YouTube will now ban videos that show viewers how to make guns deadlier than they already are. This announcement comes in the wake of the recent Las Vegas shooting where a lone gunman used a modified assault rifle to go on a rampage that left dozens dead and hundreds more wounded.
In a statement released to the press, YouTube said, “In the wake of the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, we have taken a closer look at videos that demonstrate how to convert firearms to make them fire more quickly and we’ve expanded our existing policy to prohibit these videos.”
According to a report in The Hill, the ban will extend to “videos that sell or promote firearms” as well.
To recap, on 1 October 64-year old Stephen Paddock took up residence at a hotel room on the 36th floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, USA. At around 10.00 pm that night, Paddock opened fire on the crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. He then proceeded to expend hundreds of bullets into the crowd in a span of just 10 minutes before he was stopped.
Paddock, who did not have access to automatic rifles, reportedly used a bump stock to boost the rate of fire of his weapons. The shooting would certainly not have been as deadly as it was without the bump stock.
Semi-automatic weapons are legal to purchase in the US. These rifles fire only one round per trigger pull. Automatic rifles, on the other hand, fire continuously or in rapid bursts while the trigger is depressed. Such rifles can usually fire at over 600 rounds per minute. To put that number in perspective, a shooter can empty a standard 30-round box magazine in just three seconds using an automatic rifle.
A bump stock is a legal modification for semi-automatic rifles that uses the recoil of the gun to increase its rate of fire to levels comparable to that of an automatic rifle.