Following the worst mass shooting incident In US history, Gun stock prices have increased, indicating the US public’s concern towards ‘self protection’ while have blamed the gun control laws and arguing for stricter firearm laws. The recent incident sheds light on how an gambling accountant in Las Vegas went on a killing spree with apparently no motive or affiliation to a terrorist organisation.
Stephen Craig Paddock , the gunman behind the attack, checked into his Las Vegas hotel room on September 28 with at least 10 suitcases filled with guns, four days before opening fire on a crowd of 22,000 from his hotel window. Las Vegas police said he had 23 guns at the hotel, including semi auto rifles, and 19 at his home along with a vast supply of ammunition. He was well armed with modified firearms, some of which were perfectly legal.
The 64-year-old gunman killed himself in the hotel room before police could reach him.
Paddock fired an automatic rifle out of the window of his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort during the final act of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, which was taking place in a lot adjacent to the resort, killing 59 people and injuring nearly 530.
Investigators and family members could not explain what led an accountant with no known criminal history to commit such violence.
“He knew what he wanted to do. He knew how he was going to do it, and it doesn’t seem like he had any kind of escape plan at all,” FBI Profiler Van Zandt said.
“No affiliation, no religion, no politics. He never cared about any of that stuff,” said Eric Paddock, the gunman’s brother. “He was a guy who had money. He went on cruises and gambled.”
Paddock’s brother Eric told the Daily Mail that his family was “shocked” and “dumbfounded” by Paddock’s actions and that there were no indications as to a possible motive before the shooting.
In Nevada, where Paddock lived, anyone over 18 years of age can own a firearm. Some people have raised their voices in support for firearm control laws. On the other hand, Gun stocks have risen after the incident, which is an indication that a majority of the population is concerned with means of self protection.
Nevada does not license gun owners or require guns to be registered and allows the sale of high capacity magazines, high-caliber weapons and ammunition, and military-style weapons, though they are prohibited in other states.
But one of Nevada’s few restrictions is on the sale or manufacture of automatic weapons, and the Associated Press reports that Paddock used a perfectly legal device to effectively circumvent that.
The device, known as a “bump stock,” replaces the shoulder rest of a rifle with a device that bounces the weapon back into the shooter’s trigger finger. Effectively, the weapon still fires one bullet for every pull of the trigger, but the bump stock automates the trigger pull action, allowing shooters to fire 400-800 rounds per minute.
Additionally, simple but highly illegal after-market modifications can change semi-automatic, or one trigger pull, one shot weapons into automatic weapons.