Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas throws the light, once more, on a country overrun with guns, gun lovers and the toxic relationship which comes without many restrictions.
Nevada, as in most states, makes it legal to carry long guns in the open. No permit is needed so people may walk down The Strip with a military-style rifle over their shoulder. Since casinos are private property, the owners can — and do— disallow people from bringing rifles and shotguns onto the property.
Another surprise is the legality, in Nevada, of owning a fully automatic firearms. So a machine gun is legal, but with federal regulations requiring a $200 fee, an in-depth background check which takes a year, the guns are hard to get, and the price is high. Usually between $20K and $30K, according to Nicholas Wooldridge, a noted Las Vegas defense lawyer.
“If someone wants a machine gun bad enough, they can go online, find someone selling it, and buy it through a dealer. This process makes it legal,” said Wooldridge. “But there are many on the black market.”
Authorities are just now starting to let the public know the weapons used by the gunman, but they did confirm that the shooter poured automatic gunfire into a crowd of concert goers. As of this morning, the death toll is at least 58 and is expected to go higher.
In 2015, Nevada rolled back handgun registration. Gun advocates saw the rollback as a positive step to keep weapon owners from having to fill out more paperwork.
White House Reacts
Following the shooting, Trump offered his sympathy but didn’t mention America’s gun violence — neither in his tweets or his statement from The White House.
Calling the act “pure evil” and commending first responders and local officials, Trump offered his prayers but no effort to rein in runaway gun violence in the “land of the free.”
What Trump failed to mention was the issue of guns. When Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, was asked if the administration would consider gun reforms, she responded: “it is not appropriate to discuss the matter.” “It is premature to discuss policy,” she added.
Nevertheless, in the past, Trump had speculated on the motives for violence long before any official information was confirmed.
Trump denied the explosion at a London tube as the work of a “loser terrorist” and used the attack to promote his idea of a travel ban on Muslim nations.
During Monday’s meeting with the press, Sanders continually dodge questions on why Trump had weighed in previously on gun violence without understanding the facts — as in 2016 when he responded to the nightclub shooting in Orlando by promoting his travel ban.
“There is a difference between being a candidate and being a president,” Sanders added.