Tell Us Again How Guns Make Everyone Safe
You all know the news.
Last night, a 64 year-old man named Stephen Paddock took 23 guns with him up into a 32nd floor room in the Mandalay Bay casino, opened the window, and fired his guns at people attending a country music concert across the street.
At present, the death toll is 58. Over 500 people were hospitalized with injuries as a result of Paddock’s gun attack.
The standard response of the National Rifle Association, an organization set up by companies that manufacture guns and ammunition, is that there shouldn’t be any regulation of guns or ammunition at all. The NRA likes to say that if everybody had guns, we would all be safe, because people in any group being attacked could quickly whip out their guns and kill their attacker.
The gun attack in Las Vegas illustrates why this argument is a great big load of bullshit.
The victims in Las Vegas were country music fans – the demographic most likely to carry guns around with them. No one, however, whatever loosening of gun regulations took place, would casually carry a rifle capable of long-distance accuracy with them to a music concert.
Even if someone in the crowd had brought an accurate long-distance rifle, using it at night in a panicky crowd to shoot back up at the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino would likely have resulted in more death, not less, with bullets from defenders shooting up people in nearby rooms.
More guns don’t help. Open carry doesn’t make people safer.
Guns are dangerous weapons designed to kill human beings. We need less of them, not more.
Postscript: This isn’t an abstract matter. Members of the Josh Abbott Band, performing last night at the scene of the attack, had guns with them. “They were useless,” says Caleb Keeter, a guitarist with the band.