After a madman in Las Vegas opened fire on a country music festival from the 39th floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, over 500 people are injured and 59 are dead. Those numbers may rise. The gunman, Stephen Paddock, reportedly had an arsenal of weapons in his hotel room — at least 17 rifles and counting, with some of his weapons, according to video evidence, assumed to be automatic.
What was at one moment, a joy-filled concert quickly turned into a war zone-like atmosphere. Witnesses described blood everywhere, and it’s been called the worst mass shooting in modern history. Lawmakers, many of whom have accepted large amounts of campaign funds from the National Rifle Association, filled their social media accounts with “thoughts and prayers.”
Tonight, Seth Meyers asked if this is the process that will manifest itself time and time again. Will anything be done to stop a person from attaining a cache of weapons, then using them to end the lives of innocent people? Will the lawmakers who have accepted money from lobbyists on behalf of gun manufacturers accept a renewed ban on assault rifles? Can we enhance funding for mental health? Can they reinstate federal research on gun ownership and gun violence? Can there be more detailed background checks or taxes on gun sales on that can lead to increased security and lobbyists on behalf of citizens, including schoolchildren so that they can be safe?
Or is this officially the new normal? Massacre, thoughts and prayers, nothing done. Rinse. Repeat.
“It always seems like the worst displays of humanity in this country are immediately followed by the best and sadly that is followed by no action at all. Then it repeats itself… But to Congress, I’d like to say: Are there no steps we can take as a nation to stop gun violence? Or, is this just how it is, and how it’s going to continue to be? Because when you say, ‘this is not the time to talk about it,’ what you really mean is there is never a time to talk about it. And it would be so much more honest if you would just admit that your plan is to never talk about it and never take any action.”
We can all hope that Meyers’ outlook won’t be the case, but we’ve been here before.