Las Vegas, on the ground after the massacre

October 17, 2017

 

On Oct. 1, a 64-year old man shot at a crowd of 22,000 people in Las Vegas killing 58 and injuring nearly 500. 


A country music festival across the street from the Mandalay Bay hotel when Stephen Paddock fired more than a thousand rounds in 10 minutes, committing the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. 


It is devastating to read that 58 people could be killed in 10 minutes; the time frame in which I use to do something as simple as brush my teeth. People lost fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins and friends.

 

It is just incomprehensible.


While Paddock was plotting his attack just days before, I was  in El Paso preparing to take a trip in Vegas to celebrate my sister’s birthday.  


When reports surfaced, we immediately shared it with each other and as we learned of the magnitude, we grew fearful of such a grand place. 


We arrived as city officials and workers began boarding up the windows that Paddock had previously bashed out. 


The front entrance to the hotel was taped off and two security guards stood watch.

 

I looked up at the boarded windows, trying to fathom how it is possible in to be allowed to carry 23 weapons, accessorized and modified to murder hundreds of people.


I spoke to Uber and Lyft drivers about their experiences and they told us that they were having a hard time because no one wanted to be in the city. 


I also learned that shootings were common at Las Vegas hotels and that the night of the massacre there were at least 2 more shootings not reported by the mainstream media.

 

It was frightful and tragic but the city is crime ridden with a violence rate  120% higher than the national average according to an AreaVibes report.

 

I believe the restrictions of gun owning and carrying should be stricter. 


At this point, I think the mass shootings have gone too far as the trend of people massacred in these mass shootings continues to climb. 


How many will be murdered next time?

 

Guns should stay on range if that is the desired purpose, I challenge the NRA to invest their research and time into creating a non-lethal weapon that is kept at home for protection. 


I also challenge the mass public that is pleased with gun owning laws to take accountability for the harm they may bring from defending themselves.


I once suggested that gun owners be required to take a class on properly subduing an attacker and being able to get him in a stable position while he is shot so that the proper officials can deal with him.

 

Regardless of the subjectivity of the situation and the fear we feel, we must recognize the objectivity of taking a life. 

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