Quickly becoming known as the worst mass shooting in American history, the recent shooting in Las Vegas is another horrifying part of the society we live in. Rather than talk about the impact right away though, it’s integral that we look at what exactly happened. More importantly, how did this happen? A lone gunman opened fire on a crowd of 30,000 people, killing 50 and injuring more than 400. A despicable act of a deranged monster. Reports on crowd size range from as low as 4,000 to as high as 40,000. It should be clarified before this article begins that all the information here is suspect to change as the news unfolds. The Las Vegas terror attack is disgusting.
The shooting took place in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest musical festival. Several off and on duty Las Vegas police officers were killed or injured during this attack, along with hundreds of civilians. According to police reports, 406 people have been taken to local hospitals. Shooting reportedly began at roughly 10 P.M. Apparently a female “person of interest” assumed to be travelling with the shooter has been found.
Impact on Las Vegas
Police were quick to respond, advising that civilians stay away from the area. Along with this airports near the scene of the crime were on lockdown. No flights could enter or exit the airport. Concert performer Jake Owen described the event in bloody detail. In an interview with NBC news he gave the following statement.
“It got faster and faster, almost like it was an automatic rifle. At that point, everyone on stage started running everywhere. It wasn’t something that was quick. It was pure chaos for seven to ten minutes.”
Witnesses have stated that the first round of shots were assumed to be fireworks. It was only after the second round of shots that the band stopped playing and people began to flee. 50 people have been confirmed killed, along with over 200 people being confirmed injured. These injured are in varying degrees of emergency, some of which will very obviously be in a critical condition.
The person that took out these despicable actions was named as Stephen Paddock. A 64 year old from Mesquite, Nevada. Mesquite, Nevada is located roughly 80 miles away from Las Vegas. Although Nevada’s gun laws are
Before the police had even entered the room, Paddock had fatally shot himself in an act of suicide. Paddock was staying at the Mandalay Hotel and Casino on the 32nd floor. Paddock had an Alaskan hunting license and was also a registered pilot.
At least ten weapons were found in the hotel room Paddock was firing from. Among this weaponry includes long range rifles, presumably used to fire onto the crowd below. Police gained access to the room on the 32nd floor by using explosives, presumably to breach and clear.
Las Vegas Police Department Sheriff Joseph Lombardo stated that the authorities had completed a background check on Stephen Paddock. The findings of this investigation have yet to be released to the public. Currently we know that Stephen Paddock has no known links with any terrorist or extremist groups whatsoever. A number of videos of the attack have been posted to a multitude of social medias and news websites.
The importance of gun control
If anything this is an absolute example of why, now more than ever, that America needs at the very least stricter gun control laws. You have to realise that this is the biggest mass shooting in modern American history. The previous largest happened merely 16 months ago in Orlando. It would be incompetent to state that gun control laws at the very least need tweaking. Stephen Paddock bought these weapons illegally and look at the damage he caused.
Could this have been prevented if stricter gun control laws were in effect? I would argue yes, but either way, legally or illegally, people can acquire guns if they really want to. You could walk into a store, purchase a gun and then leave. That’s how simple it is in some legal cases. Basically it’s the same as buying a loaf of bread or some groceries. However the guns used here are without a doubt illegal, and out of the control of law.
Gun control, in my opinion, is needed now more than ever. Attacks like this are common place in America. Gun violence in America is ridiculous. On an average of 100 people, 112 guns are to be shared between them. America desperately needs to crack down on it’s gun control, because by the looks of things there isn’t much control at all.
Despite all of that, these guns were purchased illegally. It’s very debatable as to how much gun control can actually do when it comes to illegal weaponry such as fully automatic rifles. When it comes down to it, gun control can only contain legally owned guns. It’s useless against illegal and fully automatic rifles.
Presidential Response and criticism
President Donald Trump rather quickly took to Twitter and stated the following.
“My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!”
Vice President Mike Pence also released a brief statement on Twitter.
“To victims, families & loved ones affected by this senseless violence in Las Vegas, Karen & I are praying for you and offering our love…”
Although this is a harmless response, there has been criticism over the actions that Trump has taken over the past few weeks. Most recently the National Rifle Association (NRA) have pushed for a law that would make the selling and use of silencers legal. Major criticism came in the idea that this attack would have been a lot worse if there was a silencer being used.
Not only that but Trump signed a bill back in February which meant that the mentally ill would be allowed to purchase guns. Really this seems like a revoke of the Obama-Era gun laws, and fair enough if they are. If Trump want’t to implement his own system then it is his right to do so. However, he should make sure that the bills he implements will actually make an impact. As I stated previously, gun control is a huge problem for America. The actions that Trump takes to deal with the current situation is absolutely vital. The way he handles this situation will make or break America.
There have been very recent reports that ISIS are taking responsibility of the attack. They claim that the shooter was a convert to the ideology. Often ISIS can and will claim responsibility for an attack so this is no surprise. However the actual credibility of the claim is questionable. Was this in fact an act of Islamic terror? Whatever the case, this was a clear attack on not only the American people, but an attack on peace.