Preventing future mass shootings like Las Vegas

(Source: CNN)

At least 59 people were killed and more than 525 injured in a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip last night — the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, is dead. According to Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, police found at least 10 rifles in Stephen Paddock’s room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

“After the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, the impulse of politicians will be to lower flags, offer moments of silence, and lead a national mourning. Yet what we need most of all isn’t mourning, but action to lower the toll of guns in America,” Nicholas Kristof writes in the New York Times this morning.

“We don’t need to simply acquiesce to this kind of slaughter. When Australia suffered a mass shooting in 1996, the country united behind tougher laws on firearms. As a result, the gun homicide rate was almost halved, and the gun suicide rate dropped by half, according to the Journal of Public Health Policy.

“Skeptics will say that there are no magic wands and that laws can’t make the carnage go away. To some extent, they’re right. Some criminals will always be able to obtain guns, especially in a country like America that is awash with 300 million firearms. We are always likely to have higher gun death rates than Europe.

“But the scale is staggering. Since 1970, more Americans have died from guns (including suicides, murders and accidents) than the sum total of all the Americans who died in all the wars in American history, back to the American Revolution. Every day, some 92 Americans die from guns, and American kids are 14 times as likely to die from guns as children in other developed countries, according to David Hemenway of Harvard.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

21 thoughts on “Preventing future mass shootings like Las Vegas”

  1. Need I point out to your informed readers that automatic weapons have been illegal since the 1930’s???
    Perhaps it is time to focus on the real source of the violence: The shooters!

    1. You are absolutely correct John, the focus should be on the shooters. Things like extensive background checks, including psychological evaluations should be implemented so that crazy people can’t get guns. Fully automatic weapons should be banned and all guns licensed. If this steps on the toes of gun owners, too bad. If they have no criminal past or nothing to hide then it shouldn’t matter and they should be more than willing to undergo psychiatric testing.

      1. John, I used to work in a sporting goods store that sold Colt AR 15s. Enthusiasts of that particular weapon claimed it was a very simple procedure to convert them to full auto. So, given the fact that assault style weapons, semi or full auto, have only a single purpose, to kill other human beings, it might be prudent for an ever more diverse and insane population to extremely limit who can possess such armament. The death rate just keeps climbing and the atrocities just keep getting bigger so one can only conclude that the current policies in place and those of the NRA simply do not work. It is time to clamp down on gun availability before our streets turn back into the wild west….. if they haven’t already.

      2. Once again John, you’re completely wrong.

        It IS legal to have machine guns in Nevada, as long as they were purchased and registered before 1986. And those same guns can still be transferred as long as they are registered under the new owners name and if he passes the background check. Also conversion kits to change semi-automatic to full automatic are still not against the law and can be readily purchased across the country.

  2. Gun culture knuckle dragger’s. Just yesterday the presidents sons agenda was a bill going before congress that would allow silencers on weapons. The country is awash in guns, without a single regulation to keep them from deranged right-wing-dings. (our La Malfa is in favor of silencers and says it’s so kids can learn the “sport” and not be afraid of the loud boom – remove and replace this nut)
    I get a speeding ticket in Detroit and my insurance company here in California knows it within in a month and raises my rates.
    During the same time I shoot out the windows of a neighbors house in Detroit, using my “legal” handgun. Get arrested, get probation, then drive to Nevada, buy another gun and no one knows about my record in Michigan. AND now that I’m in Nevada I can wear my gun around openly like a real live idiot cowboy.
    The NRA has seen to the dumbing down of our country in the name of the gun manufacturers profits. So much so that they even get them to “buy” a little sticker to paste on their window of their pick up to prove to everyone they are rubes to the biggest con since tobacco not causing cancer.

    this is from July, it is ongoing, and it will not stop —

  3. And this from Kos about Nevada Senator Heller-

    In 2013, as Nevada Senator Dean Heller faced a critical vote on firearm safety issues, he selected a strange place to contemplate his feelings on the issue.
    … He returned to his hometown of Carson City and ate with his family at an IHOP restaurant—the same one where a gunman went on a rampage in 2011, killing four people and injuring more than a dozen others before killing himself. In the process, the gunman unloaded a 30-round magazine clip and rocked the sense of safety in the small Nevada community.
    A few days later, Heller voted against renewing a ban on assault weapons. He voted against limiting the size of magazines to 10 rounds. He voted against a bipartisan proposal to extend background checks. Heller kept his A+ rating with the NRA, while making it clear he but put in some deep-thinking … before doing exactly what the NRA wanted.
    The IHOP where Heller did his deep thinking played host to a 2011 shooting in which a gunman with an AK-47 who shot a woman in the parking lot before coming inside to open fire on a table of uniformed National Guard. A nearby man, who was armed, regretted not stopping the shooter …

    “But when he came at me, when somebody is pointing an automatic weapon at you — you can’t believe the firepower, the kind of rounds coming out of that weapon.”

    What was fired in Carson City was just a preview for overnight events in Las Vegas.

    1. From Newsweek

      “Las Vegas Gun Laws: Open Carry, Concealed Weapon, Machine Guns All Legal in Nevada. … Automatic assault weapons and machine guns are also legal in the state as long as they are registered and are possessed in adherence to federal law, according to the National Rifle Association.”

  4. Those who carry their manhood (personhood???) on their hip or the gun rack in the busted up pickup truck they ride around in with the air conditioning at full blast to match radio so loud you cannot understand the words–they will have a million excuses; not a one matters. Carnage must end. Ability to prevent a rifle from becoming automatic also must change. RESIST NRA & MEMBERS.

  5. This should come as no surprise, but there are some references:
    “Nevada is relatively lax when it comes to gun laws.
    “Casino carry
    It is legal to carry openly or concealed inside a casino, on the Las Vegas Strip, or at the Fremont Street Experience. Most casinos will ask you to leave or disarm if they observe you carrying firearms, but it is not a crime unless you refuse to leave or comply (only trespassing).”

    “Legally, you cannot carry a gun in a Las Vegas casino if that casino has rules forbidding concealed weapons in the building. Unfortunately, many casinos regulate concealed weapons using sight-security only, potentially allowing many guns to pass by without noticing. In Las Vegas, explicit weapons screening typically occurs only at sports events, concert arenas, and other establishments with security checkpoints.

    1. Or they could get serious about enforcing the thousands of gun control laws already on the books. Which additional gun law do you think would be more effective? Remember that the guns this madman used were already illegal.

      1. John, I have seen no reference to ‘illegal’ weapons. The police statements I have read use the terms ‘AR-15 and AK-47 style’ guns which are semi-auto and legal. Some of the weapons appeared to be modified to make them full auto but this will not be confirmed until law enforcement personnel check all the weapons out.

        If I read the article you linked to correctly, pre-1986 fully automatic machine guns are legal to possess under prescribed conditions. I can only wonder how many of those weapons have escaped registration under the current laws?

      2. Joe & Bruce,
        My point is that these are the most restricted guns and yet here we are: Gun laws do not stop criminals or nut cases. In the end, my money is on those being illegal and yes he did have a full auto or two because that is very clear from the audio.


    The NRA has donated $3,533,294 to members of Congress who are currently in office.
    49 of 100 U.S. senators have accepted NRA donations.
    258 of 435 U.S. House Representatives have accepted NRA donations.
    The NRA has donated $241,020 to California members of Congress who are currently in office.

    1. Rep. Ken Calvert (R)$42,550
    2. Rep. Darrell Issa (R)$29,900
    3. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R)$24,850
    4. Rep. Devin Nunes (R)$22,950
    5. Rep. David Valadao (R)$19,400
    6. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R)$18,000
    7. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R)$15,450
    8. Rep. Tom McClintock (R)$13,950
    9. Rep. Duncan D Hunter (R)$13,000
    10. Rep. Ed Royce (R)$11,970
    11. Rep. Susan Brooks (R)$6,000
    12. Rep. Paul Cook (R)$6,000
    13. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R)$6,000
    14. Rep. Mike Thompson (D)$4,000
    15. Rep. Mimi Walters (R)$4,000
    16. Rep. Steve Knight (R)$3,000

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