Donald MacLeod: As long as the evil trade of guns continues, tragedies like Las Vegas are inevitable

Photographs of the victims are included on some of the 58 white crosses for the victims of last Sunday night's mass shooting (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Photographs of the victims are included on some of the 58 white crosses for the victims of last Sunday night's mass shooting (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

ANOTHER week, yet another horrendous mass shooting in the US.

This time in the gambling party city of Las Vegas.

Was I shocked and sickened? Yes. But surprised? No.

Without wanting to sound insensitive, it was odds-on there would be another slaughter of innocents on this scale in the so-called Land of the Free.

In the States, firearms are everywhere and no more so than in the state of Nevada, which has some of the most permissive gun laws going.

There, it’s all-too-easy to walk into a store, select your weapon or weapons of choice, buy the ammo and walk out of the door, tooled up and ready to start your very own killing spree.

It’s crackers! And, of course, it’s exactly what happened when Stephen Paddock sprayed death from a stockpile of weapons at 20,000 country and western concert-goers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

This was a horrific attack that killed 58 people and wounded 500, topping – but not for long I’ll bet – the US multiple shooting charts.

The Vegas body count was high, of that there is no doubt, but it pales into insignificance when you realise that nearly 35,000 people are killed in the US every year by guns and that there are almost 400 mass shootings annually.

Consider also that there are more than 310 million guns currently in circulation in the US, owned by just 30% of the population.

What I found truly sickening, though, was the fact that the sale of firearms went up by 158% during President Obama’s term in office, mainly due to his noble aim of trying to stop the murders by introducing stricter gun laws and penalties.

His moves, however, were batted aside by the National Rifle Association-supporting US senate.

It’s reckoned 100 million firearms were sold during Obama’s term, bought largely by people who were already armed and ready for the outbreak of World War Three.

So what can be done about it? Well, nothing really.

Not until the day arrives when the overwhelming majority of Americans decide they too have had enough of the killings and that the archaic Second Amendment, which protects their right to bear arms, should be ripped up and scrapped.

And that isn’t going to happen any time soon because the NRA and their lobbyists are just too powerful, too influential, too wealthy and too intent on keeping things as they are.

Unless the trigger is pulled on this evil trade then the attacks will only continue.

And, at the moment – and for years to come – all bets are off on that happening.

Viva Las Vegas? No, it was just another day in the US when the music died and the sale of death continued.

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