There are many myths about those who are accused of committing gun crimes. Perhaps there is no greater example than Stephen Paddock. A 64-year-old resident of Mesquite, Nevada, Paddock hardly fit the profile of someone who committed the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. Those who knew Paddock said he was quiet. He rarely spoke about politics or religion. His passion was gambling. But on Sunday night October 2, 2017, just after 10 pm, he went on shooting rampage from his balcony at the Mandalay Bay Resort that resulted in the deaths of 60 people and injured at least 500 others at an outdoor country music concert and festival. By the time Las Vegas police found Paddock, he was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot. Authorities found at least 10 guns in his hotel room.
Do Gun Control Laws Prevent Gun Crimes?
There has been great debate whether tougher gun control laws reduce gun crimes. While simple logic says yes, it does not necessarily apply in the case of Stephen Paddock. He had no prior criminal history. Despite using automatic weapons, he had never been in the military. The Islamic State militant group claimed Paddock was one of its soldiers. However, there is no existing proof that supports he was a radicalized Muslim. The FBI announced there is no evidence Paddock was a part of any terrorist groups. However, his father Benjamin Patrick Paddock had a criminal record. The elder Paddock was convicted of a series of bank robberies in 1961 and was sentenced to 21 years in prison. He escaped from prison in 1968 and was on the FBI’s most wanted list during much of the 1970s.
Adding to the problem is the gridlock on Capitol Hill. Republicans and Democrats are divided on the issues. While Democrats have been pushing hard for the new gun control legislation, Republicans contend the proposed bills would do little to nothing to prevent any of these mass shootings. In just the past few years, we have already seen a disturbing trend of increased gun violence, whether it is Sandy Hook, the Pulse Nightclub attack in Orlando to the recent shooting in Las Vegas.
The situation is not much better in Utah. According to the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence website, Utah ranks 19th in the nation for the highest death rates from gun violence. Just like their peers in Washington D.C., state legislators from Murray to Salt Lake City cannot seem to agree on any kind of legislation or solutions.
Have You Been Accused of a Gun Crime? The Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorneys at White & Matern, PLLC Can Help
Just one arrest for a gun crime can be extremely serious. Those who are convicted could face significant time behind bars. In far too many cases, suspects are falsely arrested for defending themselves against an attacker. If you have been charged with a gun crime, it is vital to fighting these charges as quickly and aggressively as possible. Over the years, the Salt Lake City gun crime attorneys at White & Matern, PLLC have utilized an aggressive and comprehensive approach to protecting the rights of each client. It is part of their commitment to always look out for the best interest of each client and to place them in the best position to succeed. To learn more, contact their Salt Lake City law office today and schedule a free initial consultation.