On Sunday, a man named Stephen Paddock opened fire from his hotel room window onto the crowd below, who were watching a Jason Aldean concert at a music festival. According to official reports, 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, though it's been only two years since the same was said about the mass shooting at Florida night club Pulse. Investigators recovered 47 guns belonging to Paddock, 12 of which had been outfitted to function as automatic weapons. He killed all those people in less than 11 minutes.
Many are confused about why a civilian would be able to accrue such a deadly arsenal and murder so many of their fellow Americans. The answer is that the National Rifle Association has an enormous amount of money, and getting legislation through congress regarding gun control is almost impossible. The culture around guns and the Second Amendment in the U.S. is strong, butthe Founding fathers had no concept of what an automatic rifle could be capable of when they planned for a standing militia. But pushing automatic rifles and making it easier for people to buy them at gun shows is the NRA's business.
Think Progress reporter Judd Legum shared the last tweet from the official NRA magazine before the shooting in Las Vegas. In it, they share a photo of an automatic rifle with the hashtag #hunting.
People want to know exactly what kind of hunting someone would do with a weapon like that:
Hunting is an important part of many cultures in the U.S., but if you need to fire off hundreds of rounds to do it, you're probably not a hunter. In my opinion, you're just a gun nut.