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After several weeks, authorities are still stumped as to Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s motive. Perhaps we'll never know the full story. But regardless of his motive, turns out there was purpose in his barbaric act. So we don't have motive, but we do have purpose.

Whether it was his intended purpose or not, using sophisticated mathematical calculations and the best legally available equipment, Paddock accomplished the purpose of demonstrating just how much human suffering can be inflicted by one man in less than 15 minutes. Almost 60 families lost a loved one. Almost 500 were ripped by bullets. And thousands more were traumatized. The enormous physical and emotional pain inflicted in those few minutes will live on forever in the hearts of those affected.

Paddock purchased the “bump stock” automatic fire accessory and the 100 round magazines he used on the open market without restriction. He then applied mathematics to calculate distance and trajectory for their most effective killing potential.

True to form, gun proliferation advocates chant the familiar mantra, "More gun laws would not have prevented this tragedy." This is true, for the Vegas shooting and for other mass shootings before and after October 2. There is utterly no way to stop a person, hell bent on destruction and expecting to die in the process, from inflicting serious injury and death. But do we have to sheepishly stand by while mass killers are openly and intentionally allowed free access to the means of maximizing their body count?

So imagine you're the mother or father of a teenager taken from you by one of Paddock' s bullets. Now you hear the NRA saying that nothing could have been done by law or regulation to "prevent" the disaster. Perhaps. But you know darn well that if Pollack had had only 10 round magazines and only semiautomatic rifles, it’s more likely than not that your daughter would still be alive. And the NRA does nothing but stand in the way of common sense reform. Me? I'd be furious!

Maybe we can't entirely prevent disastrous gun violence, but surely we can at least TRY to mitigate it by eliminating bump stocks and high capacity magazines, saving many lives and reducing the suffering. And who knows, maybe Paddock would have been dissuaded from doing the deed at all if he knew he couldn’t fill his self-imposed kill quota. My God! Can’t we do SOMETHING!?

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Bob Pyfer

Helena

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