National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers React To Horrific Act of Violence in Las Vegas
With the vicious attack on concert-goers on Sunday, October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV claiming the lives of nearly sixty people, and causing serious injuries to more than 500, there are three specific things that must be done, not only by law enforcement, but by community members as well.
First and foremost, we must extend our concern and shared grief with the victims and their families. We must ensure that they are gathered unto the collective love, thoughts and prayers that bind us all during times of sorrow and despair. No one should have to endure the pain that they are experiencing without the sure and certain knowledge that there are those who care.
Secondly, we must determine the facts relevant to this incident. Who was involved? How did it occur? Were there any specific tell-tale signs which would have helped or been useful in stopping the perpetrator before their rampage began? Was it caused by any specific or particular bias? Was it promoted by any domestic or external force, organization or individuals? As law enforcement professionals, these will be the things that will consume our time and talents; yet it is necessary so that the community may have faith in our approach to controlling crime in our neighborhoods and providing greater safety and security for our citizens.
Last but not least, we must finally enter into honest and open conversations regarding what should, and must, be best practices to curb gun violence. Gun violence has been escalating for many years, with devastating mass shootings occurring throughout the nation. It has reached a status of notoriety at Columbine High School (Colorado), Sandy Hook Elementary School (Connecticut) and Virginia Tech, and seeming commonplace with occurrences in Aurora, CO; Dallas, TX; Baton Rouge, LA; San Bernadino, CA; Orlando, FL, Newtown, CT, and now Las Vegas, NV.
Assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines have now become a weapon of choice in attacks against law enforcement officers and other first responders. There is a proliferation of and easy access to these weapons at gun shows and shops, often being procured without any of the appropriate background checks.
The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers and its membership stand with the living victims and with the families who have lost loved ones to gun violence. We strongly support all calls for federal legislation which would place a ban on both assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazine weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. We support requiring a permit for the purchase, acquisition or possession of ammunition and place certain prohibitions on the sale of ammunition, and place a ban on both assault ammunition and high-capacity magazines.