What Happened in Vegas, Shouldn’t Stay in Vegas: A Response to the Mandalay Bay Shooting

It takes time to process these kinds of things. Unlike most, I need time to reflect before shouting depressed, frustrated nonsense. How do you even contextualize something like this? He wasn’t a “terrorist” like the ones on the news. He wasn’t an overly troubled man that shouldn’t have passed the legal background checks. There might not have even been a target. To everyone else, it just happened.

It’s been just over a week since the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. During an October 1st country music festival in Las Vegas, a lone gunman equipped with 23 firearms and various attachments opened fire on the crowd below his hotel room. The attack left 59 dead, including the shooter, and over 500 more injured. While motive is hard to pinpoint, the means by which he carried out the massacre has been heavily scrutinized. Witnesses claim that the weapon used by the assailant sounded and acted as if it were fully automatic. Reports from authorities backed up these claims by revealing the attachment used was called a “bump stock” (and I’m not explaining, because fuck you). The questions that arose in the aftermath, as for all mass shootings, are how could he stock pile these weapons and why are they and the attachment legal?

I don’t want to say that this act was political. He wasn’t targeting someone, he didn’t shoot up a baseball field of congressmen; He carelessly shot a crowd of country music fans (I hate country music as much as the next guy, but…). The act itself was not political, but the result and implications are.

Events like these, no matter the location, perpetrator, or victims, stir up the rage and frustration of the gun debate. I’ve tackled it before, briefly, but this might be a good time to pick it up again.

Firstly, I welcome someone to give me three good reasons why they need to own dozens of military weapons. “Because I can” isn’t a good reason, by the way. I promise that you will never need those guns to fend off an invading army. And how much fun could sport shooting be when your gun can shoot dozens of rounds per second? That’s not skill, that’s just being a prick.

My major point in the gun debate won’t infringe anyone’s right to own a gun (you can own a gun and almost no politicians actually want to take away all guns). The problem lies with the highly-political misdirection involved by the NRA. The National Rifle Association spends billions to persuade people (mostly gun owners) that it’s either all guns or no guns in the gun control battle. The organization spends even more money on lobbying the politicians directly, almost forcing them to refuse any form of gun control measures. Even when lawmakers are only trying to regulate or ban a single type of firearm, their argument is always that it starts with minor actions, but turns into total control and banning of all guns. Never, ever, ever will that happen. There are too many people and too many guns to take them all away. However, there are also too many people and too many guns for them to continue with the current background check and regulation system.

The list of mass shootings in this country and the number of innocent Americans being killed as a direct result are growing too fast. Even then, the list of proper gun control legislation stays relatively empty. Like clockwork, when an event like this happens, the country goes through the same motions: Mourn for the victims (#PrayforVegas), argue about guns (Thanks NRA), forget and move on like it never happened, then repeat. When will it change?

Written By: CJ Wilcox (@CJWilcox7)

1: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/10/02/police-shut-down-part-of-las-vegas-strip-due-to-shooting/?utm_term=.de350e7f1526

2: https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/the-goofy-little-doodad-approved-under-obama-that-was-used-in-las-vegas-carnage/2017/10/04/3a1a2104-a935-11e7-850e-2bdd1236be5d_story.html?utm_term=.204720009423

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed by this writer are solely his own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Couch Guy Sports, affiliates, or other contributors. Yeah, I’m surprised I can get away with it too.

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