Once more, a deranged murderer has taken advantage of the idiotic 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution, to amass an arsenal of automatic weapons and ammunition. That amendment states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”1.
Any normal person reading the amendment would assume that the right to bear arms would be about having a ready militia force to ensure the security of the nation. But what has happened is that the right to bear arms clause has been separated from the militia clause, such that it is the right of anyone to have guns, whether they are in a militia or not2. Indeed, given the modern antipathy of many Americans toward their government, some have guns in case there is some sort of perceived government overreach, against which they can use their weapons. Given that now governments have access to long-range artillery, tanks, mortars, grenade launchers, ground-attack aircraft, bomber aircraft, armed drones, missiles, battlefield nuclear weapons, and strategic nuclear weapons, this of course is a ludicrous proposition.
When the amendment was passed, the state-of-the-art-infantry weapon was a muzzle-loading musket, which could fire a maximum of 4 shots per minute. A modern military grade assault rifle (e.g. M-163) can shoot up to 15 times that rate in semi-automatic, and 200 times that rate in fully automatic. That is what happened in Las Vegas.
Many Americans have been calling for greater controls on people’s access to firearms, but this has been to no avail. This is in part because the biggest pro-gun lobby group, the National Rifle Association (NRA), is supported by arms manufacturers, and donates millions of dollars to the election campaigns of politicians. While the NRA must accept some blame for all these murders, the worst culprits are complicit politicians who have been bought and paid for by the NRA. These politicians have the ability to prevent many of these massacres, but they choose to do nothing.
As you would expect, the NRA’s stance, is that this would never happen if everybody had a gun, but that is patent bullshit, as when the shooting started in Las Vegas, nobody realised what it was; and when they did, nobody had any idea where the murderer was. So, everybody at the concert could have had a gun on their hip, or an assault rifle over their shoulder, and those who died would still be just as dead.
Immediately after Australia’s 1996 Port Arthur massacre in which 35 people were shot and killed by a deranged murderer, the Howard Government brought in strict gun control legislation4. There have been no mass shootings in Australia since. The US should somehow do the same, but they won’t, because their politicians have been bribed by the gun manufacturers, via the NRA. That is criminal.