Murphy Foss and Tarky Lombardi
Tragedy struck the city of Las Vegas on Oct 3, 2017. A lone shooter on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino reigned terror down on a crowd of 22,000 at a Jason Aldean concert. Aldean was the final act of a multi-day country music festival in Vegas. The shooter, 64 year-old Stephen Paddock, left 58 dead and hundreds more injured, making this the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. He used the 23 guns he had brought up to his suite over the course of previous two days. Most of these firearms were either fully automatic or had been converted to automatic by devices that Paddock had legally purchased.
The shooting has raised concerns over gun control, even here at Jamesville-DeWitt High School and what the solution is to our gun violence issues. “Gun control doesn’t work,” said junior Quinn Walton, “there are still other ways for people to obtain firearms if they are restricted.” Some people, like freshman Inika Gajra, think gun control is necessary. “I don’t think mentally ill people should have guns and guns should be harder to get in general,” said Gajra, “automatic weapons should not be available to the public.” Senior Leah Netti agrees with Gajra, “these things just keep happening, we need gun control in order to put an end to this,” said Netti.
Despite the divide on issues like gun control, it appears as though there may be room for compromise. “There is no need for automatic weapons to be on the market,” said Walton, who is an avid hunter, “no hunter I know uses an automatic weapon or has the need for one.” Some citizens, like junior Jakob Ellithorpe, think the best thing we can do as a country right now is to come together, “we all just need to stand together,” said Ellithorpe, “we need to work together to find solutions that will benefit our country as a whole.”
Paddock had been planning this horrific event for a while. He had even set up cameras on the door of his suite and in the hallway outside so that he would know when police officers and SWAT operatives arrived. He even sent his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, out of the country to visit her family and wired around $100,000 to her in the Philippines. However, she says she saw no signs that Paddock was planning anything of this sort and claims to have thought that the money he had sent was a way of breaking up with her.
Because there is no way to know when and where the next mass shooting will take place, so schools have to be prepared. Legislation could take a while to pass, so schools are looking for their own solutions to stop active shooters. “Being prepared for emergencies is really important,”
said Principal Paul Gasparini, “(Dave) Nylen, (Will) Dowdell, and I met with a first responder yesterday to go over lockdown drills and we had an awareness meeting with our teachers.” Other CNY schools like Baldwinsville are taking it a step further, going through active shooter scenarios with teachers. “Our primary goal is to keep students safe at school,” said Principal Gasparini.
Paddock himself was a retired accountant, who had made a lot of money over his career. He was a big time gambler, gambling up to a million dollars in one night. He spent a lot of time on the road, most of it in casinos. Paddock’s own brother was completely shocked by his actions, describing him as someone who loved video poker, cruises, burritos, and country music. However, he had only started gambling after retirement as he had no children and plenty of money to play with.
Legislation could take a while to pass, places such as schools are looking for solutions to stop active shooter. “Being prepared for emergencies is really important,” said Jamesville-DeWitt High School Principal Paul Gasparini, “Mr. Nylen, Mr. Dowdell, and I met with a first responder yesterday to go over lockdown drills and we had an awareness meeting with our teachers.” Other CNY schools like Baldwinsville are taking similar measure, going over drills with teachers in case of a shooter. “Our primary goal is to keep students safe at school,” said Principal Gasparini.