Upon waking up to check the morning round up of notifications on your phone, you were most likely alerted that there have been reportedly 50 people killed and at least 400 wounded in a shooting on the Las Vegas strip. The mass shooting is now considered the deadliest in modern U.S. history, raising more questions and concerns about the country's domestic gun control policies. In the coming days, there will (rightfully) be a lot of talk of stricter gun control — and so it's worth revisiting some of the most important articles about gun control that have run in recent years to educate oneself on the importance of pushing this issue as soon as possible.
The shooter, who was shot and killed by police, unleashed terror on concert go-ers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas around 10 p.m. local time. While the investigation continues, this horrific situation is yet another in a too-familiar string of tragedies at the hand of a terrorist with an automatic weapon. And as we await more information about the shooter, and why what happened actually happened, there will surely be a surge in debate on the state of our laws regarding gun control due to the unfathomable violence that occurs because of it.
What deems an individual mentally suited for gun ownership? Have there been loopholes in laws that have allowed these weapons to fall into ill equipped hands? How do we prevent these crimes from continuing to infect our society so that we never have to wake up to gut-wrenching push notifications like these regularly again? Something is not right. Here is your required reading list of articles concerning U.S. gun control so that we can study, understand, and then, ultimately, amend.
"15 Years After Columbine, How 'Never Again' Became 'Oh, Well'," Mother Jones
The shooting at Columbine claimed 13 lives under the roof of a high school by two shooters. In this article, Mother Jones Senior Editor Dreyfuss points out — and calls out — the attitude that surrounds events like these, asking for more than just a promise that a tragedy of this caliber will never happen again. Written in 2014, 15 years following Columbine, he points out that it has. Multiple times. And in an elementary school. This article is one that urges action from everyone as we're smacked with the reality of how every public place no longer feels safe and the little we're doing to change that.
In order to understand how to move forward, it's important to take a look back. After the Orlando, FL shooting at Pulse Nightclub that claimed 49 innocent lives, CNN writer Gregory Krieg rounded up gun control laws through the years. With this article, we can understand the evolution of gun control policy and make cases for adaptation and where to fill in the gaps.
The shocking headline doesn't say it all. Diving into Johnson's article illuminates why in fact this loophole exists. A revealing detail in the Charleston shooter's case being due to a technicality in background checks referred to as "delayed denial". Here we get an understanding on the system of background checks.
"Shooting of Gun-Rights Congressman Fires Up Both Sides of Debate," Bloomberg Politics
Gun control is an active debate. The Louisiana Republican Representative and pro-gun supporter, Steve Scalise, was shot in June of 2017. After being in critical condition, the event of his shooting yet again brought up the safety of the public. The article dives inside of Washington's conflicting attitude toward gun restrictions after a politician is wounded.
"What Bullets Do To Our Bodies," HuffPost
Writer Jason Fagone interviews Temple Universities Dr. Amy Goldberg on the gruesome reality of the physical destruction of our bodies caused by bullets. It's one thing to watch a movie's portrayal of a gun shot and another to visualize the damage from a doctor who treats those wounds.
"The Certainty of More Mass Shootings," The Atlantic
The Atlantic points out that, yes, every country has mad people linked to violent weapons. But it is a pressing issue in America. It points out a pattern and even links to The Brady Campaign's list of mass shootings. It's 62 pages long.
There is the argument made that good guys have guns too. VICE digs into this, revealing a Stanford team's findings after analyzing 37 years of data.
"The Case For More Guns (And More Gun Control)," The Atlantic
Following the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, Jeffrey Goldberg dissects gun control and asks if perhaps the best way to control guns is with guns. The article is full of statistics.
"It's Time To Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them.," New Republic
In this article, it's pointed out that "'gun control' at its most radical still tends to refer to bans on certain weapons...". Phoebe Maltz Bovy fiercely states a case for why we should eliminate all guns.
"Gun Control Laws by State," Slate
Get ready for a lot of disappointing scores. Slate reports the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence's findings of gun laws in individual states. It's important to know where your state stands so you can get involved in correcting the course.
"One More Massacre," The New Yorker
This article once again notes that nobody with power is doing much of anything to prevent mass shootings from occurring. Adam Gopnik begins to tackle the second amendment before linking to Jill Lepore's 2012 article "Battleground America" that takes a closer look at the history of the amendment.
Here are some ways you can help the victims in Las Vegas.