Tragedy in Sin City

by Saul Cardenas and Jennifer Garcia 

273. To put that number into perspective, as of October 1st, 275 days had passed in 2017. 273 accounts of mass shootings have taken place this year. Almost one mass shooting for everyday of the year thus far. On one day in particular, October 1st, Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old man, fired upon the crowd at the Route-91 Harvest Music Festival. Paddock killed 58 people and injured 527 others; the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

At 10:08 pm, gunfire was reported coming from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, leaving the crowd in chaos. The gunfire continued as the music stopped many in the crowd passed it off as fireworks, as shown in on-stage video footage. The night grew quiet as Paddock reloaded, then once he resumed his attack, the crowd realized it was gunfire and pandemonium ensued as thousands of concertgoers fled in a panic. SWAT teams were deployed to the room Paddock was held up in, only to discover that he had already committed suicide, and his arsenal of weapons, ranging from assault rifles to handguns, were all that remained.

The nation has demonstrated support for the victims of the shooting with memorials being held in Los Angeles, New York, and other major cities. However, the shooting has also added fuel to the fire of the gun control debate. Proponents of gun control are advocating for the restriction of possession and sales of firearms. Opponents, like the NRA continue to declare that gun control is in violation of the Second Amendment of their inalienable rights. With growing frustration on both sides, Congress remains deadlocked on any type of gun control reform.