By GABRIELLE HILLICK
America was struck once again by another tragedy. On Sunday, Oct. 1, Stephen Paddock shot and killed 59 people at a Las Vegas country concert and injuring over 500. This isn’t the first concert shooting to have happened this year. Back on May 22, at an Ariana Grande concert, 23 people died and over 200 had gotten injured and it had hit the music community hard. Now, barely six months later, another concert had turned from a safe, positive community to a war zone. And this time, it felt more personal to me. With a good portion of my family living in Las Vegas, it struck me hard to hear that it been struck with such a tragedy.
Immediately, I called my mother. She picked up crying and my heart dropped. I thought something had happened and to some blessing out there, none of my family was hurt. Rather, she was crying for those families out there that had lost someone. She said to me, “Promise me you won’t watch the videos,” and that struck me hard. My mother, who never cried, was shedding tears for those she didn’t know. And it just hit me, how many more mass shooting have to happen before something is done about it? How many more innocent lives have to be taken before someone takes action?
Stephen Paddock had 47 guns in his hotel room. This has become the deadliest shooting in United States history and to think, there are ways our country could have prevented this. While gun control has become a controversial topic that has split the country into two, it needs to be discussed. Despite what some will say, this is domestic terrorism and it has to be stopped. Whose concert will next be attacked? It’s a horrible question to ask, but it has to be now these days.
The media covered Ariana Grande’s concert shooting and the celebrity spoke out along with many others. Zendaya, well known for her role in “K.C. Undercover” on Disney and MJ in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” took her words to social media once again and spoke on how action has to be taken. Concerts and music festivals had been known as a place to go with your friends and escape reality for a while. Everyone having a strong connection, a peaceful connection, for they all share the love of an artist together. Parents shouldn’t be afraid to say yes when their child asks to go to a concert now. No one should be afraid, be hesitant when buying a music festival ticket. No one should be afraid to go to an event meant to escape reality.
Our world is changing. Mass shootings seem to become a headline at least once per month and this cannot continue to be a regular occurrence. At all costs, this cannot become normal! We cannot let our world fall to a fate worse than it’s headed for. It’s time for change. It’s time for people to feel protected. Enough attacking women’s right to birth control and abortion. Enough attack on healthcare. It’s time to take action against those who are at risk to hurt hundreds and hundreds of people because he or she was allowed to have a gun.
While I’m all for owning a gun if you want one, more background checks need to be in place. Forty-seven guns is not necessary. Something has to be in place here. While Paddock was not brought to justice, for he took the easy way out of punishment to his crime by killing himself, this doesn’t stop the others. The others like him. The ones with a hotel room full of guns and who can open fire on people trying to enjoy their lives. Our world is crumbling, crumbling to those who have no soul, to those who can destroy countless lives. And something must change if we wish for a brighter future. Our time is now.