58 people are dead and over 500 were injured in the worst mass #Shooting in recent American history. Thousands of people were affected. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, young, and old; the bullets were indiscriminate. People gathered for a music festival, on a night that would alter the lives of thousands of people, and stun a nation, again.

Yes, again. Remember there was the Orlando nightclub shooting that claimed 49 people. The San Bernardino shooting killed 14. There was the Roseburg Oregon incident, where 9 people were killed; Charleston South Carolina where another 9 people lost their lives; the Sandy Hook shooting which took the lives of 27 people, including 20 children.

Advertisements
Advertisements

In Aurora Colorado, 12 people were killed in a theatre; Fort Hood Texas where 13 people were shot and killed on a military base, and the Virginia Tech massacre that took the lives of 32 people. There were countless other shootings in between the ones listed here, and this is only going back 10 years.

American voters must demand gun control

We react with shock and with anger, but it fades, sadly, because we are becoming numb to it. All too often we hear these stories, and we say there should be changes, and we say that somebody should do something - but who? It isn't enough anymore to simply desire the change. The American voter needs to demand it. And if it cannot be delivered by those in power now, then the voters need to exercise their right and put people in power that can create change - people that are willing and able to be the change what America needs so desperately.

Advertisements

Stephen Paddock had purchased thirty-three guns in the months leading up to the massacre. All of these were purchased, apparently, legally. How can one man, purchase nearly three dozen guns in 12 months, and not raise a red flag? Why would someone need this many guns? Not for hunting, not for self-defence. Then for what? Unfortunately, that answer came too late for the victims of Stephen Paddock's crime. Back to the original point: these were all purchased legally. Does that seem right? Does that seem to be in the spirit of the 2nd Amendment? Dozens of firearms, is that the right of every American if they choose? I may be unpopular in saying so, but the answer is 'no'.

And now, America must make a decision. Do they continue on, with this archaic interpretation of their 2nd Amendment, or do they bring themselves into the 21st century, and realize that #Gun control is desperately needed in the United States? No one is advocating for the confiscating guns, but fully-automatic guns or components that make a gun fully automatic (or similar items, such as a bump-stock) should be prohibited.

Advertisements

Handguns should be registered. Background checks should be mandatory for all sales, and those who have been deemed to be mentally ill should be banned from purchasing guns. These are not sweeping changes, but they may be enough to stop the next mass shooting. Maybe not, but it's far better than doing nothing. What is concerning is that groups are lobbying to make owning a gun and their various accessories easier. The laws are being directed in the wrong direction.

The Australian example

The truth remains that doing nothing is not the answer, and is no longer an option. American legislators cannot stand idly by while innocent people are murdered on a regular basis. When Australia suffered their worst mass shooting in 1996, it took them only twelve days to draft legislation that saw roughly one million firearms turned in, bought back, or otherwise taken out of the general population. Since then, there have been no mass shootings in Australia.

Why is America so resistant to this? Why does the NRA have so much sway over law-makers? At what point do the American people stand up and tell their government that enough is enough? At what point do the people in government listen to the voters, not the lobby groups, and actually pass legislation? It needs to be real legislation that brings about change and prevents another disgrace like the Las Vegas shooting, or all the ones that have preceded it.

At what point does the body count warrant changes to the law? How many men, women, and children must die before something is done? How long before the next shooting? And when that day comes, whose hands will be covered in the blood of those innocent victims for not acting? #Can We Talk