A gunman opened fire and killed at least three people on the campus of the University of Las Vegas on Wednesday, before being pronounced dead, a tragedy that has sparked a lot of emotion in a city already the victim of one of the worst gun massacres in the United States in 6.

"Three victims have died and another is in critical condition," police in the western metropolis told X. The gunman also died, she added.

The shots were reported around midday on the campus of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Police quickly asked everyone to "evacuate the area," located two kilometers from the famous "strip," a thoroughfare known for its casinos. Once the police declared the event over, the University asked everyone to "self-isolate" so that the police could "evacuate the buildings one by one", cancelling all classes for the day.

The shooting caused panic on campus. Several students told local media how they sheltered inside the buildings for long minutes. "It casts a shadow over the campus," one student told local television station KSNV. "Now we have to try to recover from that and it's sad."

This drama also reopens the wounds of the massacre suffered by Las Vegas in 2017, one of the worst in the history of the United States. At the time, a man killed 58 people and injured hundreds when he opened fire on a crowd at a country music concert from the 32nd floor of a hotel overlooking the event. The gunman had committed suicide.

American Tragedy

This umpteenth American tragedy adds to the very heavy toll paid by the United States because of the proliferation of firearms on its territory and their ease of access. There are more individual guns in the country than people: one in three adults owns at least one gun and almost one in two adults live in a household with a gun.

The recurrence of gun violence "is not normal, and we can't let it become normal," President Joe Biden said, recalling the Gun Violence Archive's grim record.

"This year alone," the U.S. organization has recorded more than 600 attacks that have left at least four people injured or dead, and 40,000 deaths caused by firearms — the majority of them suicides.

The Democratic president reiterated his call to ban assault rifles and put in place truly systematic background checks for people wishing to buy a firearm. But without a majority in Congress, where the House of Representatives is dominated by Republicans, this remains wishful thinking. Despite the emotion provoked by each shooting, the right to bear arms, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, is a hot topic that deeply divides progressives and conservatives, who defend a maximalist view of it.

With AFP

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