In a nation plagued by the turmoil hitting the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico as well as the heightening tensions with North Korea, the country was recently dealt yet another tragedy of catastrophic proportions. On the evening of Oct. 1, a lone gunman by the name of Stephen Paddock rained gunfire among the crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., killing 59 individuals and injuring another 527, according to the New York Times.
Assumedly, individuals barraged the media with questions regarding the identity but surprisingly, nothing has emerged as suspicious from the gunman’s background, other than that he was an avid gambler and lived in a retirement community with no history of mental illness. However, when investigating Paddock’s hotel room, police found a total of 17 guns with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, including AR-15 assault rifles and a variety of scoped rifles. In addition, a raid on Paddock’s house revealed an additional 18 firearms, explosives, electronic devices, and thousands of rounds of ammunition, according to CNN.
This brings a question in our minds: where does gun control play in this situation?
It’s unfortunate that it appears as though the media is being repetitive when discussing the topic of gun control once more as it pertains to this incident, but the reality is that more and more tragedies continue to happen that could be avoided if the U.S. had stricter gun control laws. Incidents such as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in 2012 and the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla. just last year are clear examples of what happens when people who shouldn’t be in possession of guns get their hands on one and cause extreme harm to others as a result. While Paddock was found to not have any sort of mental illness, unlike Adam Lanza, who was found to be battling several mental disorders prior to the shooting at Sandy Hook, the end result of his possession of a total of 35 guns clearly signifies that he’s the type of person who shouldn’t have been able to obtain so many guns at once.
Though information is still pouring in in terms of the gunman’s background and motives, there is nothing more despicable than domestic terrorism in an area where individuals were simply enjoying life and the joys attributed with music. Whether he was radicalized by ISIS, as previously claimed by the terrorist organization, or he has some unknown mental illness, we as a nation must unify in moments such as these to combat this evil and implement laws and practices that promote safety with weaponry. Now known as the deadliest mass shooting in America, we can’t help but support the implementation of stricter gun laws.