By now I am sure you are familiar with the tragedy that occurred Sunday, October 1st at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. Just after 10 p.m., a man opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 people, resulting in an estimate of at least 59 casualties and over 527 injured individuals. Mandalay Bay has been marked as the worst mass shooting in American history, and I, along with many others, am asking myself yet again how something this devastating could even occur.
The New York Times released an outline of events following the attack that mapped out the shooter’s specific location in conjunction with the music festival. The diagram shows the gunman’s suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
The gunman has been identified as Stephen Paddock, and right now there appears to be no clear motive. Police did release information that stated Paddock had at least 17 firearms in his possession, and after committing such a violent crime, took his own life. Police and media personnel have been conducting interviews with the family and friends of Paddock, and it is to be expected that more information on what may have led him to this will be released in the coming days.
Countless public figures have made comments sending their thoughts and prayers to those who have been affected by the shooting, with a strong outpour coming from the country music community. Jason Aldean, the artist performing on stage as the gunshots were fired, released the following statement Monday morning:
“My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”
Mandalay Bay is leaving Americans across the country asking, when will this end? Time released an article titled, “35 Years of Mass Shootings in the U.S. in One Chart”, and let me tell you, it is eye opening. Orlando. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. The list goes on and on. It has become increasingly obvious that there are changes that need to be made, specifically in regards to gun licensing and regulation in America. With political tensions being where they are in the states right now, it is hard to say what direction those changes will move in.
During times like this, it is important to remember that no matter an individual’s race, religion, or social standing, we are all just humans. Thousands of lives have been affected by mass shootings, and Sunday night added thousands more to that list. Consider taking your own stance, and contacting your state representative. Now more than ever, it is incredibly important for Americans to step up, and stand together.