As long as the evil trade of guns con­tin­ues, tragedies like Ve­gas are in­evitable

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - OPINION - Don­ald MacLeod

An­other week, yet an­other hor­ren­dous mass shoot­ing in the US.

This time in the gam­bling party city of Las Ve­gas.

Was I shocked and sick­ened? Yes. But sur­prised? No

With­out want­ing to sound in­sen­si­tive, it was odds-on there would be an­other slaugh­ter of in­no­cents on this scale in the so-called Land of the Free.

In the States, firearms are ev­ery­where and no more so than in the state of Ne­vada, which has some of the most per­mis­sive gun laws go­ing.

There, it’s all-too-easy to walk into a store, se­lect your weapon or weapons of choice, buy the ammo and walk out of the door, tooled up and ready to start your very own killing spree.

It’s crack­ers! And, of course, it’s ex­actly what hap­pened when Stephen Pad­dock sprayed death from a stock­pile of weapons at 20,000 coun­try and western con­cert-go­ers from the 32nd floor of the Man­dalay Bay ho­tel.

This was a hor­rific at­tack that killed 58 peo­ple and wounded 500, top­ping – but not for long I’ll bet – the US mul­ti­ple shoot­ing charts.

The Ve­gas body count was high, of that there is no doubt, but it pales into in­signif­i­cance when you re­alise that nearly 35,000 peo­ple are killed in the US ev­ery year by guns and that there are al­most 400 mass shoot­ings an­nu­ally.

Con­sider also that there are more than 310 mil­lion guns cur­rently in cir­cu­la­tion in the US, owned by just 30% of the pop­u­la­tion.

What I found truly sick­en­ing, though, was the fact that the sale of firearms went up by 158% dur­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s term in of­fice,. mainly due to his no­ble aim of try­ing to stop the mur­ders by in­tro­duc­ing stricter gun laws and penal­ties.

His moves, how­ever, were bat­ted aside by the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion-sup­port­ing US se­nate.

It’s reck­oned 100 mil­lion firearms were sold dur­ing Obama’s term, bought largely by peo­ple who were al­ready armed and ready for the out­break of World War Three.

So what can be done about it? Well, noth­ing re­ally.

Not un­til the day ar­rives when the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans de­cide they too have had enough of the killings and that the ar­chaic Sec­ond Amend­ment, which pro­tects their right to bear arms, should be ripped up and scrapped.

And that isn’t go­ing to hap­pen any time soon be­cause the NRA and their lob­by­ists are just too pow­er­ful, too in­flu­en­tial, too wealthy and too in­tent on keep­ing things as they are.

Un­less the trig­ger is pulled on this evil trade then the at­tacks will only con­tinue.

And, at the mo­ment – and for years to come – all bets are off on that hap­pen­ing.

Viva Las Ve­gas? No, it was just an­other day in the US when the mu­sic died and the sale of death con­tin­ued.

Trib­utes to the 58 vic­tims run along the Las Ve­gas strip

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