A school teacher. A mother-of-three who runs an at-home childcare centre. A nurse, a Disneyland waitress, a recent college graduate, a doting grandma.
These are just some of the victims of the horrific Las Vegas shooting that claimed dozens of lives over the weekend.
I’ve been in tears reading about these poor souls – people who were just out for a good time with their friends and family. There were kids at the concert, man. The photos and footage and sounds of the relentless gunfire are absolutely brutal. What an unbelievably tragic and terrifying thing to experience.
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And do you know what makes it even harder to bear?
The knowledge that this won’t be the last time.
Nothing changed after teenagers wiped out their classmates at Columbine, or after six-year-olds were murdered at Sandy Hook, or after dozens were slaughtered at an Orlando nightclub.
So why would the United States even consider tightening their gun laws now?
Americans are attached to their guns – and those Americans who fiercely believe in their second amendment right to bear arms will never allow that right to be infringed upon.
And, as Joe Hildebrand explains, “The gun control debate will never be won unless we understand… [that] the left and the right are arguing at cross purposes. Liberals think they’re talking about a machine, and libertarians think they’re talking about an ideal.”
Pro-gun advocates believe that more guns are the solution. So let’s just imagine, for a moment, that people were armed at this concert.
Imagine that as bullets rained down on them, in the confusion and chaos, people started firing back. How much higher would the death toll be? Police have already reported that civilians, in the chaos, attempted to commandeer their vehicles; can you imagine how much more chaotic and dangerous it could have been if those civilians were armed?
The Atlantic has this week reported on Australia’s gun restrictions, in effect since the Port Arthur massacre of 1996. The article notes that “no other society allows the massacres to keep happening”, except the US.
“America will not stop these shootings,” the reporter writes.
“They will go on. We all know that, which makes the immediate wave of grief even worse… This is who we are.”
This is who America is. So no, the laws won’t change. Not now. Perhaps, not ever.