Rep. Carl Anderson, D-Georgetown, believes the process to obtain a gun in South Carolina should be more difficult to avoid tragic events like the Las Vegas shooting and the 2015 Charleston church shooting.
USC student Nicole Pascale believes that mental illness played a part in the Las Vegas shooting. “I think nobody in their right mind would do something like that,” said Pascale.
By Delaney McPherson THE CAROLINA REPORTER & NEWS
The horrific massacre of 59 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas is now the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Just 16 months agothe Orlando nightclub where 49 people were gunned down was rankedas the deadliest. And once again, the debate has commenced over America’s guns and the laws that govern them.
Rep. Bill Hixon, R-Aiken, believes that while the shooting in Las Vegas was tragic, gun reform is not the answer.
“The gun didn’t climb 32 floors and start shooting people; it was a person,” Hixon said Tuesday. “I’m a member of the NRA, I own many guns, and you know a car is a deadly weapon too and people still drive cars. I don’t understand why the guy did what he did. I think it’s a shame, but take in mind it was the guy, not the gun.”
The Republican-dominated South Carolina legislature has been reluctant to place restrictions on gun purchase and ownership. Purchasers must show identification and undergo a federal background check to purchase a firearm at a licensed dealer. But buyers may purchase at gun shows or privately without such a check.
“We really need to get a hold on the gun control, it’s very serious now. And just because a person has that right to go purchase a gun, we need to do more background checking. And also for those persons that have the mental problems, we need to seriously think about not allowing them to have guns in their hands,” said Rep. Carl Anderson, D-Georgetown.
Nicole Pascale, a USC student, thinks that there is a middle ground to be found in this debate.
“I’m all for gun rights and the right to protect yourself but going beyond a hunting rifle or a hand pistol is completely unnecessary. The fact that he was able to have that many and that type of guns, the automatic guns, there’s no reason for it,” said Pascale.
Since the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012, there have been more than 1,500 mass shootings in the U.S., more than any other country in the world.
This number does not account for shootings that do not fall under the definition of “mass shooting” which is a shooting where four or more people are murdered.
In the past year, it has become easier for people with outstanding warrants and mental issues to purchase guns. However, in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, the United States House of Representatives has set aside a bill, introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), that would have allowed Americans to have easier access to gun silencers.
The silencer provision is part of a larger bill, the “Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act.” Duncan has argued that hunters and target shooter need silencers to protect their hearing, but many police organizations are opposed to the measure.
This is the second time Duncan’s bill has been postponed, having been first scheduled for a hearing in June. Debate was sidelined after the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., at a GOP congressional baseball practice.