NRA backs down over possible ban on 'bump stocks' 

NRA backs down over possible ban on 'bump stocks' The National Rifle Association, America's biggest gun lobby group appeared to backtrack on Sunday on calls for regulation of deadly "bump stocks", as the country's gun control debate returned to familiar impasse. Only days after the NRA appeared open to a possible ban on the devices which convert semi-automatic guns into fully automatic weapons, the group's leaders began to quibble over the idea. "We don't believe bans ever worked on anything," said Chris Cox, the NRA’s executive director, when asked whether the organisation would consider a ban on bump stocks following the Las Vegas massacre which left people 58 dead. The row-back came as police in Las Vegas revealed that gunman Stephen Paddock had used mathematical calculations to maximise the death toll, working out his optimal distance and bullet trajectory on a piece of paper found in his 32nd-floor hotel suite. Wayne LaPierre, the NRA vice president, accused Democrats of trying to politicise the massacre to achieve gun control, returning to the familiar NRA argument that America’s glut of privately-owned guns is essential for protection against ‘evil doers’. A photograph hangs from one of the 58 white crosses set up for the victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting in Las Vegas “There are monsters like this monster out there every day. People want to be able to protect themselves. Nobody should be forced to face evil with empty hands," he said. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the administration was looking into legislation that would ban the bump stock devices used by Paddock to upgrade the arsenal of weaponry he used to target a country music festival on October 1st. Yesterday, Dianne Feinstein, a senior Democrat senator and leading advocate for gun stricter controls, was gathering support for the introduction of a bill to ban bump stocks. She said: "America is a gun-happy country and I think there are many of us in growing numbers that don't want a gun-happy country." The motive for America's worst mass shooting remains unknown and the paper bearing numbers relating to trajectory and distance was the only note found in Paddock's suite at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. David Newton, an officer with the Las Vegas Police Department's K-9 unit was one of the first to breach the room and said he noticed the note on the Paddock's bedside table. 'Any soldier would help': UK troops assist victims of Las Vegas shooting 00:55 It was located near one of the windows that Paddock had smashed with a hammer to fire onto the crowd 1,200ft away. He told CBS News 60 Minutes: "I could see on it he had written the distance, the elevation he was on, the drop of what his bullet was gonna be for the crowd. "So he had that written down and figured out so he would know where to shoot to hit his targets from there." Speaking of the moment, he entered the room to find Paddock dead on the floor surrounded by weapons, Officer Newton, said: "Very eerie, yeah, the dust from the explosive breach. And then you have the flashing lights. And that looked straight like, out of a movie you know?" Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant and professional gambler from the desert town of Mesquite, Nevada shot himself after the killing spree which also left almost 500 wounded. According to the New York Times, his girlfriend Marilou Danley, told investigators that Paddock seemed to be deteriorating  both mentally and physically in recent months. FBI profilers and behavioural scientists have spent the week examining interviews in an attempt to better understand a man who left no suicide note or manifesto left behind.



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