Vegas Shooting

Marufa Kasham, ’19

In 2017 alone, there have been 278 incidents of mass shootings.

On Sunday, October 1st, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino into the Las Vegas Country Music Festival into a crowd of 22,000 people. Paddock shot himself before he could be detained. He fired for fifteen straight minutes. Twenty-three guns were found in his bedroom. In his car were materials that could have been used to make explosives.

Paddock left Fifty-eight dead, fifty-eight families mourning, and four hundred-eighty-nine injured.

At music festivals, at schools, and at movie theaters, more than one occasion that when I said, “Did you hear about the shooting?” that people have responded with, “Which one?”

The 2nd Amendment gives the people the right to keep and bear arms, in order to maintain a free state. The debate about gun control has become more apparent in the recent years. The United States statistically has more mass shootings than any other country. Although the US has 5 percent of the world’s population, it where a third of the world’s mass shooting incidents occur. The country’s right wing remains particularly protective of their right to keep firearms.

A video made by CNN documents how a thirteen-year-old in America was not able to buy cigarettes, alcohol, racy magazines, and lottery tickets, but could easily bought a rifle from a private seller at a gun show. The law says you must be eighteen to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer, but private dealers have a lot more leeway.

Too often, people who want to harm innocents have easy access to guns. Stephen Paddock bought all his guns legally. The Las Vegas shooting was the deadliest mass shooting in the modern US history. This prompted a performing musician, a guitarist, Caleb Keeter, a lifelong supporter of the 2nd Amendment to call for gun control.

We have the right to protective ourselves and that is something that shouldn’t be taken away, but something must be done about how easy it is to get a gun, and who exactly has access to them.

In Japan, where the gun mortality rate is staggeringly low, to become a licensed gun owner, you have to go through mental and physical examinations, police interrogation and interviews. Japan’s local crime syndicate, the Yakuza, rarely use guns. In Australia, the Port Arthur massacre changed the lives  of the Australian people, as all of their states agreed to banning semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. Weapons that can kill many people quickly. It should be every citizen’s right in any country to protect themselves, but what is the use of having massacre weapons available to the average joe.

It’s not about taking away your 2nd Amendment rights, it’s about reforming our gun laws to ensure that people with harmful intentions aren’t able to get access to weapons. There is a thin line between gun being bought for personal safety, and guns being used against a group of people.

Copy of #VegasStrong, a message circulated following Las Vegas shooting (graphic credit_ Mandalay Hotel)
Copy of #VegasStrong, a message circulated following Las Vegas shooting (graphic credit: Mandalay Hotel)

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