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Vegas Shooting Leads to Uptick in Anti-Violence Memberships

The latest mass shooting in the United States has reignited the debate over who should own guns. (fbi.gov)
The latest mass shooting in the United States has reignited the debate over who should own guns. (fbi.gov)
October 10, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – Groups promoting peace and urging that gun-control measures be put in place are seeing a spike in membership, an effect that's not unusual after a mass shooting. Comments from Lee Goodman organizer with Peaceful Communities.

As the country continues to mourn the loss of life at the hands of a gunman in Las Vegas this month, and the debate rages about gun control, some anti-violence groups are seeing an increase in membership.

Lee Goodman of "Peaceful Communities" says every time there's a mass shooting, more people decide they've had enough. He says while groups like his are happy to have more people on board, it's unfortunate that people have to join in the first place.

"Every time one of these things happen, we hear from more people who say, 'I feel awful that I didn't do anything before, but now I'm going to take action,'" he says.

The FBI says Stephen Paddock opened fire on country music fans in Las Vegas on October first, killing 58 people and wounding around 500 others in the worst mass shooting to date in the United States. Paddock owned 47 weapons, had 23 of them with him in his Vegas hotel room, and a dozen of them were outfitted with bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire faster.

Goodman says the nation needs legislation to limit who has access to weapons like these but doesn't feel that's the only solution. He says society has become numb to violence because of television and video games and the lack of empathy for others.

"Almost something we can count on happening with the regularity of the rising of the sun and the moon, and that's a terrible, tragic commentary of the times that we live in that people are so violent that the rest of us have to get accustomed to their violence," he laments.

Goodman says in the past, big cities such as Indianapolis or Chicago were most likely to experience violence, and that while those cities do have a high crime rate, rural areas are seeing a spike as well.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN