In the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting on Sunday night, in which at least 59 people were killed and over 500 wounded when a shooter opened fire from the upper floors of the Mandalay Resort and Casino, Republicans are scrambling to defend their National Rifle Association donors as millions of Americans demand stricter gun control.
Senator John Thune (R-SD) just took GOP gun worship to a new low, by implying that the victims of the worst mass shooting in American history are to blame, not the gun manufacturing lobby that ensures an absurd number of guns flood the American markets every year.
Hallie Jackson of NBC News reports that Thune said that people “have to to take steps in their own lives to take precautions. To protect themselves. And in situations like that, you know, try to stay safe. As somebody said — get small.”
The insinuation that the best solution for mass shootings is for the victims to do a better job of ducking and covering rather than demanding that the government do more to regulate who can own firearms and what kind they can own is as callous as it is patently ridiculous.
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 3, 2017
The shooter, Stephen Paddock, is reported to have owned 42 weapons in total, 23 of which were in his hotel room. The fact that he was able to stockpile such a huge arsenal privately and without anyone realizing it is a clear sign that something must be done.
Thune’s other point, that we live in an “open society” so it’s hard to prevent tragedies like this is just another inane Republican talking point. They like to bloviate about our freedom to own weapons, but also forget to mention that we deserve to be free from fear of mass automatic weapon-facilitated murder.
The NRA donated over $50 million to Republican candidates during the 2016 election reports HuffPost. In Pennsylvania — a swing state whose electoral votes went to Trump — one out every twenty television ads in October was sponsored by the NRA. They invested heavily in the GOP, and now their bought and paid for politicians are forming a shield around them.
The GOP needs to stop valuing campaign donations over lost American lives. The country needs to follow the lead of other civilized countries, and better regulate firearm ownership. Until we do, incidents like this will continue to occur.
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