(The image above is from the Facebook page of Lalo Alcaraz.)
It took the White House less than 24 hours to repeat the tired old mantra that we hear after every mass shooting -- that this is a time for prayer and mourning, and not the time to talk about gun control. Bullshit! This is exactly the right time to talk about gun control, when the horror of not doing anything is fresh in our minds. We should have had this discussion (and taken action) after Tucson, Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, and Orlando -- but we didn't, and now we have Las Vegas. How many more must happen before it's time to do something?
I don't know if the murderer in Las Vegas was a domestic terrorist or just an idiot who thought it would be fun to kill as many people as he could. At this point, it really doesn't matter. What does matter is that he should not have been able to get his hands on the weapons he had -- assault weapons that were either bought with an automatic fire feature, or were modified to allow automatic fire.
Assault-style weapons were designed for military use -- and their only purpose is too kill as many human beings as possible in the shortest time possible. There is no legitimate civilian use for them. Some say they are good for hunting. Bullshit! There are much better rifles for hunting. Some say they are good for home defense. Bullshit! A shotgun is a much better home defense weapon.
These assault-style military weapons have no place in our civilian society, and they should be outlawed (as they used to be). Some will whine about the Second Amendment. That's nonsense. Our courts have held that banning assault weapons is NOT a violation of the Second Amendment.
The idot shooter in Las Vegas would not necessarily have been unable to kill people if he had not been able to get assault weapons -- but it is a fact that he would not have been able to kill as many people as quickly as he without those weapons.
And while banning assault weapons makes sense, and should happen as soon as possible, it is not the only sensible thing that should be done. We also need to close the gaping loopholes in our background check laws for gun purchasers. Currently, anyone (even criminals, known terrorists, and the dangerously mentally ill) can buy any kind of gun they want without going through a background check -- and about 40% of the guns sold each year are sold without a background check being done. That should never happen. No gun (even from one individual to another) should ever be sold without a background check being done first.
They aren't all as big as the Las Vegas shooting, but a mass shooting happens nearly every day in the United States. Over 30,000 people die every year from gunshots. We probably can't eliminate them all from happening, but we could pass some sensible legislation that would save many lives -- and not doing so is morally reprehensible, and in my opinion, criminally negligent.