The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Mass Murder in Las Vegas:
An Increasingly Violent Society

Oct 16, 2017

Authorities in Las Vegas admit they don’t have a motive to explain why Stephen Paddock cold- bloodedly opened fire on a crowd of 21,000 concert-goers on October 1, killing 58 and wounding more than 500 others. But what is clear is that mass shootings are on the rise in this country. Since 2011, they are being carried out three times more often than they were in previous decades, and they are becoming much more deadly.

This latest mass murder, just like earlier ones, ignited the debate over gun control, that is, enacting laws to restrict the sale of guns and ammunition. After all, Paddock had stockpiled dozens of deadly weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition–in other words, enough armaments to supply a small army.

Of course, to put any bit of hope on the idea that government regulations will solve the problem of gun violence is a terrible illusion. In some states today, such as New York, gun sales are already regulated by the law. But that has hardly slowed their sale and trade, illegally through what is called the “iron pipeline,” with law enforcement agencies often turning a blind eye, or aiding it. And no wonder. Weapons sales are highly profitable, not just for gangs and criminals, but for “respectable” companies, such as Remington, Smith and Wesson, Sturm Ruger and Glock, whose stockholders include some of the biggest financial groups on the planet, including mutual fund giant Vanguard Group and the Cerberus private equity group (which used to own Chrysler). Moreover, these companies have plenty of experience selling weapons all over the world–legally and illegally–fueling wars and destruction, often with the help of the U.S. military.

Today, these same companies actually profit from these mass murders–even as they decry them, since both weapons sales and corporate stock prices increase sharply after every mass murder.

Of course, just because weapons sales are on the rise, it doesn’t automatically lead to increasing numbers of mass murders. But is it so surprising, in this society, where human life is cheapened and violence is glorified in order to justify all the wars that this government carries out all over the world?

No, the mass murders are merely one part of an increasingly violent society.