EDITORIAL: U.S gun laws must change after Las Vegas

Tel Aviv's municipality building is lit with the colors of the American flag in solidarity with victims of Las Vegas shooting in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Tel Aviv's municipality building is lit with the colors of the American flag in solidarity with victims of Las Vegas shooting in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The world’s heart is aching at yet another gun massacre – this latest is the worst in America’s history.

Countries from around the globe are offering their love and support to the U.S after nearly 60 people were gunned down and hundreds more wounded at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Monday.

Municipal buildings around the world, including the one pictured in Tel Aviv, Israel, were illuminated in the colours of the American flag to honour those who lost their lives at the hands of sole gunman, Stephen Paddock.

The latest mass murder is yet another stark reminder of how precious – and precarious – life really is.

It’s yet another (too late) stark reminder than something needs to be done about gun laws in the United States.

Thousands of people were enjoying themselves at a country music festival in Las Vegas when the tragedy struck. These were people, just like you, out listening to their favourite bands, minding their own business and unaware of the horror that would soon hit.

These were innocent people with their whole lives ahead of them. And many of the dozens killed died as heroes trying to protect their loved ones, strangers, the person standing next to them. One was a nurse who died protecting his wife. Another devoted her life to teaching children with special needs.

In the horror shooting, which took 15 minutes, at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 hurt.

The 64-year-old gunman, who had not been known to police before this tragedy, eventually took his own life with one of the many guns in his cache.

According to U.S authorities, Paddock had 16 guns in his hotel room, another 18 were found at his home, plus various explosives, including ammonium nitrate, a common fertiliser that can be turned into a bomb.

After all the mass shootings in the U.S in recent years, surely the latest deadly attack should be enough for authorities to finally take action to get the guns off the streets.

The United States should take a leaf out of Australia’s book. The Port Arthur massacre in 1996, in which 35 people were shot and killed and another 23 wounded, transformed gun control legislation in Australia. Figures show since the 1996 legislation the risk of dying by gunshots was reduced by 50 per cent in the following years and has stayed on a lower level since then.