By State Representative, Leon D. Young
Mass shootings in America are getting deadlier and appear to be occurring more frequently. What do you say in the wake of yet another mass shooting in this country? Of the 30 deadliest shootings in the US dating back to 1949, 18 have occurred in the last 10 years. And, two of the five deadliest took place in just the last 35 days.
Below is a list of the 5 deadliest single day mass shootings in modern US history. If the shooter was killed or died by suicide during the incident, that death is not included in the total.
The Harvest Music Festival: 58 killed
• October 1, 2017 – a gunman opens fire from the 32nd of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on a crowd of more than 20,000 gathered on the Las Vegas Strip for the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. He kills 58 people and injures more than 500. Police believe the gunman then kills himself. B It is the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
The Pulse Night Club: 49 killed
• June 12, 2016 – Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, opens fire inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, in Orlando. At least 49 people are killed and more than 50 are injured. Police shoot and kill Mateen during an operation to free hostages officials say he was holding at the club.
Virginia Tech: 32 killed
• April 16, 2007 – Student Seung-Hui Cho, 23, goes on a shooting spree, killing 32 people in two locations and wounding an undetermined number of others on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The shooter dies by suicide.
Sandy Hook: 27 killed
• December 14, 2012 – Adam Lanza, 20, guns down 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, before turning the gun on himself. Investigators later find the shooter’s mother, Nancy Lanza, dead from a gunshot wound.
First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs: 26 killed
• November 5, 2017 – A man walks into a small church in a rural Texas town and guns down 26 people. The shooter, identified by two law enforcement sources as Devin Patrick Kelley, is found dead after a brief chase, but it’s unclear if he is killed or takes his own life. It is the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history.
Political gamesmanship is already underway following this most recent shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas; where a deranged man, Devin Patrick, gunned down 26 people while they were attending Sunday church servicer. Weighing in abroad from his Asia trip, Donald Trump was quick to assert that this is a mental health problem – not guns – as the cause of the church massacre. And, according to Trump, “mental health is your problem here. This was a very, based on preliminary reports, this was a very deranged individual, a lot of problems over a long period of time.”
While others, within the Republican ranks, have attempted to explain away the shooting simply as some sort of administrative oversight. The Air Force has admitted that it had failed to enter the shooter’s domestic violence court-martial into a federal database that could have blocked him from buying the rifle he used to kill 26 people. In truth, the GOP would have us to believe that the current legal restraints, regarding gun ownership, are more than adequate.
Here’s the problem in the nutshell: Most Republicans consider the Second Amendment to be an “absolute right,” which is clearly not the case. And, most Republicans are squarely in bed with the NRA and fear primary challenges.
You might remember that after the Las Vegas shooting — which happened all of five weeks ago — many Republicans said that perhaps we should regulate “bump stocks,” the accessory the killer used to turn his semiautomatic rifles into functionally automatic rifles. There was even a piece of legislation introduced with a few Republican co-sponsors. And you know what happened to that? Nothing.