The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Gunman Kills 58 in Las Vegas Massacre

Credit%3A+Phoenix7777+via+Creative+Commons
Credit: Phoenix7777 via Creative Commons

Credit: Phoenix7777 via Creative Commons

Credit: Phoenix7777 via Creative Commons

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It was supposed to be a relaxing and peaceful night with country music playing in the background. Nobody except Stephen Paddock could have foreseen the gun shooting that would tear Las Vegas apart and take away the lives of 58 people.

On Sunday, October 1, a massive homicide occurred at an outdoor concert festival located on the Las Vegas Strip. The shooting, which came from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel facing the festival, lasted for around 15 minutes. By the morning of October 3, 58 people’s deaths had been confirmed; more than five hundred people were wounded and hospitalized.

The gunman was identified as Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old man from Mesquite, Nevada. After the massacre, Paddock was found dead in his room at the hotel. Along with his body were 23 weapons and accessories, including rifles and handguns. Multiple firearms and explosives were also retrieved from Paddock’s home.

Williston students are horrified by the incident. “I feel very sad and disappointed,” said Glede Wang ’19. “I’ve heard that it’s the most destructive terrorist event after 9/11. More than 50 innocent people died with no good reason. I don’t see any excuse that can grant a person to kill his or her peers according to his or her will. This is unbelievable to me.”

“I am really mad because he [the killer] does not need to pay for it,” Kassandra Orcutt ’19 added. “This is unfair.”

Nevada, where the gunman was from, has some of America’s loosest gun control laws. According to the National Riffle Association’s website, people in Nevada don’t need a permit to buy a gun, nor are they required to get a license or register a firearm. People are also allowed to carry firearms legally in public. The Las Vegas shooting immediately provoked fierce debates surrounding the already controversial policies.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy commented as a gun control advocate. “The thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference,” he told CNN. He continued, “It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.”

Williston student Joshua Calianos ’18 also shared his thoughts. “I definitely think that tragedies like these are a good time for everyone to reflect on the value and potential harm of firearms in our society,” he said.

“I would encourage readers to look at Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s proposed ban on assault weapons which applies to guns like the ones used in Las Vegas,” Josh added. “Because the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, citizens looking to be activists on that front may find similar bills floating around their state governments.”

The most important thing is to move forward and to prevent similar accidents from happening again. As a community, Williston also needs to take action.

“We should talk about it in assemblies or hold a forum,” Glede said. “It’s a heart-breaking event for everyone; as a community, we must talk about it openly and listen to each other.”

Glede also suggested “adding more terrorist attack drills and writing cards to those victims’ families.”

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The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America
Gunman Kills 58 in Las Vegas Massacre