When is a Good Time for Change?
It has been a week since the Las Vegas tragedy on the morning of Oct 2. The shooter has died and over five hundred people have been injured in what is now considered the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States. However, gun control debates remain inconclusive.
There is an obvious mass-shooting pattern that cannot be ignored. Whenever a mass shooting happens, we find out about it and express our grief and outrage at the incident. Then the political debates about gun control emerge, only to end up nowhere, and eventually the news dies down, only for the cycle to repeat with the next shooting. Why is the cycle repeated despite the losses we have endured?
One thing is clear: gun control is still an issue. The NRA and the Republican Party have called for tighter restriction on bump stocks, an entirely legal modification that allows the shooter to modify his semi-automatic rifles to fire at a rate similar to that of a fully-automatic weapon. It is a significant change among those groups, especially considering how the organization and the political party have consistently been opposed to gun control; but it is still not enough — as the NRA refused to outright ban bump stocks, instead calling for more regulation on them.
However, the NRA, despite calling for regulation on bump stocks, may be too late. Banning the bump stock might save lives, but it is important to remember that shortly after the Las Vegas shooting, gun enthusiasts’ demand for the device had surged out of the belief that it would be outlawed. Furthermore, the NRA’s position has been mixed. NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch said in a recent interview on Fox & Friends that “nothing could’ve been done” to prevent the massacre, indicating that the NRA’s position is now leaning back to its usual agenda. Even NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre suggested that “elites” were at fault for teaching irresponsible use of guns. What seemed to have been some level of progress in terms of gun control legislature is now a reversal back to the usual situation where the NRA would oppose said legislature, meaning that nothing would be done once again.
Instead of looking for something or someone to blame, we should consider what should be done to prevent another shooting of this scale from happening. The Las Vegas shooting can be called a hotel security issue, or an issue of getting access to bump stocks, but we shouldn’t save the debates and the political activity for the next shooting. Gun control is an issue that affects the lives of all citizens and everyone’s safety, regardless of where someone stands in the political spectrum. We should not have to wait for the next mass shooting before trying to make significant political change.