First we would like to say our hearts go out to the families of the victims Las Vegas shooting. If you’re looking for a loved one or want to help please call 866-353-5654. Today is an extremely sad day. At least 58 people are dead and more than 515 people are injured after a man opened fire on a crowd at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas. Those numbers may have increased, but they are nonetheless, staggering. The gunman, Stephen Paddock, opened fire from his 32nd-floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Police have declared this the worst shooting in modern U.S. history. The second worse took place last year at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The shooting started around 10 pm, local time on Sunday night. The motive behind this mass shooting has not been disclosed. However, there have been some suggestions.
In order to carry out this attack, Paddock had to break the window in his hotel room. He had to reload multiple times, sending about 30 shots out at a time. Police had to use explosives to get into the hotel room, and when they arrived, they found Paddock dead with more than 10 rifles with him. Nevada is an open-carry state, which means that automatic weapons are legal there. They might be legal, but I have to ask the question of how necessary they are. Police believe Paddock to be a “lone wolf” in this attack.
One of the victims of the tragedy was an off-duty city police officer. Two other officers who were on duty were injured. Trump made a statement and sent his condolences to the victims and their families. He did however fall short of calling Paddock what he really is; a terrorist. Earlier today, the Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attack. Stating that the shooter was one of their “soldiers” and that he had recently converted to Islam. Aaron Rouse with the FBI has stated: “we have determined, to this point, no connection with an international terrorist group”. Which means, they haven’t ruled it out, but they also don’t necessarily know one way or another.
Jeff Sessions made the following statement earlier today:
“To the many families whose lives have been changed forever by this heinous act, we offer you our prayers and our promise that we will do everything in our power to get justice for your loved ones.”
Justice is all fine and well, but we know who did the shooting. Why is another matter altogether. And we may never know the real reason. We may have an idea of what happened and what we think the reason is, but we may never know the actual reason. How, exactly, are you going to get justice Mr. Sessions? Further to that, is justice necessary? Or is it time for government officials to look at the gun laws in the United States?
Like I said earlier, how necessary is it to carry these kinds of weapons? Democrats are urging Congress to do something about gun laws in light of the shooting. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn) made the following statement:
“This must stop. It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It’s time for Congress to get off its a– and do something.”
Hillary Clinton sent out a powerful tweet: “Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.” Her second tweet was much more chilling: “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get”.
Joe Biden had a similar message. Many celebrities have tweeted their condolences, but it’s honestly the politicians who need to take the lead on this one. But will this make a difference? Do the deaths of 58 people signify that the system is broken? I would also like to point out that this isn’t the first mass shooting in recent history. The Washington Post wrote an article on mass shootings back in 2015. That article is interesting as it is predicated on how you define a mass shooting. How many people must die in order for it to be considered a mass shooting?
The article also speaks to guns. Which is obviously the common denominator. Like everyone else, I don’t have any words to say that could make anyone feel better. We are all feeling sad today, even if we weren’t involved. The reason I like the Post’s article so much is that it highlights the victim’s stories. They plan on updating their article to include more information about the victims. It’s incredibly sad that this is someone’s job. Someone who works for the Post has to read through police reports and obituaries in order to find out more information about these victims. Like I said, today is a sad day.