Little is known yet about 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, who police say opened fired on a country music concert Sunday in Las Vegas, spraying hundreds of bullets from a Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino window. At least 58 people were killed and 515 were injured.
16 weapons were reportedly found in Paddock’s hotel room, but what type they were has not been released. From the rapid sound of the gunfire heard in audio captured at the chaotic scene on the ground, many people have speculated that Paddock was using a fully automatic machine gun, which can hold over 200 rounds of ammunition via an ammunition belt.
That sort of weapon differs greatly from semi-automatic rifles like the popular AR-15 or the Bushmaster XM-15 that Adam Lanza used in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Semi-automatic rifles — often referred to as “assault rifles” by the mainstream media — require users to pull the trigger every time they fire. On the other hand, a fully automatic weapon allows users to hold down the trigger to have a constant string of bullets fire until the trigger is released on the gun runs out of ammo.
Yet with no gun type confirmed, the mainstream media was quick to call for greater gun control and to claim that fully automatic machine guns are easy to obtain in America.
Terry Moran of ABC News tweeted the following warning:
Mia Farrow of Newsweek echoed him:
Actor Boris Kodjoe weighed in as well, putting America on alert:
But are machine guns that easy to obtain in pro-2nd Amendment Nevada? Or anywhere in America? Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, says no. He believes the media is leaving out facts in order to push their liberal gun control agenda.
Davis points out that, first, federal gun laws trump state laws, so you can’t simply look at state law to see what’s allowed. Second, the manufacture of machine guns is highly regulated by federal law.
A special license is required “to manufacture, sell, and own any of these items, without exception,” Davis explains. “It is a lengthy and burdensome process that requires extensive investigation by ATF.”
Fully automatic machine guns aren’t easy for civilians to obtain either because of supply. First, civilians can’t purchase one if it was made after May 19, 1986. Second, replacement parts can’t legally be made for guns made before May 19, 1986.
Those are two major hurdles right there. And even for people who want to purchase the pre-1986 machine guns, it’s still a “costly, invasive, and time-consuming” ATF process to get one. It would “take close to a year,” Davis said.
He also makes it clear that it’d be extremely hard to buy a machine gun for less than $10,000, and many cost significantly more than that. The trigger that is specially designed to fire the gun can cost as much as $50,000 itself.
After these details started coming out over the course of the day Monday, Kodjoe acknowledged that he was misled.
Guns, also, may not have been the sole weapon Paddock had in mind. A chemical compound — ammonium nitrate — commonly used to make explosives was found inside his car, according to the New York Post.
What do you think of this? Meanwhile, a survivor of the Vegas attack who is an agnostic said his view of God has now been radically changed.