Experts Explain Why Congress Won't Limit Sale of Assault Weapons in US

© AP Photo / Ed AndrieskiThis photo taken on Thursday, June 27, 2013, shows a rack of rifles at Firing-Line gun store in Aurora, Colo.
This photo taken on Thursday, June 27, 2013, shows a rack of rifles at Firing-Line gun store in Aurora, Colo. - Sputnik International
Analysts claim that the massive power of the gun lobby prevents Congress from taking any action to try and reduce or control the proliferation of automatic weapons across the United States.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Congress will take no action to try and reduce or control the proliferation of automatic weapons across the United States even after the mass deadliest shooting in the nation’s history because of the massive power of the gun lobby, analysts told Sputnik on Tuesday.

The toll from the massacre at a country and western concert of 22,000 people in Las Vegas on Sunday night stood at 59 dead and 527 wounded. Police still had no explanation for why Stephen Paddock, 64, a wealthy gambler had carried out the crime from his sniper’s nest in a corner room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.


However, despite the grief expressed by Republican and Democratic lawmakers, University of Pittsburgh Professor of International Affairs Michael Brenner said Congress would still not dare to defy the wealthy and powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) and its allies.

"It is a matter of political muscle — not votes but money from the NRA and their friends," he said. "As on many other domestic issues, there is a glaring discrepancy between the distribution of public opinion and the actions (or non-actions) of officials."

A Pew Research Center national opinion poll released on June 22 found that 68 percent of Americans favored a total ban on assault weapons such as those used in the Las Vegas massacre and 65 percent also favored banning high capacity magazines for such weapons.

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Brenner predicted that Congress would take no significant action on the issue whatsoever, despite the widespread expressions of grief and outrage over the latest mass killing.

"Absolutely nothing will change — in terms of federal legislation or at the state/local level. Those laws and regulations currently on the books will continue to be enforced with laxity," he said.

The current status quo allowing virtually unlimited purchases of weapons of mass destruction and enormous amounts of ammunition for them would continue, Steinberg explained.

"It was already clear no steps would be taken restrict access to automatic weapons capable of inflicting such massive casualties," he said.


University of Illinois Professor of Law Francis Boyle agreed with Brenner’s assessment. He said there was no indication that the NRA would lose any of its enormous political influence in the foreseeable future.

"Regretfully, based upon previous mass murders here in the United States, I do not anticipate any realistic changes coming about on gun control in America. The NRA is one of the most powerful lobbies in the country," Boyle told Sputnik.

The 2016 presidential and congressional elections had left the Republican Party in full control of the Presidency and of both chambers of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, allowing them to stop any legislation to regulate gun purchases dead in its tracks, Boyle pointed out.

"The Republicans are in control of both Houses of the United States Congress and they pay obeisance to the NRA- as does President [Donald] Trump," he said.

The Supreme Court was also dominated by hardline conservatives fiercely opposed to approving any gun control legislation, Boyle noted.

"The US Supreme Court has not helped matters at all with their infamous Heller decision written by the arch-reactionary Justice [Antonin] Scalia," he said.

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Scalia, an ultra-conservative, died in February 2016 and the Republican-controlled Senate blocked President Barack Obama’s nominee Judge Merrick Garland as his successor. This year, the Senate approved Trump’s nominee conservative Judge Neil Gorshuch to succeed Scalia.

Boyle warned that the Las Vegas massacre was just the latest expression of the endemic violence that permeated US society and culture.

"What the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said 50 years ago about the United States government still remains true now. It is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today," he said.

The United States government had inflicted massive violence all over the world since September 11, 2001 and those actions had only served to brutalize the American people and their culture and media, Boyle said.

"So long as the United States government continues to inflict massive violence abroad we will continue to see more ‘blow-back’ here at home with more mass atrocities against Americans like Las Vegas," he said.

The previous greatest mass killing in US history occurred at a LGBT night club in Orlando, Florida last year when 49 people were shot dead.

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