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Editorial: Las Vegas shooting sparks gun debate

The nation has found itself staring in the face of tragedy after yet another deadly mass shooting.

On Sunday, Oct. 1, a gunman opened fire on a country music festival at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, leaving 59 people dead and 527 injured.

The incident is being called the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history, surpassing the Pulse Nightclub shooting that claimed 49 lives in Orlando last year.

Officials are still investigating the details of the shooting, including what weapons the shooter may have used to commit the act. With such a high death toll in a short amount of time, it’s likely that the shooter used some type of automatic firearm.

Fully automatic weapons, or “machine guns,” fire dozens of rounds continuously, as long as the trigger is pulled down. The weapon only stops firing once the trigger finger is lifted or the gun runs out of ammunition.

Semi-automatic weapons, which are legal for civilians in the United States, fire a single bullet each time the trigger is pulled.

Since the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986, fully automatic weapons have been banned for civilian use in the United States. The use of fully automatic weapons is reserved for military use.

Although fully automatic weapons are illegal for civilians, there are several modifications that can be used to bypass these laws.

According to law enforcement, the suspected Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock, had several bump-stock accessories, which he may have used to convert semi-automatic firearms into fully automatic machine guns.

The bump-stock devices can be purchased legally online or in many gun shops across the country.

In response to the Las Vegas shooting, lawmakers in Congress have introduced a new bill that would ban bump-stock accessories as part of a larger ban on certain firearms.

We at The Spectator believe there should be bans placed on bump-stock accessories and similar modifications.

There is no practical reason for a civilian to have an automatic weapon, other than to create terror and destruction.

How many mass shootings must occur before our nation takes a serious look at gun policy? Everyone has the right to protect themselves, but it shouldn’t be so easy for potential mass murderers to obtain powerful firearms and end the lives of innocent people.

 

This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff and expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.

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