Tuesday, October 17, 2017
 
Can There Be a Difference Between “Gun Control” and “Arsenal Control”?

WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 3 (DPI) – Another senseless mass shooting – 58 dead and more than 500 wounded in Las Vegas on Sunday night – and there’s still no clear consensus in Washington that the nation will get more or better gun laws in the months ahead.

The mass shooting of concertgoers by a 64-year-old Nevada man – known to be eccentric but with no history of violence –  still has no known motive. The absence of a motive hangs starkly over the horrible episode days later.

The shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was a professional gambler who had been financially successful, and bore no outward grudges. That he leaves no obvious trail of hate only deepens the mystery – and the fear that such random shootings will occur again, and more frequently.

The House of Representatives and the Senate, both Republican-controlled, have shown no inclination to introduce new gun-control legislation. The Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Sieb, for one, has already opined that new gun laws are unlikely, in part because of this shooter doesn’t fit any of the traditional stereotypes of a mass killer.

Most Americans want to preserve the right to own a firearm. But the size of the shooter’s arsenal – at least 17 weapons on site, including many automatic weapons, and thousands of rounds of ammunition – points to a cancerous problem for the nation: The excessive accumulation of all kinds of weapons – not simply handguns and shotguns, but sophisticated weapons – by individuals.

That individuals would want to accumulate such arsenals suggests a degree of paranoia – according to some, the more powerful weapons that are accumulated, the more deranged the person tends to be. It’s not the kind of psychological make-up any modern society would want to see in people, especially those accumulating a lot of guns.

The question remains, can the government regulate the proliferation of all weapons – or simply some weapons?  Can it confiscate the most powerful weapons, such as the automatic weapons that reel off hundreds of rounds per minute? Will an assault-weapon ban – which expired 2004 after 10 years as the law of the land – be re-instated? And how many people out there own a trove of weapons comparable to that of the Las Vegas shooter?

In the weeks and months ahead, the federal government and states will re-focus yet again on a core problem: The weapons manufacturers, and their lobbyists at The National Rifle Association –  who are influencing the policymakers, and who are stifling serious reforms on gun accumulation – not simply ownership.

It is quite one thing to own a single firearm, and quite another to accumulate an arsenal of weapons.   This latest mass shooting highlights such distinctions as never before.

All of the major news sites – The New York Times, The Washington Post, even the conservative Wall Street Journal – were full of comments calling for more gun laws.

 

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