58 people were dead and over 500 injured by the time mass killer Stephen Paddock committed suicide in his 32nd floor hotel room of the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas, after shooting at festival goers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Vegas strip last Sunday evening.
Inside Paddock’s hotel room police found 23 guns including many assault rifles, another 19 guns were found at Paddock’s home.
Shootings like this are all too common in the United States, someone dies each week in Las Vegas, killed by a gun.
In the USA the right to bear arms is defended up to the hilt by the powerful National Rifle Association, a big supporter of President Donald Trump and the right wing Republican Party. But the need to own a gun, any kind of gun seems to be an obsession in America.
Thank God for two British Prime Ministers who changed that here in this country two decades ago. On the morning of 13th March 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into Dunblane Primary School in Scotland with 5 hand guns, revolvers, pistols and 743 rounds of ammunition.
Within minutes he had shot dead 17 primary school children, their teacher and injured many more, before committing suicide. Within a few weeks the Conservative Prime Minister John Major brought in the Firearms (Amended) Act which banned all cartridge ammunition with the exception of 22 single shot weapons.
The following year the Labour Party won the general election and very quickly the new Prime Minister Tony Blair introduced the Firearms Act (2), banning all of the remaining 22 cartridge handguns as well.
Both Prime Ministers over the years have been much maligned, but for the passing of these two Acts, and for the safety of this country.
Thank you both, you did the right thing.