Reported By: Gabriella Stalter
Anguished Citizen or Home-Grown Terrorist?
This year’s Route 91 Harvest Festival was held on Sunday, October 1st, in Las Vegas. While a crowd of 22,000 people filled their night with music and festivity; another man began climbing a 32 floor high hotel building, to get a glimpse of the festival across the street. At about 10:00 p.m. the man began to erratically shoot the crowd. When SWAT reached the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, they entered into a room, where the gunman had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot; leaving him dead on the floor. The man was later identified as a 64 year old, with the name Stephen Paddock. When SWAT searched the room that he had fired from, they recovered 17 firearms.
As the sound of gunfire engulfed the festival, as country singer Jason Aldean was performing, the crowd began to panic. Some raced off the streets, while others hit the ground because they believed that running would make them an open target. The people who were in the crowd began to scurry. Not only were they watching out from being shot directly, but they were also watching the richeching bullets and the multitude of people plowing their way. To date, this it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. As a result of being shot or trampled, there was 59 deaths, and 527 injured. Some of the people who were injured are in critical condition, and there is a possibility that they will join the death count.
As the days grow older, and times grows longer, the frequency of attacks are also growing. This may have been the deadliest massacre in U.S. history, but it is not the only. Last year, on June 12, 2016, there was a nightclub shooting in Orlando Florida; by a 29 year old man, who goes by Omar Mateen. In this instance, 49 people were killed, and 58 more wounded. Additionally, in the year 2007, 33 were killed on April 16th, after a 23 year old shot up the campus of Virginia Tech. To take it even further, the attack rate in other regions, such as the UK, has also increased significantly. For example, in the last 17 years there has been 12 major attacks. This is a result of growing terrorists organizations, growing mental illnesses, and growing desires.
Sophomore Alyssa Tenny expressed her feelings on the topic, “When I first heard about the Las Vegas shooting I was shocked. I couldn’t, and still can’t, believe that it happened. All of those innocent people were killed by some older man, and as far as I know for no reason at all. Then he shot and killed himself. I’ve heard many people refer to him as a coward. I don’t know why the man did what he did, but I do know it was wrong. And it kind of freaks me out that more and more shootings are happening in the US”.