As more details emerge of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas that’s killed 58 people and injured more than 500, so too does the inevitable conversation about gun control.
We’ve been here before. In June 2016, 49 people were killed when a gunman opened fire on an Orlando nightclub.
In December 2012, 28 people were killed, including children, when a gunman opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In April 2007, 33 people were killed, when a gunman opened fire on the campus of Virginia Tech.
According to Vox there have been 1500 mass shootings since Sandy Hook, defined as a shooting in which four or more people are shot at. Vox also cites data showing there are 1.4 gun-related homicides in Australia for every one million people, compared with 29.7 in America.
Many in the US, including Hillary Clinton, have already called on Amercians to stand up to the NRA.
Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 2, 2017
Clinton’s been heavily criticised for doing so. People are claiming it’s too soon. That she’s now politically irrelevant and shouldn’t have a say.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, herself a victim of gun violence, also released a statement urging Congress to make progress on gun control.
She said Congress must “find the courage it will take to make progress on the challenging issue of gun violence.”
“I know they got into politics for the same reason I did — to make a difference, to get things done. Now is the time to take positive action to keep America safer. Do not wait. The nation is counting on you.”
Here’s Gabby Giffords on the Vegas shooting massacre pic.twitter.com/AIOoIuIKJJ
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) October 2, 2017
But White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (pictured above) said it’s too soon to discuss gun control.
“Today is a day for consoling the survivors and mourning those we lost. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with all of those individuals. There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country.”
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds back tears as she reads a White House statement about the Las Vegas shooting. pic.twitter.com/w7KsbjNid6
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 2, 2017
The shooter has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. A “crazed lunatic” who fired hundreds of bullets from his Mandalay Bay hotel room over the Las Vegas strip – where more than 30,000 people had gathered for a country music festival.
Police later found 10 rifles in his hotel room.
Stephen Paddock’s brother Eric told reporters the family was “befuddled, dumbstruck” to learn Stephen was responsible.
He was a retired accountant. A wealthy guy. He played video poker. Took cruises. He liked to go to Vegas to gamble.
He wasn’t much of a gun guy, according to his brother. Just had “a couple of handguns” kept in a safe, and “maybe one long rifle.”
Just a couple of handguns and a rifle.
Don’t talk about gun control after a mass shooting
Don’t protest racism during the national anthem
Don’t say anything, really
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 2, 2017