The Highlander

Chaos in Las Vegas

Gunman kills 59 and wounds hundreds at Jason Aldean concert

The+shooter+broke+two+windows+from+his+room+in+the+Mandalay+Bay+Hotel%2C+where+he+was+able+to+shoot+at+concert+attenders+down+below.+
The shooter broke two windows from his room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel, where he was able to shoot at concert attenders down below.

The shooter broke two windows from his room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel, where he was able to shoot at concert attenders down below.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

The shooter broke two windows from his room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel, where he was able to shoot at concert attenders down below.

Rustin Abedi, Managing Editor

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It was another Sunday night at a concert. For the thousands packed the Route 91 Harvest Festival, the concert was about getting a glimpse of renown country singer Jason Aldean and enjoying his performance. However, the event took a turn for the worst.

Around 400 yards away on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, 64 year old Stephen Paddock began shooting at the crowd below him from his the balcony of his room. Once the shots rang out, the event, moving as planned until that point, suddenly stopped as people realized what was going on.

“These people were just at a concert,” said Annette Billingsley, an English teacher at McLean High School who also taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “No one would anticipate that something like this would happen.”

Police immediately converged on the Las Vegas Hotel, the location that they determined the gunfire was originating. According to the eyewitness accounts, the shooting lasted several minutes before the suspect was found dead in his room. His death was likely as a result of a suicide.

Paddock had no prior criminal history. When his brother Eric who lives in Orlando, Florida found out, he was completely taken aback and surprised.

In the most horrific mass shooting in the history of the United States, 58 people were murdered by Paddock, while over 527 were injured in the tragedy. On Monday, following the carnage of the previous night, the victims families were in shock, in addition to the whole country.

Calls for gun control have emerged again. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who pushed for such measures following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, declared that “it’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.”

“This must stop. It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic,” Murphy said. “There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference.”

The growing outrage is in contrast to recent government efforts to curb gun violence. In September, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act passed the House Natural Resources Committee. The bill would make it easier for individuals to purchase gun silencers. In the wake of the new crisis, House speaker Paul Ryan said the legislation would not be brought to school.

The debate on the topic will not go away, especially if more tragedies are down the line.

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