Presented by David Lynch. Filmed by Ben Marino. Edited by Paolo Pascual. Additional footage from Reuters.
I wouldn't expect any changes at all, frankly. I think what the takeaway from this is going to be, the level of carnage and bloodshed connected with guns in this country can continue to escalate. It's still very unlikely that there will be any sort of policy response to it.
Well, I think, measured against the experience in many other countries, particularly the UK, Australia, Canada, and others, it's incredibly easy to acquire firearms in this country. If I wanted to go down to the local Wal-Mart today and arm up, I could do it. I have no criminal record. I have no mental health record. And so there'd be a background check. And I'd be able to acquire a firearm with almost no trouble at all. And there's really no limit on how many I could acquire, as we've seen in this case.
I mean, depending on how you add up all the armaments that were found at the Mandalay Bay hotel and at the shooter's residences, he had more weaponry than your average infantry unit takes into combat. So he had, as we've seen, more than enough to do an incredible amount of damage.
Like many issues in the US become increasingly polarised over the last 10 or 15 years, to the point where gun ownership and quote, unquote, "protection of Second Amendment rights" is now a key issue for the Republicans. President Trump identified himself extremely closely with the NRA during the campaign and promised basically to embrace their agenda and enact their agenda.
And a typical attack on Democratic politicians-- and you saw it during the presidential campaign-- is that Democrats want to take away your guns, even though most-- I mean, I can't think of a mainstream democratic politician, whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, who's made any move in the direction of actually taking anyone's guns away. But the way it's packaged or debated on the campaign trail is, the most limited or modest step in the direction of additional gun safety, gun registration, gun control of any sort is described and exaggerated into a threat to gun rights of any sort.
The NRA is a generous campaign contributor, but they're also strength in terms of organisational skill. They mobilise their voters. And gun owners vote on gun ownership. Whereas, for liberal or progressive groups who might support gun control, it may not be their chief voting issue. It's part of a whole panoply of concerns. But for a gun owner, if he finds out you're weak on gun rights, even though you might support 90% of the things he wants from a politician, if you're weak in that one area, you've lost his or her vote.