On Sunday evening, a man opened fire on a concert in Las Vegas from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, killing at least 59 people and injuring another 527. In the days since, it has emerged that the gunman modified his weapons with legal bump stocks that can be attached to a legally purchased semiautomatic rifle and give it a similar fire rate to a fully automatic weapon, which in this case allowed the gunman to fire hundreds of shots a minute.
The government's inaction and inability to keep automatic weapons from circulating amongst civilians is frustrating and scary, but it's especially astounding when compared with their efforts to regulate women's bodies.
A quote on the subject attributed to Gloria Steinem is going viral, as it perfectly illustrates the hypocrisy of how lawmakers treat women versus guns:
I want any young men who buy a gun to be treated like young women who seek an abortion. Think about it: a mandatory 48-hours waiting period, written permission from a parent or a judge, a note from a doctor proving that he understands what he is about to do, time spent watching a video on individual and mass murders, traveling hundreds of miles at his own expense to the nearest gun shop, and walking through protestors holding photos of loved ones killed by guns, protestor who call him a murderer. After all, it makes more sense to do this for young men seeking guns than for young women seeking an abortion. No young woman needing reproductive freedom has ever murdered a roomful of strangers.
The quote is being misattributed to Gloria Steinem, however. She did share it on Facebook in 2015, but added at the end, "This riff is not mine, it’s on the Internet – I thank whoever gave us all this present."
But people are still responding to it, probably because it rings true:
Sen. John McCain said of the attack:
“Look at Las Vegas. That’s how I account for it. Americans are horrified by it. They’re horrified, and they should be.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, all Republicans, said on Thursday that they would consider further restrictions on bump stocks. More than a dozen Senate Republicans said they were open to the possibility.
“I didn’t know what a bump stock was until this week,” Ryan said. “A lot of us are coming up to speed. . . . Having said that, fully automatic weapons have been outlawed for many, many years. This seems to be a way of going around that, so obviously we need to look how we can tighten up the compliance with this law so that fully automatic weapons are banned.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President Donald Trump wished to be "part of a conversation” about cracking down on bump stocks.