As everyone around the world knows, another tragic event has occurred in the United States. In the late night hours of October 1st, a gunman opened
fire into the crowd of a Country Music Festival. The horrors inflicted there have led to nearly 60 deaths and over 500 injuries. The gunman has
died, most likely self-inflicted while police attempted to capture him. This occurred in Las Vegas, with the gunman opened fire from the Mandalay
Bay hotel, inside one of the top floor’s rooms.
First and foremost, I want to give my heartfelt condolences to those who lost their lives and everyone affected by this senseless tragedy.
Secondly, I think we need to acknowledge the fact that we need some serious change in our country. How many shootings must we witness or experience
as a nation before we take action to limit these occurrences. I have no problem stating that I am in favor of gun reform. The laws in this nation
are outdated and need to be updated to fit our current societal and technological environment. I’ve always believed this, but after the last few
days I am more determined than ever to see us move forward and not backward as a country.
This event impacted me more so than any previous event. While I always feel pained and heartbroken by the senseless violence and loss of life that
grips our world, this event hits a little closer to home. Over the last week, my family has been in Las Vegas. My sister went with my parents to
celebrate her 24th birthday. On Friday night of last week, my family was at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Hotel. They went to see the Michael Jackson
show there, and spent a lot of time in the casino afterwards. Personally, I am lucky in that my family managed to leave the city three hours
before this attack occurred. Not knowing that this would occur of course, somehow they managed to get home, and within minutes of walking inside
the house we learned of what was happening.
So many things could have gone wrong to put my family in danger. Leaving a few hours later could have left them stranded in a dangerous place with
the gunman. I also think about the 1600 people that were trapped for hours inside the Michael Jackson theater after the event. My family could have
been with those individuals in the theater. What if the gunman had opened fire on Friday, when the festival was first beginning? Would my family
have been caught in the crossfire? This, along with the knowledge that my family could have been standing or walking past this gunman at anytime
on Friday cause my heart to race and anxiety and terror to settle into my very being. On top of this, Las Vegas has always been a second home
to me and my family. We go there multiple times a year, and some of our fondest memories are from this city.
Knowing all of this and seeing the possibilities that could have put my family on this list of people brutally taken by this madman, it makes me
wonder what it’s going to take to make the government see that our laws do not work. This man purchased his weapons legally, and was able to get
several automatic weapons into one of the most popular and populated cities in not only our country, but the world. It’s one of the biggest
tourist attractions in the United States, and while many have focused on the possibility of foreign terrorists attacking this city, it was the
actions of one white man with an arsenal of legally purchased weapons to send the city into a fear-instilled chaos. Is the cost of “freedom” really
our lives, and if so is it worth it?
As much as I hate guns, I could at least understand a person wanting a handgun for home safety, but why is it legal to purchase automatic weapons?
Why is it legal to carry these weapons openly on the streets of Las Vegas? Look at the names and pictures of these victims. Look at the tearful
faces of friends, family and loved ones as they have to say goodbye to the person ripped out of their lives forever. Look at their faces, and
tell me that your right to own a powerful and deadly weapon is more important than the life of a wife, a father or a child. No one is saying you
can own any weapons to defend yourselves. Please, just help meet somewhere in the middle and help make the changes needed to prevent what happened
in Vegas, Orlando and Sandy Hook to happen again. We are better than this, and I don’t want to keep watching news reports and Twitter headlines
telling the world that more innocent people are gone.
I hope you guys are OK with me posting this. It’s just a tragic event that requires more open discussion about things, and it hit closer to home than
ever before, so I needed to get this off my chest. I am going to leave below some link(s) to websites where you can donate money and get info
on how to help the victims of this tragedy. If you can afford to or have the means, let’s help those affected. Thanks for taking the time to read
this guys, and I hope you are safe and with those you love tonight.