It has once again happened. On Sunday, Oct. 2, 2017 the United States was once again struck with tragedy when a shooter opened fire in public. The apparent shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Poddack, fired into a crowd of people who were attending a concert headlined by country artist Jason Aldean at the Mandalay Bay Casino. When police arrived at the shooter’s room they found he had killed himself. In the wake of the shooting at least 58 people are dead, more than 500 people are injured and police have no idea why what happened, happened. News outlets are currently describing the shooting as the worst mass shooting in America.
Right now this is the biggest tragedy the United States has ever faced. Every news outlet will cover it as people try to find answers. Then, in three months everything will, for the most part, return to normal. America will forget about the shooting and move on. Until the next mass shooting once again sets a new record for the worst mass shooting in America.
Why is this normal? How many mass shooting have we had since 2000? According to reporting by USA Today there have been 12. The last one recorded as the worst shooting in America was the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando back in 2016 where 49 people were killed and 58 others were injured. It’s been just over a year since the last one. Connecticut has had its own share of mass shooting. In 2012, a mentally unstable man named Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School.
If you look at the gun laws after those days, you’ll see that nothing has changed. Every single time a shooting in the United States happens, the pro-gun control lobby pushes for gun-control and restrictions on guns. The gun-lobby on the other hand pushes back and always wins. To date, no meaningful legislation has been passed that has actually done anything. What normally happens is people buy more guns. According to reporting by CNN Money, stock in two of the largest gun manufacturers in the United States, Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands, has increased. This always happens in anticipation for gun control laws that never actually happen.
And woe be on you if you try to bring attention to the issue after a tragedy like what happened in Las Vegas. Some conservative spokesperson somewhere will say that now is not the time to be political, “now is the time to unite as a country.” That statement has been said many times by others but was this time said by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
If now is not the time, then when? When do we actually enact change and stop good Americans from being killed? As history has shown, we have never actually enacted the change. Instead the conservative and pro-gun lobby has tried their hardest to make sure that anyone who supports gun-control never gets re-elected and everything they support fail all to protect weapons that can kill people.
Conservatives like to argue that criminals will find a way to get guns anyway, and they are probably right. If someone really wants a gun, they will find a way to get it. But shouldn’t we make it extremely hard to get them legally? In Chicago for instance, most of the guns used are obtained from other states where (in many cases) they are purchased legally. While we argue about who is right and who is wrong people continue to die.
This is not a political issue, this is a human issue and lives are literally on the line. We cannot bring back those who have died and we cannot go back in time and stop the shooting from happening. As a society we can work to keep shootings like the one in Las Vegas from happening in the future. We owe it to everyone who has been killed in a mass shooting in the United States and to their families. If we don’t, we are as complicit as the ones who carried out the horrific act. The time to enact real, impactful gun control is now.