It's happened again. Another shooting massacre, this time innocents attending a music festival in Las Vegas when some deranged misfit decided to open fire after carefully calculating that with nowhere to run they were completely at his mercy.
Screaming about gun reform does nothing. It's too late. There are now 300 million guns in the US, a figure that has doubled over the last 50 years from one gun to every two people to one for every person.
We lived there for five years and every time there were multiple shootings the debate on reform would rage for a few days but the powerful National Rifle Association, with thousands of members and plenty of money, would always win the debate.
Actor Charlton Heston, a self-appointed spokesman for the NRA, once said “the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, so we will never give up our right to bear arms”.
To that I would say on the heels of the Las Vegas massacre (59 dead), Orlando (49 dead), San Bernardino (14 dead), the school at Sandy Hook (20 children, 6 teachers dead), Virginia Tech, good guys don't take loaded guns to music festivals, concerts and primary schools, nor should they have to.
Stephen Paddock, the deranged shooter in Vegas, was able to purchase 33 guns (legally) in the past year. No red flags as to why a supposed quiet retiree with no health issues, no apparent ties to any terror or religious group and with no military training would need another 33 guns?
Some Americans tried to bring up the question of gun reform with President Donald Trump but were quickly brushed aside. What did he have to say about 59 dead and over 500 injured in Vegas? “It was an act of pure evil.” And that was it.
The NRA contributed $33 million to President Trump’s campaign. Does anyone think he would dare to offend them?
So far this year 11,600 people have been killed with guns in the US. Every home has a gun, kids as young as four or five are taught to shoot, and even if laws were tightened making them more difficult to obtain, they simply break into homes and find the guns. It's too late. Perhaps they have the America they deserve for not acting years ago.
Valerie Brady, Wodonga
FOCUS ON DECENRALISATION
Victoria’s country communities are at the heart of the Liberal Nationals’ plan to decentralise population growth in our state. The nonsense claim from Labor MPs that the regional development portfolio has been cut is nothing more than hysterical scaremongering.
The Andrews Labor Government is desperate to divert attention from the fact it has failed to plan for the future population of our state.
Unlike Labor, the Liberal Nationals have been consulting with country communities, stakeholders and local government across Victoria to develop a population plan to grow our whole state – not just Melbourne.
Decentralising our population by creating good jobs that will support more small business opportunities in our regional centres is central to the Liberal Nationals’ plan for regional development.
Our plan will also include building the roads and transport infrastructure to better connect our cities and towns.
A choice between the Liberal Nationals team that is focused and united on the issues that matter like jobs, cost of living and regional connectivity, or a Labor administration preoccupied with factional fights.