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The Tragedy of Vegas

Olivia Mathon

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59 dead, 527 injured. The mass shooting that occurred this past weekend in Las Vegas on October 1st, 2017 has just became the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Gunman Stephen Paddock has wreaked havoc nation wide as innocent people enjoying a country music festival in Mandalay Bay, he is said to

 have had a least 23 guns in his hotel room, 19 on his person, along with explosives in his hotel room. It is unclear what his motive was or what he was planning at this point in time. He is said to have used a machine gun to injure vast amount of people, but the question is where and how did he obtain the amount of weapons he has, since machine guns are said to be illegal. He also passed all background checks when local gun shops sold him guns.

59 separate families are heartbroken this week, with a missing member of their family because of what one psychotic individual can get his hands on.

He was stationed on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, which was about 400 yards from the music festival. How did no one in the staff of the hotel notice anything suspicious? How was he able to carry 42 guns, plus explosives without anyone questioning him, reporting suspicious activity or anything along the lines of that.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but this was testing humanity. If you saw a man with a gun in your hotel, would you report it, or would you believe that people are inherently good, and not say a word?

Most people don’t report anything because they are afraid, embarrassed, or don’t want to be bothered. Just think, if someone reported suspicious behavior of Stephen Paddock, this even might not have been so horrific. Paddock could not have walked into a hotel with explosives, guns, and weapons and not have ANYONE notice anything about him.

According to Jon Schuppe of NBC, there are three ways to get a machine gun. “There are basically three different ways to produce gunfire like that: use an older machine gun, customize a semi-automatic rifle to shoot like one, or use techniques or devices that mimic fully automatic fire. Little of it is legal.”

My question is, how is it so easy for someone who is obviously not in the right mind, to get all of this done, pass background checks and obtain licenses to carry?

“Two Nevada gun shops confirmed Monday that they sold firearms to Mandalay Bay shooter Stephen Paddock in the last year and said he passed all required background checks.” Tracy Connor and Ken Dilanian of NBC news.

 

There weren’t any red flags, he was stable and fit at the time of the purchase, and yet he has injured and killed about 600 people all within a few hours. He was another person who was expressing his constitutional right to bear arms like each American has, except he cracked, broke down to the point in which he abused that right and sacrificed the lives of dozens before someone regretted selling a gun to him. He should not have been sold a machine gun, he should have been restricted especially when he went out to buy a machine gun which is highly illegal.

The right to bear arms has been in the constitution since the Colonial era, when it was written. Those times have changed, we have changed and our rights should change. All of the mass shooters, passed background checks, obtain guns and killed dozens of innocent lives many of them being children, teenagers, and young adults. Our youth is in danger of the right weapon getting in the hands of the wrong person, and that is what makes this game we call life terrifying.

A mass shooting definition is a shooting that involve 4 or more people who are injured or killed. From the time of June 2016 until October of 2017 there have been 521 mass shootings, 585 people have been killed and 2,156 have been injured. Look at these statistics in depth HERE.

Nothing has changed. The laws are still the same, Congress has not changed, the killers are still out there waiting to break, mentally. The time to begin to talk about gun control is now, to come up with solutions that will help prevent situations such as this one. According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders who said Monday that it was not the right time for political debate on gun control. As a nation we need to come together not only to support one another, but to come up with a solution.   

How many more shootings can we as a nation, stand before we are terrified of leaving our homes and venturing out into new cities? How many more families need to feel the heartbreaking pain of a loss before Congress decides to do something to curb this bloodshed?

How much longer until it affects my family?

A few weeks ago, at Citi Field there was a music festival, lasted 3 days, thousands of people enjoying good music, what if it happened there? What if instead of Las Vegas, New York? Then, people here might care more, but what if we helped stop the ‘What if’s’ and gained the upper hand against mass shooters?

Don’t disappear completely with the constitutional right to bear arms, but change it. The time period it was written, they didn’t have semi-automatic, full-automatic, or the technology that we have today. Buying a gun, should not be an easy process, it needs to be a rigorous process that include a psych evaluation, background check, medical history, mental health examination, a gun, no matter what type should be registered across the United States of America, not just in one state. Check out the New York Gun Laws HERE, they are considered the one of the most complex, and that makes me wonder what each other state’s laws are.  

“Due to its drastic diversity of landscapes, New York’s gun laws are perhaps the most complex and confusing in the country. Before detailing the intricacies of such laws, one must be aware of New York’s general principle: handgun laws are the most strict in the nation, while the possession or purchasing of hunting firearms such as rifles and shotguns is only regulated in New York City” from a website explaining every state’s, gun laws.  

We should know who has one, what their intentions are with it, and what they do with it. It is not an invasion of privacy if it is protecting innocent people from death.

Wouldn’t you want to be protected?     

 

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The Tragedy of Vegas