Stephen Paddock and America’s Mass Shooting Problem
According to The Washington Post, on Sunday Oct. 1, Stephen Paddock fired shots from his hotel room’s window into a three-day country musical festival at 10 p.m., in Las Vegas, Nev. Paddock reportedly committed suicide when law enforcement approached the room; the massacre is the deadliest in America’s history with 59 fatalities and over 500 injuries.
Paddock had 23 guns with him in his Las Vegas hotel room and owned more than 12 dozen in total. The hotel’s employees were not suspicious of him during his several day stay. Paddock had more than ten suitcases with him upon check in.
As Americans, we are not strangers to massacres similar to the one in Las Vegas. There is a link between many of these shootings; a solution has yet to be achieved.
America is having the same discussions about gun control and media coverage concerning Vegas it was about the Orlando Shooting. America never seems to properly address the problem of mass shootings. There are always media frenzies at the time of the shooting, and they last for a short period of time. When they are over, the country appears to forget about the issues surrounding the massacres. However, when another mass shooting occurs, everything starts from square one.
After killing over fifty people, Paddock was described in the media as “enjoying gambling, country music and living a quiet life.” The perpetrators of these horrendous crimes are never labeled appropriately in the media; the word terrorist is rarely used to describe these shooters. It is easy for Western media to label people of color as terrorists, but harder when it comes to white men born in America. When white men are the face of mass shootings, there is a system that tries to illustrate them as innocent prior to the shootings.
America’s government has dropped the ball concerning gun control. Hashtagging “pray for victims of gun violence” would stop if action is presented to hinder these events from happening. The country has more gun owners and violent deaths than most other countries. Paddock is a wake up call to our nation’s gun system. Due to his clean criminal record, he was able to buy a significant amount of fire arms without raising suspicions. The system has failed victims of gun violence, and it needs to be updates to make it difficult for people to purchase guns.
This country needs to make strides toward this issue and recognize its negative impact on our society. The media and the government both play crucial roles in keeping the issue stagnant. Once these problems are faced, then maybe we will see progression in our country.