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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 October 4 - 10  > Las Vegas shooting ignites fresh call for gun control
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2017 October 4 - 10 [WORLD]
column 

Las Vegas shooting ignites fresh call for gun control

October 4, 2017
Akahata ‘current’ column

Located in the middle of the Nevada Desert, Las Vegas is brilliantly illuminated at night. Its name means a fertile expanse of land. The city was developed with the gold rush and the opening of the railway.

Until the end of WWII, the population of Las Vegas was less than 20,000. In the 1950s, with casino and hotel development, the city turned into a Mecca for gamblers. It is now a world-famous entertainment city boasting various attractions. The city’s growth reflects the history of the United States.

Las Vegas was hosting a country music festival when the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in U.S. history took place at an outdoor concert venue on October 1. From a hotel diagonally opposite the street from the venue, the gunman fired on an audience of 20,000, who came from across the country. The murderer’s motive has yet to be confirmed.

It is unlikely that Americans have already forgotten last year’s mass shooting which killed 49 people. Every time a mass shooting occurs, citizens make a fresh call for gun control. Still, guns, including assault rifles, are readily available.

The National Rifle Association strongly opposes the strengthening of rules restricting access to firearms by citing the Constitution. U.S. President Donald Trump, who receives huge financial support from this powerful organization, states that he will protect the right to possess guns.

On the other hand, many celebrities are speaking out for reasonable restrictions on firearms. A guitarist who played at the festival changed his position from supporting the NRA to supporting stronger regulations. Ariana Grande, who experienced a mass shooting at one of her concerts, called for “love, unity, peace, gun control”. Lady Gaga tweeted, “Democrats & Republicans please unite now” to implement strict gun control legislation.
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