$800 M for Las Vegas, but killings will continue      » Manila Bulletin News

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$800 M for Las Vegas, but killings will continue     



E CARTOON OCT 9, 2019The United States of America’s worst mass shooting ever was a massacre by a lone gunman  firing multiple  high-powered  firearms from  his 32nd floor hotel  room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, at a crowd attending an outdoor  country  music  festival  in October, 2017.

Last Thursday,  October 3, the hotel owner, a chain under MGM Resorts International, announced it was settling  up to $800 million in claims  filed by the families of the  58  dead and 800 wounded.

The Las Vegas incident  is only one of  334 mass shootings thus far  in 2019  in the US in which at least four were killed in each incident by  one man armed with  an assault weapon   capable of  firing hundreds of bullets with one pull of the trigger.  Just two months ago, last  August,  a man armed with  an AK-47 military firearm  fired at  the  crowd in a Walmart  mall in El Paso,  Texas, killing  20 and wounding 26.  A few hours  earlier, another gunman  had killed  nine  and wounded 27 in Dayton, Ohio.

After  each of the many  mass killings in the US, there were demands for  greater  government  control of  firearms, particularly  a ban on military firearms  and  stricter  requirements for civilians to possess guns. There were  many protest rallies after mass killings in schools. But the US  Congress has not taken any move  to enact  any  legislation for firearms restrictions, as  this might  be  deemed a violation  of  the 2nd Amendment  in  the US  Constitution.

MGM Resorts  International   was sued in the Las Vegas case by the victims’ families who accused it of negligence for not  noticing the stockpiling of arms in the killer’s  hotel room.  But the killer was able to legally  acquire the many  weapons in the first place – that,  to many critics of the government, was also negligence that must not be allowed to continue.

All  other  countries in the world, including  the Philippines, place severe  restrictions  on gun   ownership. There are mass killings by some deranged  civilian  killers in many countries, but the US seems to  hold  the record for having the most.

In agreeing to pay  $800 million  to the  families of the Las Vegas shooting in 2017, MGM Resorts  said it was not an admission of liability for the shooting; it  was just to  resolve matters  “so our community and the victims and their families can move forward in the healing process.”

It will indeed help the families of the 58 dead and 800 wounded  victims. But  it does not change  the big picture of so many guns  easily acquired  and continuing to increase  in the US.  And so we can only say after that last mass killing in El Paso,  Texas,  that we can expect many more to come.




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