Am I the only one not overly surprised to wake up to another report of a massacre in the US? The worst one of its kind in history, no less? That wasn't supposed to rhyme, and nor was this senseless slaughter supposed to happen.
The events of the last 48 hours in Las Vegas have been a tragedy. There's no denying that glaringly obvious fact. And as synonymous the word tragedy is to these events, it's become increasingly hard to believe that anybody is willing to do something about it. The problem with the US is not just their inherent inaction when it comes to forming prudent policy relating to firearms, it's that they just don't seem to care, and whenever something like this happens, their first reaction is to offer 'thoughts and prayers'.
You may ask what qualifies me to comment on the subject when I'm so far away. The answer is simple: I'm Australian. I was sentient when they fixed this problem here. It can be done. We did it. The answer isn't rocket science: people keep getting killed by guns. Whether it's an Asian bloke in a university, a couple of Caucasian teens in a high school, an ostensibly Muslim bloke in a gay club or a bored retiree in a casino; trying to tie all of these instances together is pretty effing simple: guns are the one constant.
While some US media outlets questioned the reasoning behind the attacker's actions, others tried to debate if, given the colour of his skin, this could be classified as a terrorist attack. Was it 'inspired' by ISIS? No, it wasn't. It was the guns. Even if it was ISIS, it was still the guns. Mental health problem? Possibly. But it was a hail of bullets raining down on a crowd that killed almost 60 people, and injured 500 more, leaving hospitals filled to the brim. Bullets fired from guns.
Pro-gun control lobbyists will remind everybody that this keeps happening until they're blue in the face, but it's not until they're willing to get on the offensive that anything could possibly change – and by that I mean, have leaders turn around, eschew the 'thoughts and prayers' line and accept that this isn't a question of faith, race or mental health, but a serious national addiction to guns.
There'll always be angry young men, irate Muslims, deranged psychopaths and genuinely mentally ill people who should have been given care instead of an arms licence. These people will always exist. But if you take away their goddamn guns you take away the ability for this to happen again and again and again. And until they do that, it will keep happening.
It worked here. It really did. Hundreds of Australians are alive today as a result.
Thousands more Americans could be, too.