It’s been one year since the shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. It was the deadliest shooting in modern history, killing 58 people, but it seems like the public has forgotten the trauma America has, and still is, facing in regards to gun violence.
The Las Vegas shooting occurred at Route 91 Harvest Festival, an outdoor country music concert. Stephen Craig Paddock fired into the crowd of 22,000 people which killed 58 and injured more than 500. It was a tragedy that could be felt throughout the nation.
Nevada remembered those lost in the shooting in an outdoor remembrance ceremony. Doves were released, each bearing a leg band with one of the names of the victims. However, on the East Coast, over 2,500 miles away, it feels like just another autumn day.
In 2017, there were 346 mass shootings in the United States. In 2018, there have already been 262 mass shootings, and there are still three more months left in the year. The problem of gun violence isn’t getting better. Even after the traumatic shootings that have taken place in the past year, like Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. that killed 17 students and the Santa Fe High school shooting than killed 10, nothing is getting done.
It doesn’t help that with the speed of news, some of the biggest problems in the United States are forgotten after a 48 hour period. After which those problems aren’t spoken about again until something major happens. That’s how news is, and the public will forget the horrors of mass shootings until there is another one, or if there is a recognized anniversary of one. It seems like, after the initial panic and grief, the media tends to forget stories of trauma just because it isn’t as relevant as it was the week it happened, but the communities the event happens in can never forget. The pain of losing family and friends to a shooting is unbearable and, although people who aren’t in a community where the shooting happened can forget, those affected cannot.
In my hometown of Old Bridge, N.J., there was a minor shooting in a Pathmark which killed two people. This happened in 2012, but it took years for the community to recover. One of the victims was a girl who had just graduated from my high school, and, although I was just starting high school at the time, it affected both me and everyone else in Old Bridge. I couldn’t imagine what it’s like for communities that had major shootings like Parkland and Houston.
Gun violence is a continuous cycle of suffering and grief in America, and nothing currently being done is helping. We need to keep mass shooting stories relevant and keep protesting and writing letters to congressman, even when a shooting hasn’t happened in weeks or months. Something needs to change, and just sitting around and waiting for another shooting to happen isn’t changing anything.