An off-duty police officer, a nurse, a mother, a father, a college student – these are a few of the 58 individuals who lost their lives in Las Vegas Sunday night in what has been categorized as the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
What was supposed to be an exciting closing concert of a weekend-long country music festival on the Vegas Strip turned deadly when over 22,000 people found themselves running away in fear as bullets began raining out of the sky.
According to The Chicago Tribune, over 500 people were injured during the shooting.
We at The Gatepost are deeply saddened by this senseless loss of life. The event that unfolded that night can best be described as tragic, evil and horrific.
Our thoughts are of course with the victims of the attack and their families. There is no greater pain than losing someone you love to such a heartless act of violence.
This makes it all the more distressing that it seems mass shootings are becoming commonplace in the U.S. today.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 273 mass shooting in the United States since the start of the year. According to the federal government, a mass shooting is defined as a shooting where four or more people are injured or killed at the same time and location.
The United States clearly has a gun problem.
As of press time, even the National Rifle Association announced its endorsement of tighter restrictions on devices that allow rifles to fire bullets at the same speed of a machine gun. While this is a small step in the right direction, it is not enough.
We urge that legislators in Washington consider tightening regulations regarding gun control in every state. Legislation in states such as Massachusetts has proven effective in preventing mass shootings. National gun control legislation would prevent residents from crossing state lines simply to purchase weapons in other states where regulation isn’t as lenient.
Additionally, the editors at The Gatepost believe there is no reason for citizens to be able purchase rapid-fire weapons including the AR-15-style rifle – one of the more than 20 guns the shooter had in his possession on Sunday night.
The second amendment states, “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
When the founders wrote the second amendment, they were not anticipating mass-casualty weapons like the ones available to citizens today. Though it is a constitutional right to protect your property and family, rapid-fire guns aren’t needed.
On Dec. 14, 2012, after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, President Barack Obama said, “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”
Four years later, and not much has changed.
We hope Americans will take Obama’s words to heart and voice their concerns about gun legislation to their local representatives.
Those who wish to donate money for the people affected by the shooting can do so by donating to a GoFundMe organized by Steve Sisolak, Clark County commissioner of Las Vegas. The fund has raised over $9.5 million as of press time.