By: Brett Williams
The tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada that led to 58 dead and 527 injured has reignited the debate on gun control. The current debate is centered around the “bump-stock” equipment that allowed Paddock to turn a semi-automatic weapon into what was effectively an automatic weapon. Despite the calls for gun control coming from people on the political left, the proposals being made will not stop mass shootings.
State laws vary. For example, even though the regulations in Illinois are fairly rigid, purchasers can head right over to Indiana or Missouri to purchase pistols and more. The often-discussed “gun show loophole” eases the purchase of guns, but 85 percent of guns that are purchased at gun shows are purchased with background checks, when sales to family members are excluded.
The Las Vegas shooter bought all arms legally. The current gun laws allowed Paddock to go to eight different gun shops over the course of a year and purchase 33 guns, in addition to a stockpile of ammunition. Paddock passed background checks and he purchased arms in California, one of the most restrictive states in the country. No current proposal for gun control would have made a difference.
Two-thirds of all gun deaths are from suicides. They are not the mass shooters cited by proponents of gun control. Registered firearms are used every day by folks who take their own lives. Background checks, assault weapons bans, bump stock prohibitions, and all the other gun control measures will not change this. Many who attempt suicide do so with no history of mental illness that would prevent gun ownership.
During the second half of the twentieth century, the number of guns owned by Americans doubled while the murder rate with firearms dropped overall. In states where violent crime decreased the most, private ownership of firearms increased the most. Pew research found that concealed-carry laws have actually contributed to communities being safer, in terms of gun-related violence. Open or concealed carry is the best route to take if you are looking to diminish mass shootings.