In Washington, D.C., a debate on gun restrictions shifts ground. So-called “Bump-Stocks” could be banned.
But there is no indication wider gun control measures will follow. CGTN’s Jim Spellman explains.
Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock amassed an arsenal before launching his attack. All appear to have been purchased legally.
“47 firearms have been recovered. These firearms were recovered from three different locations. Those locations consisted of the hotel room, as well as Verde and Mesquite Nevada. They were purchased in Nevada, Utah, California and Texas. The gunman purchased rifles, shotguns and pistols. At this time, none of the guns recovered appear to be homemade. There were 12 bump fire stocks identified on the firearms in the hotel room,” said Jill Snyder, Special Agent in Charge at the ATF San Francisco Field Office.
Bump-fire stocks allow semi-automatic weapons, which require one pull of the trigger for each shot—to fire like fully automatic weapons. Fully automatic weapons continue firing for as long as the trigger is depressed and are mostly outlawed in the U.S.
There are now signs both Democratic and Republican lawmakers may back a ban of bump stocks. Even the powerful National Rifle Association, which generally opposes gun control measures, released a statement saying in part: “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
But even if a bump stock ban goes into effect, no one in Washington expects sweeping gun control measures to follow. Many point to the influence of the gun lobby and increasingly partisan police atmosphere in Washington that leaves little room for compromise.
“I think that we have a constitutional right to own a weapon in America. I support that, I support that unequivocally,” said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. Kennedy’s comments are in line with most Republican lawmakers and even many Democrats in Congress.
In 1994, military style assault weapons were banned in the U.S. A decade later the ban expired. Since then, a steady stream of mass shootings had failed to bring about new gun control measures.
In 2012, a mentally disturbed gunman killed 20 school children at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Then President Barack Obama pushed for stricter gun control but congress did not pass any new laws. Obama called it a “Shameful day in Washington.”
For some advocates, that marked the end of hope for gun control. If the murder of 20 children couldn’t bring about change what could?
Atiba Madyun on Las Vegas shooting
Atiba Madyun, president of Party Politics U.S., spoke with CGTN’s Mike Walter about the Las Vegas shooting and its impact on America’s gun debate.