On October 1st, Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old retiree, rained bullets down into the crowd of a Jason Aldean concert in the Las Vegas Strip from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. What is now the deadliest mass shooting in American history, the incident killed 58 concert-goers and wounded nearly 500.
When apprehended by police after a terrifying night, Paddock fatally shot himself in his hotel room.
Almost immediately, the questions of Paddock’s motives arose: he had no criminal record and no affiliation with any terrorist groups.
However, Criminal Profiler John Kelly states that “[Paddock] was predisposed to feelings of depression and anger,” which was made worse by “alcohol and Valium,” as originally reported by People.
These dangerous thoughts mixed with substance abuse resulted in the horrific act that occurred on this tragic day. Not only did Paddock have numerous guns, which he obtained throughout the past year, but he also had explosives in his car, which suggests that if he escaped, he would have gone out with a “bigger burst of fury.”
Paddock’s girlfriend, Marylou Danley, says she was unaware of his plans; in fact, she thought he was breaking up with her, as he had bought her a ticket to go see her family in the Philippines a week before the shooting.
“She never thought that her ‘kind, caring, quiet’ boyfriend was capable of [this]…,” The New York Times details.
Just last year, the Orlando nightclub shooting was the deadliest in American history, with perpetrator Omar Mateen killing 49. A year before that, a shooter in San Bernardino killed 14.
Every year, it seems like there are more mass shootings. Guns have been legally obtained in recent acts of terror, adding more fuel to the gun control debate.
The 2nd Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, written in 1789, proclaims that “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Paul Heroux, a writer for The Huffington Post, captures both sides of this debate.
In short, pro-gun parties argue that having a gun accessible in your home would protect your family in the case of an incident and that more guns mean less crime overall. Plus, the 2nd Amendment defends the use of guns in America.
Anti-gun parties counter that there is too much that could go wrong in a case where someone needs to defend themselves with a gun, and innocent bystanders could get hurt. Also, the recent rise of gun violence means that steps need to be taken to protect citizens from becoming statistics in more mass shootings.
Either way, we can all agree that what happened in Las Vegas at the beginning of the month was horrific, and something needs to be done to prevent situations like it from occurring again in the future.
As Heroux aptly reminds readers, “if there were a simple solution, it would probably have been done by now.”