Will anything change after Las Vegas?

After the mass killing in Las Vegas US President Trump visited the city on Wednesday to commemorate the victims, meet survivors and thank those who came to their aid. He made no mention of the problem of gun violence, however. Commentators therefore have little hope that the bloodbath will prompt Americans to rethink their gun laws.

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Financial Times (GB) /

Trump playing the gun lobby's game

The US President's reaction to the attack in Las Vegas could just as well have come from a PR advisor to the NRA, the Financial Times complains:

“By leading the nation's 'thoughts and prayers', Mr Trump turned a national epidemic into a plea for quiet reflection. That is the NRA's rule number one: insist that tragedy is no time for politics. Rule number two is to focus on the fixed quantum of human evil - hence Mr Trump's strange biblical riff. It is not guns that kill people. It is bad people who kill people. Rule number three is that good people should thus arm themselves. Whether it is pilots, teachers or concertgoers, innocent Americans must be able to protect themselves from evil.”

Právo (CZ) /

Weapons as an American symbol of freedom

Právo also believes the massacre won't have the slightest impact on US gun laws:

“Without free access to weapons Americans feel that their freedom has been curtailed. The constitution defends this right against anyone and anything, even interventions on the part of Congress or the president. All the statistics on the widespread abuse of weapons don't stop anyone from buying the guns they want. Nor does the fact that every year more Americans are shot by their fellow citizens than died in the entire Iraq War. ... Used to having a rifle in their cupboard and a pistol in the drawer of their bedside table, Americans refuse to be unsettled by attacks like the one in Las Vegas. They see them as the aberrations of lone wolves rather than a fault in the system.”

Habertürk (TR) /

Las Vegas is not good to people

Habertürk outlines the circumstances that it believes could have facilitated the attack:

“Las Vegas is the city with the highest suicide rate in the US. Even if gambling losses play a partial role in this statistic, they don't go all the way to explaining why this figure is three times higher than elsewhere. The region seems to have a deleterious effect on people's state of mind. When you add to that the fact that in this milieu gun possession is synonymous with freedom, at the end of the day catastrophes like this are bound to happen.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

A cycle of violence

It's no wonder that there is far more violent crime in the US than in other Western countries, The Irish Times sighs:

“Historically the way that America has dealt with violence is by sanctioning even more violence. The death penalty is America's response to violent crime, and the American way of dealing with the terror of a terrorist attack in 2001 was to legitimise torture. Given its widespread culture of violence, the only surprising aspect of this latest incident of mindless murderous violence is that our collective response is to be surprised.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Sin City knows no real sorrow

There is no such thing as pause for thought in Las Vegas, writes Federico Rampini, La Repubblica's US correspondent:

“The city is thronged with people as if nothing had happened. Pensioners like Stephen Paddock playing the slot machines, floods of visitors from America and around the world. Day of mourning, my foot. Not a single show was cancelled even on the first night after the bloodbath. ... Donald Trump will come here today to express his condolences to the victims' family members, console the wounded and praise the police. Trump, who feels more at home in Las Vegas than in New York. Here too a gigantic, golden-hued Trump Tower rises high into the sky. It was here that he won the Republican primaries by a wide margin. In a city that suits him to a T: an artificial, empty, deluded dream of America, a factory of illusions and mystification.”

Star (TR) /

Trump is the real enemy

Star writes a cynical letter to the US president:

“You close the door on Muslims. You declare war on Islam. You expel migrants. You want to build a wall on the Mexican border. Then a 'white American' comes along and shoots your Las Vegas in the heart. ... All America sees you as the enemy once more. It makes you its target by citing the blank check you gave the gun lobby and the decree with which you repealed the restrictions on gun sales introduced under Obama as the reasons [for this latest massacre]. They shoot at you with your own weapon. You better pray it turns out that Stephen Paddock had close ties to the Democrats.”