Speed Reads

Las Vegas shooting

This graph illustrates the terrible scope of the Las Vegas shooting

Sunday night's mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival was the deadliest in modern U.S. history, with at least 59 people dead and 527 wounded, and perhaps not coincidentally, it was possibly the first such mass murder carried out by a fully automatic weapon. On Tuesday, Mike Allen at Axios laid out three "hard truths" about the tragedy, perpetrated by a 64-year-old retired accountant and avid gambler with no known significant record of run-ins with the law, according to law enforcement officials.

Those truths included that American "gun manufacturers are heavily incentivized by market demand and lax laws in most states, and by the federal government, to allow mad men to accumulate all the firepower they crave for mass killings," and that won't change just as it "didn't change after Columbine or Sandy Hook," largely because "President Trump and congressional Republican have every incentive to protect the status quo." To illustrate how the Las Vegas shooting compares to other shooting incidents with at least four people shot going back to 2013, Axios created a graph. Highlighted rows are the major attacks, with the red figures representing the dead and the grey figures the wounded.

On Monday night, former Trump chief strategist Stephen Bannon told Jonathan Swan at Axios that Trump won't support gun control, as he did at an earlier time. "Impossible: will be the end of everything," Bannon texted. If Trump supported gun-safety measures, "as hard as it is to believe," it would be "actually worse" with his base than if he backed an amnesty immigration bill. "Amnesty," like many gun control measures, is actually pretty popular.