Debate over guns in spotlight after Vegas mass shooting

Posted at 3:15 PM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 16:15:31-04

The shooting in Las Vegas has brought the gun issue front and center again, specifically about the modifications that Stephen Paddock made to the guns.

He used whats called a “bump stock” to modify the semi-automatic weapon to continue to fire. 

Local firearms expert Nik Clark of gun owner rights group, Wisconsin Carry says the modifications are easy to make.

“Modified weapons and the affect that you achieve can be done by people on their own” Clark said.

He said the gun could fire nearly as quick as an automatic weapon, which are banned. 

We also reached out to all of Wisconsin’s representatives for their thoughts on gun laws. Only two got back to TODAY’S TMJ4 by newstime. Congressman Jim Sensenbrener's office released this statement: 

“Congress has a responsibility to review current law and explore legislative changes as necessary, and any such changes must balance policy with citizens’ constitutional protections. However, the details surrounding this week’s horrific tragedy in Las Vegas are still emerging, and to jump into a highly polarized conversation on firearms legislation without the facts is not only premature, but also divisive at a time when we all should offer our united support for the victims and their families.” 

Speaker Paul Ryan’s office referred to statements he made earlier in the day which said in part:

“We are all just reeling from this horror that we witnessed in Las Vegas.  As we speak, we have a lot of people in the hospital right now fighting for their lives. Parents are grieving for their children. This is just awful.

“We cannot let the actions of a single person define us as a country. It’s not who we are. Instead, what truly defines us are the acts of heroism we witnessed after the tragedy."

Wisconsin Carry’s Nik Clark also released a statement:

“Our organization believes the immediate jump to the “gun control” debate before information is known, or victims identified and families cared for, demonstrates a repetitive lack of perspective by some segments of American society.  The taking of innocent life has always been the highest crime of any civilized society.  New legislation would have zero effect on morally depraved murderers but absolute effect on law abiding citizens who have guns and accessories, of all types, for hunting, self-defense, recreation, and hobby.  We also believe while some crime is not preventable, as a society, we must look deep inside ourselves and recognize our own insatiable curiosity after these mass murders creates the infamy these twisted individuals seek. To a lunatic, fame and infamy are equals“

The last time major gun legislation was voted on was after Sandy Hook and that effort failed.