Las Vegas: What’s Happened and What’s to Come


Faith Turner, Staff Writer

At 10:08pm on Sunday October 1st, a shooter shot at a crowd of 22,000 at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, an outdoor music festival, from his suite on the 32nd floor at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The shooter was Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old from Mesquite, Nevada, about an hour and seventeen minute drive to Las Vegas. Paddock fatally shot 59 people and injured over 500 at the concert. This event was the deadliest mass shooting in modern history.

It was first silence, then darkness, then screams, and sounds of firecrackers exploding all over.”

— Kendra Holman

Jason Aldean was in the middle of his set when the shots rang out. He then dropped his guitar and ran back to his family. Most people thought it was just fireworks but when they saw bloodied people running past them, they realized it wasn’t fireworks. I talked to two people from Granite City who were in Las Vegas at the time of the shooting.

Elizabeth Kerr was in Las Vegas for her daughter’s wedding on Sunday night. She was in a restaurant in the Vegas strip at the time and didn’t know what was going on. Kerr said “When she tried to go back to her hotel, they were shouting at them to go into the building”.

Kendra Holman was also in Las Vegas at the time of the shooting. She was two blocks away. Holman said, It was first silence, then darkness, then screams, and sounds of firecrackers exploding all over. She said she was locked out of her hotel, the Excalibur, and had to get a hotel in Freemont. Holman also said “It was a ghost town. There were cops with guns walking the streets.”

This isn’t the only time there’s been a mass shooting. On June 16th, 2016, Omar Mateen murdered 49 and wounded 58 others at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This was said to be the worst shooting in modern history up until Las Vegas. With these events, there’s a lot of conversation about changing gun laws. According to CNN, “Pro-gun-control experts and some former law enforcement officials say that a lack of resources combined with vague and toothless laws make federal gun prosecutions difficult. And they accuse gun lobbies of intentionally watering down legislation and hamstringing agencies so the laws are useless, a point lobbyists contacted by CNN declined to address”.

According to the Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd , Oct 4, 2015, a question was asked to Donald Trump about enforcing the laws.

Q: Should there be a sense of urgency on gun control?
TRUMP: The way I look at it, you take Chicago, you take Baltimore, you take various other places where you have tremendous gun violence and death, right? The strictest laws in the United States—in the world—for guns happens to be Chicago where they have a lot of problems. Baltimore, a lot of the places where you have the biggest problem is where they have the strongest laws. So I don’t think it’s about laws.

Q: But local laws without a national floor are pointless.
TRUMP: It really is mental health problem.

Q: You don’t believe that we have too many guns?
TRUMP: Well, for example, the school at which the last mass shooting occurred was a gun-free zone and you were not allowed to have guns there. You could make the case that it would have been a lot better had people had guns because they could fire back.
In the ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz from Oct 4, 2015, Trump was questioned by Raddatz, a reporter.

Q: Every country has mentally ill people, not every country has mass shootings as frequently as we do. What do you propose to do about it?
TRUMP: No matter what you’ll do you have people that are mentally ill and they have problems and they’re going to slip through the cracks.

Q: So no new gun laws?
TRUMP: Well, the gun laws have nothing to do with this. This isn’t guns. This is about mental illness. You’re always going to have difficulties, no matter how tight you run it. Even if you had great education having to do with mental illness, you educate the community, still you’re going to have people that slip through the cracks. And these people are more than slipping through the cracks.

With mass shootings becoming more of a reality in society, the question of harsher gun control comes into mind for many Americans. Should we enforce our current laws or put stricter gun laws in place?