Hoosiers debate role of gun laws as scale of Las Vegas shooting becomes clear

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The debate over gun control renewed as soon as the scale of the Las Vegas tragedy became clear.

While both sides say they’re heartbroken for the 527 hurt and 59 dead as of late Monday night, it's clear from social media and statements that they’re once again at odds over how to prevent a similar tragedy.

Here in Indiana, representative Jim Lucas, who’s endorsed by the National Rifle Association, is working to loosen Indiana gun permit laws.

He says the tragedy won’t stop him rom fighting for “constitutional carry” legislation. It would get rid of the law requiring Hoosiers to have a gun permit, which he believes unfairly burdens innocent people and doesn’t stop criminals.

“Not getting a license is not going to deter somebody that’s willing to kill innocent people,” said Lucas.

But the mom of a boy whose life dramatically changed because of a stray bullet thinks that will lead to more situations like this one.

“A gun is the number one cause of homicide,” said Deandra Yates, whose son was paralyzed after being hit with a stray bullet. “That’s because, I’ve got this gun. I can just pull this trigger.”

Yates, who is the Indiana fellow for Moms Demand Action, argues that guns can make killing too quick and impersonal. She says while people without access to a gun will likely go cool off after an argument, guns make it easier for a criminal or a “good guy” who snaps, to kill.

She also wonders what impact having weapons inside the concert would’ve had on the death toll.

“If 12,000 of them had a gun and started shooting when they did not know the shooter was on the 32nd floor, how many more lives would we have lost today?” Yates wondered.

As the debate rages on, the NRA has pulled television ads that were set to roll out in Virginia Tuesday in support of republican candidates running for state offices.

Meanwhile, Lucas’ constitutional carry bill will have another hearing later this week at the statehouse.