Kate Livingstone: Time to rethink US gun laws

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It’s one of those scenarios that you wonder how it ever happened.

How can one man be allowed to own so many weapons and ammunition that he killed 58 people and injured ten times more.

But that’s American gun laws for you and despite many previous incidents, although none costing so many lives, there’s been no repeal.

I’m sure you were like me and woke on Monday morning to the news that something was happening in Las Vegas involving a gunman. Reports were that two people had been killed and several injured.

Were you like me and dismissed it as “just another weapons incident in the States”? For my shame I did.

With their liberal gun laws and people’s ability to walk the street with unconcealed firearms it’s something you’ve come to expect.

Or perhaps I’ve just watched too many American crime dramas.

Unfortunately on this occasion the reality was very much worse.

By lunchtime when I switched on the news it was 20 dead; teatime it was 50; and by bedtime on Monday they were talking about 58 dead and over 500 injured. Many of their injuries are so bad that death toll could still rise.

Now we are hearing about the people behind those statistics: the cheerleader, high school teacher, the army veteran, the fisherman. All someone’s daughter, wife, sister, son, husband or brother. Not just faceless names. But real people out enjoying themselves.

The whole futility of it all got me wondering how this could be allowed and I discover the first article in the Nevada constitution states: “Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defence, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes.”

Okay, but where does it say they shouldn’t use them to hurt other human beings?

Well, of course, it doesn’t.

However, with that constitutional right come responsibility. If the American politicians want to continue to allow the right to bear arms, they need to take steps to put some form of check in place, even if only on the amount of weapons an individual can hold.

The gun lobby debate always becomes heated after a mass killing, but rather than words perhaps actions are needed.

This may not be the usual frivolous column from me this week, but sometimes it seems wrong to be talking about drinking fizz with friends when people who were doing just that, enjoying spending time with their family and friends at a music event so tragically lost their lives. And for what?

Makes you want to hold your loves ones just a little closer.