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Las Vegas Shooting

October 6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of Rolling Stone

On October 2, a gunman opened fire on a crowded audience during Jason Aldean’s performance at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. 59 people died and over 500 were injured in the domestic terrorist attack with at least 20 firearms, scopes, and chemicals that can be used for explosives at the gunman’s disposal. The Islamic State tried to say this was their doing but the F.B.I. says there is no evidence to back their claim. This has been the most horrific mass shooting in American history.

With the American public in a state of panic, thousands of fingers tapped thousands of screens in ferocious debate over social media about what should be done regarding mass shootings. Many argue that the debate should be sidelined until a proper amount of time has passed in order for the victims to be mourned. On the other end, people want solutions to these problems now rather than later. Unfortunately, the American public has developed shorter attention spans that require smaller chunks of information to be processed more quickly. The 24-hour news cycle has dwindled to a need for an instant response, and people are likely to forget about this tragedy once another takes its place.

Hundreds, if not thousands of people, are calling for strict gun control as the answer to these mass shootings. Monmouth College Alumnus Jacob Marx expressed his opinion on the matter. “So, I, alongside roughly 90% of Americans, believe that we need to expand common sense background checks for those who wish to buy firearms. Although it may not stop every mass shooting, if it saves even one life, it is worth it.” Marx continues to say that he supports the Bill of Rights although not everyone deserves easy access to a gun. “Why should someone who beats their significant other, someone on the terror watch list or no-fly list, or someone who expresses violent ideations be able to easily buy a gun? Contrary to NRA propaganda, this will not target healthy, law-abiding gun owners.”

Another aspect of the shooting is that people are upset that some news organizations and outlets use improper language when describing the gunman. Communication Studies Professor Dr. Joshua Hawthorne gave his take on the public outcry for not using the name of the gunman. “If the perpetrator acts for some ideological motive, we see an issue of martyrdom. Not using the name is a way to not glamorize this notoriety or infamy.” Hawthorne agreed to the fact some news organizations could report the gunman’s name in order to give a sense of closure; although he made the point it is possible to explain the motives without releasing the name of the perpetrator.

There is no easy answer to what needs to be done because ultimately the tragedy has become a political battleground for the masses, whether informed or not.

Riley Hess
Editor in Chief

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