A gun rights advocate’s response to Las Vegas shooting


Courtesy of Prayitno

Las Vegas Boulevard with the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino next to it

Leon La Jeunesse, Senior Editor/SCC

It has been some time since the attack on concertgoers during the performance of Jason Aldean at a Las Vegas country music concert event that left 58 dead and 489 wounded but the account of what happened is still difficult to comprehend.

Since the horrific event, social media and news outlets have been buzzing with discussions of “gun control.”

There have been calls for “serious discussion” on the matter however, and I have seen and heard accounts of people (key word many, not all) who want to have a conversation- without actually having one.

It seems that what they really want is for people to agree with them without allowing room for a differing opinion.

I consider myself a constitutional conservative and yes I hold the Second Amendment near and dear to my beliefs just as much as the First Amendment.  I do not consider myself a gun expert but I make sure that I understand the basics of guns and their importance to the constitution.

If there is going to be a serious discussion on gun control then the point of view of gun rights advocates need to be heard and taken seriously without being immediately shouted down.

Some of the main points of discussion from this terrible event have been;

What were Paddock’s (the shooter’s) motives?  Why does anyone need an assault rifle? And what part of gun control would have prevented this tragic event?

Some people are wondering why this hasn’t been classified as terrorism and have speculated that it has to do with the race of the attacker.

This is nonsense.

First of all, whatever you may think of how certain media outlets deal with labeling people as terrorists- is one thing -when it comes to municipal, state and of course federal government agencies-they do not make determinations of terrorism based solely on someone’s religion, race, or ethnicity.

The U.S. Department of State defines terrorism as, “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.”

This is the standard agency charged with investigating terrorism use to define something as terrorism and as of right now there is no evidence suggesting that this was politically motivated.

Also as of right now the only evidence that I can surmise from the horrible event and try to explain the “why” is simply put…an act of evil.

Whether you believe in the spiritual definition of evil or have an atheistic view, evil is real and will always exist.

Secondly, there have been many feelings and opinions expressed about assault rifles and some have claimed that the right to own an assault rifle is wrong and not at all what the founding fathers had intended.

For Second Amendment activists however, the right to bear arms was put into place for the people of the United States to defend themselves from a potential tyrannical government.

The idea that more gun control would have stopped this is a conversation worth having but I personally have not seen any evidence to support this claim.

According to ABC News, the shooter, Steven Paddock had no criminal record and despite speculation-there was no medical record of him having any mental illness according to a CNN report and up to this point he had no known political or religious interest.

Paddock reportedly bought all of his weapons legally according to a CBS News article.

The only way somebody like Paddock could have been stopped from getting guns is if there was an all-out guns ban in the United States and considering how many guns are in the country and how gun owners feel about them, forcefully taking away everyone’s guns won’t go over very well.

All this being said, I don’t want people to think I just simply don’t want anything done about this, I welcome an open discussion on this topic.

For example, the ATF rule about multiple firearm purchases needing to be reported only applying to hand guns and not rifles…that’s a reasonable starting point.

My problem is when people who are outraged are unable to give me clear evidence of what it is that they want done but if you don’t agree with them-somehow you just don’t care.

If we ever wish to create “change” we need to allow all points of view to be heard no matter if someone is politically left or right.

In this age of diversity it is important that we keep the most important characteristic alive and strong, the diversity of freedom over one’s personal opinion and thought.