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After Las Vegas – It’s time to look forward

Photo+courtesy+of+the+Las+Vegas+Review-Journal
Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Isabel Chiodo

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Forty-seven guns. Thirty-three of them purchased within the last year. Twelve of them with a legal attachment to simulate automatic fire.

This is the reality of the Las Vegas massacre, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

During a Jason Aldean concert, one of the many performances of last week’s three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival, 59 innocent lives were lost and over 500 more were injured.

Stephen Paddock sat in his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and had a clear, unobstructed path to shoot his crowd of victims. The aftermath was disastrous.

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal

So now the question is what could the country, specifically politicians, have done to stop this? Let’s start with curtailing bump stocks—an attachment device that enables a semi-automatic rifle to be able to shoot much faster, making it much deadlier. Stephen Paddock owned twelve bump stocks along with his guns, 23 of which were in his hotel room with him.

The craziest part is this is completely legal. I, along with much of the country, cannot come up with any logical reason for a citizen to own this many guns, especially ones with an accessory that enables them to mirror automatic weapons.

I fully believe in the right of any man or woman in the U.S to own a gun, maybe even two or three guns. But beyond these reasonable numbers, issues begin to rise.

One thing we must acknowledge is that a gun without any human interaction does not kill people.

Guns are not to blame for these tragedies. People like Stephen Paddock are to blame. If a person wants to commit a mass murder, they will figure out a way to do it.

On July 14, 2016, a man drove a truck into a crowd in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 innocent citizens. Although the man had a gun with him that he used after his truck attack, he committed a mass murder before even touching the weapon.

In the case of Stephen Paddock—who had almost no police record—there was no warning to stop the vendor from selling him a gun. Federal law requires purchases of multiple handguns be reported, but not purchases of multiple rifles, which provides a loophole for criminals like Stephen Paddock.

The Second Amendment is not going anywhere, and the right for Americans to buy guns will never go away.

But restricting the ease and the magnitude of purchasing guns is imperative at this point. Authorities should have been watching Stephen Paddock, and his actions should not have come as such a shock considering the record of his gun purchases.

Now the country must look forward.

We all have to support the victims and their families, but we also must do all we can to stop this from ever happening again. I am only 18-years-old, and I have observed six of the ten worst mass shootings in modern United States history. I do not want to see any more.

Although the country is not to blame for Stephen Paddock’s actions, we must do what we can to try to limit the ease with which something like this could happen again.

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The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University
After Las Vegas – It’s time to look forward