At last count, there are 59 dead and 515 injured in a Las Vegas mass shooting that has the rest of the world perplexed, distressed and wondering how and why.
Will America finally do something about gun laws that allow a man to wheel ten suitcases – brimming with 22 guns, 10,000 bullets and two fully automatic machine guns (all purchased legally) – to his 32nd floor hotel room? A suite where, after smashing two windows at either end, he began to methodically fire bullets below at children, families and couples on a night out.
Will this image, one of mass needless death, trauma and injury, be enough to legislate for stricter gun laws in the US?
The world isn’t so sure, with a sense of hopelessness enveloping conversations about US gun control in the days after the massacre.
After all, if gun control wasn’t legislated after Sandy Hook – where tiny, defenseless six-year-olds were shot dead – when will it? If gun control wasn’t legislated after Virginia Tech, when will it? If gun control wasn’t legislated after Orlando, hell, when will it?
How many deaths, how many tears, how much loss is too much loss? When does the right to live trump the right the bear arms?
Mia Freedman and Amelia Lester discuss the shooting at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Hotel that left 59 people dead.
What’s clear, particularly this week, is that America’s relationship with guns is insidious. A bond brimming with steadfast belief that it’s not about guns at all, but instead a right to be whoever I want, own whatever I want and do, essentially, whatever I want. An individualistic culture built on their dedication to the Second Amendment and a constitution that tells them they have a god-given right to bear arms. A society that has high rates of crime, and one where violence in popular culture is pervasive.
And now, in a photo obtained by Mamamia, we can understand – truly – how deep this runs.
In a Facebook post from a Louisiana man Mamamia will not name, raffle tickets are being sold for a baseball club. The poster in question needs to sell “two more tickets” before the raffle is sold out.
The prize in question?
Because when the people of America are running a normal, everyday competition, and the prize are weapons used to kill, you get the sense they're in too deep.
And when you're entering a raffle to win guns, not meat platters, it's unlikely you'll throw your support behind legislation that could take those very guns from you.
Of course, ignoring the fact such legislation could one day save your life.