Las Vegas massacre reignites US gun restrictions debate

World Today

This Wednesday, June 29, 2016, photo shows guns on display at a gun store in Miami. After a gunman killed more than 50 people in Las Vegas in the nation’s latest mass shooting, stocks in the gun industry rose, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

The Las Vegas massacre joins a growing list of mass shootings in America. But there’s a divide in Congress on the issue.

Democratic party leaders demand more gun controls, while Republicans seek even less restrictions.

CGTN’s Patrice Howard tells us more about this debate.

One man sprayed a Las Vegas concert crowd with hundreds of bullets. Like many Americans, the gunman Stephen Paddock, was able to legally purchase the firearms in his home state, according to authorities.

They’re investigating exactly which of the weapons he fired from his hotel window, while the debate on gun rights intensified.

U.S. President Donald Trump said that he will address the issue but not now. Gun ownership is a divisive issue in the U.S., with laws differing from state to state.

The government said that some 33,000 people are killed each year with guns in the U.S., and when mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas occur, gun sales tend to spike as people fear tighter controls.

Gun safety advocates want stricter background checks and limits on certain types of guns, while others argue that owning a gun is guaranteed by the constitution.

Previous mass shootings in America had challenged several administrations. Barack Obama called his failure to usher in stricter regulations the most frustrating part of his presidency.

Members of Congress pushed for a new ban on semi-automatic assault weapons in 2012 after a gunman killed 20 children inside an elementary school in Connecticut. The effort failed. The carnage in Las Vegas forced lawmakers to tackle the dilemma once again.

With roughly 300 million guns in America and no obvious answer to the country’s mass-shooting phenomena, the debate on gun rights is likely to escalate.

Shawn VanDiver on U.S. mass shootings and gun debate

Will the U.S. Congress finally increase restrictions on guns? To answer that, CGTN’s Mike Walter talked with Shawn VanDiver, from the Truman National Security Project.