On the morning after the most recent episode in a long history of gun violence in the United States, one question is on millions of minds: How likely are Americans to be killed by guns? The answer speaks volumes about the capacity for devastation when a country fails to regulate ownership of deadly weapons — and the massacre on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night illustrates it further.
Late Sunday night, a crowd of 22,000 people gathered for the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival taking place on the Las Vegas Strip. Around 10 p.m., a shooter opened fire on the concert from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. According to a press release by the Las Vegas Police Department, more than 400 people were transported to local hospitals and at least 50 died in the violence, making it deadlier than the Pulse nightclub shooting last June. Early Monday morning, police confirmed that the shooter had died as well, although the investigation into his motivations is still ongoing.
The Las Vegas Strip shooting is merely the latest in a series of gun-related massacres, from the 1966 University of Texas tower shooting to the 2015 San Bernardino attack. It's long past time for Americans to acknowledge the reams of data showing that this violence is related to the country's lax gun laws — but don't take my word for it. Here are the devastating facts about firearm use in the United States.