EDITORIAL: Weapons logic needs rethink

We can only hope this latest killing will have greater impact to effect change

If there was any lingering doubt prior to the shooting massacre in Las Vegas last weekend, something about the United States’ approach to gun access and ownership clearly needs a rethink.

In a country in which the right to bear arms is an issue that divides the masses – with extremists from both sides arguing that only theirs will lead to ensuring safety – the status quo cannot still be seen to be working.

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Following Sunday’s apparent homegrown terror attack, in which at least 59 people have been killed and more than 500 injured, Caleb Keeter, one of the musicians for the festival pinned down by gunfire, issued a statement in which he said “enough is enough.”

Noting that he has been a life long supporter of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – the right to bear arms – Keeter said that members of his band’s crew had legal firearms on the bus.

“They were useless,” he said. “We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think we were part of the massacre and shoot us… (one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of fire power.”

The question being asked repeatedly is why a person would stockpile an arsenal of 23 guns in a hotel room and open fire on a crowd down below, with various theories and less-educated guesswork being proffered.

Given the shooter’s evident suicide, we may never know.

The question of how a person is able to do this should be much easier to answer.

That a man – his name, with concentrated effort, should eventually be forgotten, lest infamy is ever a terrorist’s motive – could be able to gather such a quantity of firearms and explosives is unfathomable. That anyone would defend a fellow countryman’s right to do so seems senseless.

Sadly, this is not the U.S.’s first mass shooting, only the latest and the largest.

If the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy – in which a shooter killed 20 young children and six adults in Newtown, Conn. nearly five years ago – could not convince the country to find a solution, we can only hope this latest killing will have greater impact to effect change.

 

Officers on the Vegas Strip, the morning after the terror attack. (Nick Greenizan photo)

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