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The Las Vegas Shooting and Its Mark in History

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The first day of October became the last day for at least 58 people at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival due to the deadliest civilian shooting in American history. It is time to examine the factors that have led to such a viciously destructive assault.

The setting had a drastic impact on the results of the shooting. There were over 22,000 attendees at a country music festival, with the viewers together in the open to listen to Jason Aldean, one of the last performers of the 2-day concert. These people were enjoying themselves, their guards were as low as possible and the area was tightly packed. Secondly, the shooter pre-booked a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort, approximately 400 yards away from the concert. Synthesizing these facts, the shooter was able to rain bullets onto a clueless crowd tightly packed together with no way to fight nor hide. Other mass shootings, such as the Columbine Shooting of 1999, allowed for the tactic of “Run, hide, or fight” to be applied, leading to less deaths and injuries solely by the type of environment. In summary, the assault was like shooting fish in a barrel.

Many people think that all guns have equal power of destruction, but that is simply not true. First, it is important to understand the difference between automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Semi-automatic guns require the trigger be pulled for every bullet fired, thus a trigger per bullet, while automatic firearms only require the trigger to be held down for a continuous stream of bullets, meaning many more bullets fired with little-to-no effort. Due to this extreme deadliness, automatic weapons were banned for public use in 1986 by The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act. So how was the shooter able to obtain an automatic weapon? He didn’t, he reportedly had bump stocks.

A bump stock is a gun accessory capable of allowing a semi-automatic weapon to have the fire rate of an automatic rifle. It achieves this by having the bump stock quickly and repeatedly push the trigger through the gun’s recoil, creating a legal automatic weapon. To make matters worse, this device is unbelievably accessible, unlike automatic weapons. The current controversy concerning guns is whether or not these attachments should be illegal.

In addition to the bump stock, the shooter had a plethora of firearms at his disposal. ABC News  reported that there were an estimated 20 hand guns and assault rifles located in the shooter’s room. While the bump stocks were found on multiple weapons from the shooter’s stockpile, it is unknown whether the stock was used on the exact weapon used for the shooting. The major piece of evidence that suggests that the accessory was used is audio recorded and reported by The Washington Post, which contains extremely rapid gunfire.

The Las Vegas shooting was so surprisingly deadly due to the setting of the shooting and the bump stock’s ability to surpass The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986. Politico has reported that 64% of the public desires stricter gun laws after the Las Vegas shooting. In response to all the public attention, supporters of the Second Amendment began stockpiling guns in anticipation of constricting firearm purchases, reported by Market Watch through growing Gun stocks in the stock market.

It is very clear that America has a love-hate relationship with guns. The inevitable legal battles and clash between public safety and national freedoms will be very interesting to follow in the years to come. 

 

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