Every time there’s a mass shooting in the United States, which is far too often, a race immediately begins between different factions of the Internet, to determine the political views of the shooter. These aren’t used as merely interesting points to paint a picture of who the shooter was, but to paint those with similar affiliations as being just like the shooter. Given the political climate in the United States, even a slight lean to either side in the political spectrum by a mass shooter is used as a weapon by the opposing side, as evidence that every person with similar affiliations is as capable of spraying bullets into a country music concert from high altitude the way the Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock did. Fortunately, the shooter has not been identified as either a Democrat or a Republican.
Merely being a fan of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, or any other politician doesn’t automatically mean that you will open fire upon a group of people, destroying the lives of your victims and countless others. In a similar vein, being a Christian or someone of Jewish or Muslim faith does not make you any more likely to commit such atrocities, despite what people on all sides of the aisle would want you to believe.
The reason that a shooter’s politics are irrelevant is that no matter what their political beliefs, it should not be as easy as it is in the United States to get weapons capable of causing this kind of destruction in just ten minutes. It shouldn’t be as easy as it is for Democrats, Republicans, or Independents to get their hands on any weapon that can shoot hundreds of people, killing well over 50 of them. The concern should be why Paddock was able to quickly slaughter so many before authorities could find him already dead after he had deemed his job to be done.
In a similar vein, it doesn’t matter if these acts are considered to be acts of terrorism. In a move by the political left in America to combat the anti-Islamic side of the right wing, acts of mass violence by a white person draws calls for the act to be labeled as terrorism, as it usually is when a non-white person does something similar. While it’s appropriate to call out double standards in society, dwelling on whether something is considered terrorism does nothing to actually address the problem at hand which, in this case, is that it is simply too easy to get guns and lots of ammunition for those guns in the United States.
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