experiencing website issues because of all of the traffic. The sheer destruction these bump stocks can cause is enough to raise some concerns.
The Vegas Shooting Reveals The Devastation Of These Modifications
Stephen Paddock's ability to kill and injure so many innocent people is clear. His use of bump stocks on over 12 of his firearms allowed him to fire hundreds of shots into the massive crowd of at least 22,000 people. Some companies are not giving into this increase in possible profit on bump stocks, and are boycotting sales all-together.
Big brands such as Walmart and Cabela's have decided to take a different route when it comes to this sudden bump stock demand. These stores have discontinued the product immediately after the Las Vegas shooting, cracking the gun control debate wide open once again. Law makers and government officials are speaking out, and some surprising opinions on gun control have emerged.
A Democratic senator from California — Dianne Feinstein — has never been quiet about her views on necessary gun control. Feinstein has released a bill after the Las Vegas shooting that would render the sale and use of bump stock illegal. "The only reason to modify a gun is to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible," Feinstein stated. Surprisingly, some of her Republican counterparts are close to backing her up.
Although no Republican leaders have openly supported Feinstein's proposal of Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act, Senator Paul Ryan says that the issue of bump stocks should be addressed. "So to turn a semiautomatic to fully automatic is something we have to look into," Ryan stated, and he isn't the only Second Amendment supporter that is having some second thoughts.
Republican Senator David Perdue from Georgia also stated he "will look into it," revealing the true severity of the bump stock situation. "You can’t buy a chain-fed machine gun in the United States today. There’s a reason for that. And I want to make sure that nobody has access to that if that’s the law of the land," Perdue stated. Some Americans are not so supportive of this prospective bill.
Many Americans Are Clinging To Their Guns — Especially Now
Many Americans are not so enthusiastic about increasing gun restrictions, including the use of bump stocks. "Complete freedom comes with risks. Risks I'm okay with," stated 43-year-old municipal worker and gun owner Jay Roberts from Ohio. Although Roberts asserts that owning a gun is the "American way," even the NRA takes some precautions when it comes to using bump stocks.
The NRA Is Well Aware Of The Dangers Of Bump Stocks
The National Rifle Association is the last organization you would think would support the ban of bump stocks, but rules at their own gun range speak otherwise. The use of bump stocks is not permitted at the gun range at NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, so you know that bump stocks are extremely lethal. Do Americans really need to own automatic weapons? The yearly increase in mass shootings really speaks for itself.
Although restrictions on automatic weapons exist in the United States, bump stocks offer a cheap alternative that provides the same devastating effect. Is firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition per minute an American necessity? The national divide on gun control is only getting more apparent.
The Constitution Is Being Questioned For The Greater Good
The Second Amendment, proposed in 1789, gives all Americans the right to bear arms. Although it is an American right, we are now dealing with much more powerful and effective weapons in 2017. It may be time to revisit our laws for the well-being of our nation and the safety of our people — without taking away our rights and freedoms as U.S. citizens.