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USA Gun deaths so far this year are three times more than 11 September 2001.

Editorial Staff

The USA went into shock and meltdown and it continues to suffer from the after effects of the attacks on the World Trade Centre and other targets on 11 September 2001. It continues to use so-called Islamic Terrorism as an excuse for ever-tighter restrictions on its population and on visitors. And yet, while its people are being murdered in unprecedented numbers by Americans, for whom any affinity with Islam is rare, the USA Government refuses to entertain any view that there must be control over weapons in the hands of people.

The figures for deaths are startling but the figures for those injured so far this year are even worse. Taking into account the 500 plus injured as 64 year old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock sprayed the audience at an open air concert with hundreds of bullets from various weapons including a high-powered automatic rifle. Police say that he had shot and killed himself before they entered his room. No one is likely to call for a review of the veracity of that statement.

Paddock was yet another gun collector and exploited the USA's failure to implement adequate security in publicly accessible buildings in order to get 23 guns, including a handgun, into the room on the 32nd floor (assuming that the hotel uses the US system of numbering the ground floor as the first floor) which gave him an unimpeded view of the open air venue designated as the main "pen" for concert goers.

There are many videos of the scene and automatic gunfire can be plainly heard firing at a rate of approximately ten rounds per second. There is no hint that his firing was anything other than indiscriminate.

When police entered his home, where he lived alone, they found a reported 19 weapons plus explosives and "an electronic device." There were thousands of rounds of ammunition.

There is little alternative but to conclude that the man was deranged but even so he was able to accumulate ammunition that is far beyond any reasonable requirement. But no matter how deranged, it is clear that there was considerable forethought : police have said that, over a period of time, he carried 10 suitcases into the room. However, speaking to reporters, Paddock's brother, Eric, was incredulous : Stephen Paddock, he told CBS was "“not an avid gun guy at all. “The fact that he had those kind of weapons is just — where the hell did he get automatic weapons?” Even so, the White House does not want to enter into a debate on gun control: indeed, the Republicans have sponsored a bill that will un-ban silencers on automatic weapons.

In order to shoot, he first had to break the window and the glass shattered creating a large hole that made his position obvious. State police arrived at the room but Paddock shot through the door, injuring one officer. Special Weapons and Tactical Unit (SWAT) officers then entered the room where, it is reported, they found the man dead.

Bad as it was, it could have been far worse: the first reports of shots came at 22:08 and the call "suspect down" was just before midnight. That, of itself, gives some insight into the mind of America's biggest mass murderer in recent years. During that time, Paddock made one burst of approximately 9 seconds, then a break of more than half a minute, then two shorter bursts. What he was doing, alone in the hotel room, for almost two hours, will never be known. One of the musicians on stage reportedly said that the shooting went on for at least ten minutes but that is not supported by the many mobile phone videos available. One, however, does appear to show constant firing for approx 15 seconds: clearly far more detailed analysis of the recordings is required.

What do you think should be done about guns in the USA. Members may post comments. Everyone may vote on our poll (expires Friday) here

 


 

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