Nevada has some of the most-relaxed gun laws in the country. Nevada law does not require firearms owners to have licenses, register their weapons, or limits the number of firearms an individual posses. 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. Nevada does not prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles or large capacity ammunition magazines. Open carry is legal without a permit.
Thus it isn’t surprising that a mass shooting might occur in Las Vegas. President Trump was taped as he read remarks about the shooting in Las Vegas from a teleprompter this am. More than 50 people were killed. More than 400 people we injured. Trump was serious. He was calm. But he was neither emotional or grief stricken.
Here’s what we know about the shooting:
The horrifying events in Las Vegas on Sunday night mark the 273rd mass shootingin the U.S. in the 275 days that have passed so far in 2017, according to Gun Violence Archive. That means that virtually EVERY DAY there is a mass shooting in America. A “mass shooting” is defined as any incident that results in four or more people shot during a single event.
There have been more than 11,600 deaths linked to gun violence so far in 2017. Comparatively, more than 15,000 were killed by gun violence in 2016, and there were 383 mass shootings.
US mass shootings included:
Las Vegas, 2017: 50+ killed
Orlando, 2016: 50 killed
Virginia Tech, 2007: 32 killed
Sandy Hook, 2012: 27 killed
San Ysirdo, 1984: 21 killed
San Bernadino, 2015: 14 killed
Edmond, 1986: 14 killed
Fort Hood, 2009: 13 killed
Columbine, 1999: 13 killed
The U.S. ranks No. 1 in the world in terms of firearms per capita—with 88.8 guns per 100 people—and it has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate in the developed world. The problem is so endemic that gun violence is now the third leading cause of death for children in the U.S. An average of 1,297 children die annually from gun-related injuries, according to a June 2017 study published in the journal Pediatrics.
Guns are linked to roughly 33,000 deaths in the U.S. per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; about two-thirds of them are suicides.
According to Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans (across partisan lines) support gun policy proposals such as barring people with mental illnesses from buying guns; prohibiting gun purchases by people on federal no-fly or watch lists; and background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows. But given that both the White House and Congress are controlled by Republicans with close ties to the powerful gun lobby, it seems unlikely that any new gun control legislation will be passed in the near future.
Mother Jones crunched data from 2012 and found that the annual cost of gun violence in America exceeds $229 billion. Direct costs account for $8.6 billion—including long-term prison costs for people who commit assault and homicide using guns, which at $5.2 billion a year is the largest direct expense. Even before accounting for the more intangible costs of the violence, in other words, the average cost to taxpayers for a single gun homicide in America is nearly $400,000. And we pay for 32 of them every single day.
Automatic and semiautomatic weapons are designed specifically for military uses in combat — to kill many, quickly. They aren’t designed for average citizens to use in their homes to protect their property from home invasion. Proponents of “2nd Amendment Rights” don’t suggest we should allow people to possess rocket launchers, grenades, or bombs, although each could arguable be categorized a weapon that could be used to protect a US citizen. As long as we continue to allow assault weapons to be owned by ordinary citizens, we are going to see ordinary citizens committing mass shootings, killing ordinary citizens and their children.