By Eddy Montilla
To own a gun is in the United States like the Super Bowl, that is, part of the country’s culture. There is, however, a significant difference between them: The second one brings joy; the first one brings pain and death. It is said that the almost inseparable Americans’ characteristic that fuels many people’s burning desire to possess a weapon has its origin in the arrival of European immigrants who felt the absence of State authority and opted to defend themselves. What those settlers never imagined was that firearms would turn into mass lethal weapons someday, able to be bought at a department store as if it were a household item.
But many years has passed since those settlers arrived at the United States, so if the problem about firearm-related deaths has not been solved yet, it is the present generation that should be held to account. From the American government to citizens, both sectors have failed in their attempt to reduce deaths from mass shootings. The millionaire, compulsive gambler, real estate investor and today “famous” mass shooter Stephen Paddock unveiled the fact that mass shootings in USA are close to become an uncontrollable situation. Paddock’s actions left 58 people dead and hundreds injured, a tragedy telling us that something worse is coming considering how easy it is for citizens to get more and more sophisticated and lethal weapons.
The sale of weapons has been a lucrative business inside and outside the country. Consequently, it is not necessary to explain how this killer could buy an alarming arsenal of weapons, 23 guns, including semiautomatic rifles, scopes and hundreds of rounds of ammunition and how he could fire at a rate of 400 rounds per minute over into a crowd from about 400 yards (365.76 meters) away. The main restriction that an American has to buy a firearm is imposed by himself or herself, that is, how much money he or she has for that. But, how many guns does a person need to protect his or her family? Why does a person need a gun if police officers are paid to protect citizens?
During the last decade, USA has seen more than 200 mass shootings. It is not the large amount of time dealing with the same problem, but the way it is being seen and faced today what people should worry about. Today people cry, talk and weeks later forget everything. Stephen Paddock’s lethal attack on a Las Vegas country music festival is not one more to be added to the long list that already exists. It is the prelude to what is to come: Something worse. Intervals between a mass shooting and another are getting smaller and the attacks are deadlier. Since 2010, it has not passed a year without more than 10 people killed in a mass shooting (except for 2014) and since 2015, the last killer wants to kill more people than the previous one did.
As in earlier instances, after each mass shooting, people talk about it, mass media get news, the president delivers a speech and, after several weeks, the society and government will continue with their registered trademark expression: “We have to move forward”, which means people will forget Paddock’s case as they did with others mass shootings until another sadistic or sick shooter brings a new record. Since a shooter’s hunger for blood is fed by the largest number of victims killed before, then, if the problem is not resolved, to see more that 58 people killed, that is a new record, it is just a matter of time.
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.
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