Once again, the horrible staccato sound of gunfire fills the air as people run for their lives, but hundreds are not able to escape the bullets which strike their bodies. At least 50 killed and hundreds others wounded or trampled in their attempts to flee. Once again, the television and radio speakers will be filled with the murderous sounds of gunfire recorded during the mass murders.
This time, it is Las Vegas. The people had gathered for a good time, but a lone gunman heavily armed began to shoot from his high perch thirty-two floors above the concert scene. In recent years, many have been killed or wounded in this country at concerts, airports, movie theaters, churches, schools, community centers, sandlot baseball diamonds, government buildings, and other places.
Obviously, the danger zone is everywhere. So what do we do? What will we do? Most assuredly, we will debate the question of gun control, especially that of assault weapons. It only takes one deranged gunman armed to the teeth who is willing to kill himself, but not before destroying the lives of people who have gathered for an event or who just happen to be at the place he has decided to violate.
Once again, we will gather around the television set as if it were a chapel of sorts. We will wring our hands and look for answers as to why. As well, we will look for guarantees of safety. But there is no guarantee of safety anywhere …. Obviously.
The Las Vegas gunman was armed with ten assault rifles and 200 fully-loaded magazines – that is at least 4,000 rounds of ammunition – in his high perch Las Vegas strip hotel room. Below was the crowd of 22,000 concert-goers.
Will we see metal detectors for us as we check in or visit hotels as we see them in airports, government buildings, and other venues? It may well have come to that. Does there have to be an armed cop on every corner or in every store or business?
But certainly, we will again deal with the question of automatic weapons – guns of enormous firepower – in this country. The victims who were murdered and wounded in Las Vegas were not at the wrong place at the wrong time. They were at what they thought was the right place at the right time just as were those people killed in churches, movie theaters, and airports, and college campuses, and schools.
If the mass murder in Las Vegas does not scare the hell out of you, it ought to. We know what needs to be done. Question is: do we have the courage to do it? Or will we have to witness another – perhaps where you are -- for lawmakers to find the courage.