The incident that took place on October 1 in Las Vegas left the country in shock. A gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert-goers in what is considered to be America’s largest mass shooting to date. So what are people doing about it, and how will it affect us halfway across the country?
The response to this horrible occurrence has been one of overwhelming love. President Donald Trump spoke on the matter as “an act of pure evil,” calling upon citizens to unite in support with those affected: “Our bonds cannot be broken by violence.” Along with this, one million dollars was donated from the Department of Justice’s emergency response funds to assist recovery efforts. “Trust me when I say that events such as these are constantly on the minds of the Police Department and the US Government,” says Tim Bley of Cincinnati’s Violent Crime Squad.
To high school students on the other side of the country, the shooting, though horrible, may seem distant or even insignificant in relation to our own safety. Officer Bley believes this disconnection is partially due to Americans’ desire to be content. “We don’t like the idea that someone or something could invade our peaceful tranquility and disrupt it,” he explains. However, the setting of this incident naturally causes concern about the danger of similar events in our area, at places like festivals or outdoor concerts. Sophomore Colleen Booth voices her worries. “I will definitely be more cautious, even paranoid, because of what happened in Las Vegas.” The important thing to remember regarding tragedies like this, according to Officer Bley, is that “the odds of it occurring in any particular place at any particular time are astronomical.” Despite this, he reminds us that “we should not be ignorant of the fact that it can happen.” There is no reason to be fearful, but one should always be cautious and aware of her surroundings.
Nevertheless, the widespread fear regarding large-scale violence is not completely unfounded. There is an increasing frequency in the United States; the top four deadliest shooting events in our country’s history have all occurred within the past ten years. With the alarmingly increasing rate of violence in the nation, many questions are being raised of how we can prevent similar situations.
The familiar debate regarding gun control has been brought to light again due to the weapons used in this tragedy. The shooter’s gun is believed to have been a semi-automatic weapon fitted with a bump stock, an accessory that allows for rapid firing comparable to that of a fully automatic gun. Both pieces of equipment are legal in Nevada, but some wonder whether harsher gun laws could prevent similar incidents in the future. Within our state of Ohio, which has similar gun laws to Nevada, a ban on bump stocks has been proposed in response to the awful event.
As our country moves forward amid these horrible times, Officer Bley reminds us that “for every person out there that may engage in some bad or even heinous activity, there are way more out there who [engage in] good.”