By Brett Harmon
Mass shootings in the United States have quickly become a deadly problem as oftentimes the importance of ending gun violence is overlooked. Reducing the loss of innocent lives and acts of violence should be made a priority before they burden our country further.
The deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States is the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that happened on October 1. This tragedy killed a total of 58 people and leaving 546 others injured. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, was armed with 23 semi-automatic rifles with a fire rate similar to that of a fully automatic weapon. Reports found that he owned a total of 47 other assault rifles that were stockpiled in his home before his deadly attack. The attack took place at the Route 91 Music Festival on the Las Vegas strip located nearby the famous 43-story Mandalay Bay hotel.
The gunfire began on the final night of the musical festival when country singer Jason Aldean was performing. Paddock opened fire at the concert goers standing below his hotel room 32 stories above inside Mandalay Bay. Paddock was later found dead inside his room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The deaths in the Las Vegas attack surpassed the Orlando shooting at Pulse Nightclub in 2016, making it the deadliest mass shooting to ever take place on American soil. Do you think people have the courage to help stop the mass shootings in the U.S.?
Awareness and concern about mass shootings has been spreading across the U.S. Citizens are becoming more concerned about the types of weapons that can be purchased by civilians as well as current restrictions on purchasing these weapons. Now that we’ve experienced the Las Vegas shooting, worries and attempts to bolster the restrictions on gun control continue to rise all over the country.
U.S.A. Today shared Aldean’s first interview since the shooting took place, sharing his thoughts and opinions from the shooting. Aldean, who was on stage at the time of the shooting said, “Americans are spending too much time arguing with each other. We spend so much time arguing and not enough time working on the issue”.
Aldean’s point was well said as it shines a light on the weaknesses in our country’s ability to cope with problems and arguments. His words illuminate the people that help others troubled by anguish, depression and mental health issues. Spreading kindness, love and generosity makes a difference. Finding help for those with mental health issues is putting yourself in a position to stop these shootings.
“Absolute panic,” was the best way for Aldean to describe the feelings of himself and the concert goers at the shooting. He had never experienced anything like this before, which made it especially hard for him to go back and visit the injured victims. Luckily, he managed to escape the incident safely and is trying to pass some strong advice to people in the U.S.
“At the end of the day, we are all humans and all in this together. And as a country, we need to unite as one. The United States needs to go far beyond these issues on politics, race and religion, they don’t matter as much as standing together”, he said during the week following the shooting.
Adding more rigorous laws and background checks to purchase weapons will help reduce the number of mass shootings across the country. People need to learn to respect others’ personal views and display more empathy towards each other.
The 2017 Las Vegas Shooting is a reminder of Aldean’s opinion and the theories behind the newly proposed gun laws and background checks in the United States. People that look back on this shooting can learn something from Jason Aldean and the survivors to help prevent future mass shootings on American soil. Everyone has a role in helping to end the parades of violence headlining our country.
Brett is a Computer Science major.
Graphic by David Giacomini