The Terror of the Las Vegas Shooting

It wasn't until Monday morning when I heard about what happened in Las Vegas. I had just gotten out of class and was waiting to catch the bus home. Opening my phone and scrolling through Facebook I expected to see the same things I see every day. A shared post, a liked picture, a funny video. But the app opened and I saw a single post from a friend that read: “Praying for Las Vegas.” I immediately closed the app and loaded up Chrome, but part of me already knew what I was going to see before I even typed into the search bar “Las Vegas.”

            It auto filled “shooting” in for me and then the breaking news articles flooded the screen. All of them read with the same headline: 40 dead and 400 injured in Las Vegas Shooting. I loaded the first article and read on. A gunman unleashed a rain of bullets on a crowd of people who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. People screamed, running and ducking in between the bursts of gunfire. They hid behind cars, under trucks, and in local hotels, pleading to lock the doors so the gunman couldn't find them. At that time, no one knew that the gunman hid in a room on the 32 floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, but it also didn't matter.

            This man had terrorized hundreds of people. Reading article after article, these people feared for their lives. Jon Cheplak told CNN she recalled saying “Everyone’s dying around me, everyone’s dying. They shot my friend…I’ve got to get out of here.” And Taylor saw a wounded festival goer lying motionless on the ground. “From then on…people just started dropping like flies.” He said to CNN. The articles led into pictures and videos and it was tap after tap, looking at people ducked behind police cars, laying on top of others to shield them from stray bullets, listening to screaming and the faint popping of gunfire. Seeing pictures and watching videos of people fearing for their lives absolutely broke my heart but at the same time, I wasn't shocked by it.

It didn’t surprise me when Google filled in the missing word with “shooting” because there’s always going to be another one. One shooting that happened earlier this year was the Congressional baseball shooting that took place on June 14 in Alexandria, Virginia. This was another shooting, like Las Vegas and even the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016, that left me feeling disturbed for the fact that I just wasn't surprised by news like this anymore. It’s a scary desensitization to violence like this that makes me wonder where, not if or when, it’s going to happen next.

And over the course of the next few days, all I could do was watch the death and injury count rise higher and higher as news outlets recounted what happened and why. Even who the gunman was, where he lived, and how he loved to gamble. I watched as gun control was brought to the table again. Because it always does when a shooting takes place and then just as quickly as the shooting happened, the discussion disappears and nothing has changed. And I know in a few weeks this will all be a faint memory, a paragraph in a future history textbook. I’m hoping change comes after this disaster, but if I’m being honest, I’m not holding my breath.  

 

image one: Slate

Image two: New Yorker