In response to the active-shooter, who let loose a barrage of bullets on unsuspecting concert-goers, last Sunday night, the National Rifle Association endorsed tighter restrictions on “bump stocks,” which were retrofitted to the gun(s) used by the shooter in order to cause the mass casualty.
The gunman, who was later identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, opened fire from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino during the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival, killing 58 people and leaving more than 500 injured.
Here is the problem, while this small but forward-thinking move is a big leap in the name of gun reform… it’s sad that things like this are always done retroactively. The truth is proactivity is necessary for the saving of civilian lives. We cannot wait until it’s too late.
As we’ve previously stated, following terrorist attacks at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, incidents such as this should not scare people from going to concerts and having a good time. In the past week, we have heard from parents of children who attended the concert and others who work in movie theaters and concert halls, who have grown increasingly concerned for their lives and the lives of their children following the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
We should not be scared of going out to concerts, however, it is completely understandable to show fear in the face of such tragedy to recognize the immediate impact on the community. For this reason, Jennifer Lopez canceled three nights of her Las Vegas residency at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino, following the incident.
However, while fear is an understandable reaction to have in the face of such brutality, to avoid performances, in general, is not the best way to respond. Perhaps the best way to respond would be to do like Celine Dion did in a brave and bold decision to resume her Las Vegas residency at Caesar’s Palace, last Tuesday, Oct. 3, during which she pledged that the proceeds from her performance would be donated to the victims’ families. And, on Thursday evening, Britney Spears also went online to assure fans that she will not be changing her plans to perform next Wednesday, October 11.
— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) October 6, 2017
Here’s the issue, while the massacre was premeditated, and the gunman had various escape routes and alternatives. Things seemed too well planned to be conducted by a 64-year-old with no police record.
Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell told The New York Times, that reports of the shooting seemed to be coming from 32 separate places, similar to the coordinated attack in Mumbai back in 2008. “We had a lot of challenges with this event,” Cassell said during a press conference. “By the time it got relayed, it was ‘There’s a shooter at this location,’ it was ‘People were shot.'”
In an attempt to learn from the unexpected events, Chris Robinette, CEO of Prevent Advisors, said that he doubts much could have been done to stop the shooter. “It’s a nightmarish, sum-of-all-fears worst-case scenario type of attack,” Robinette told Billboard.
However, according to Robert C. Smith, a former San Diego police officer who has trained more than 10,000 bouncers through his Nightclub Security Consultants firm, defining the Mandalay Bay shootings as a “hotel security problem is a false narrative.” He also told Billboard that the industry needs “out-of-the-box ideas” to prevent a tragedy on this scale from happening again.
“It took three clip magazine changes before a lot of people realized they were being shot at,” Smith told Billboard. “Trained sharpshooters would have recognized the sound of gunfire within seconds, located the source and sent precise rounds to take out the shooter.”
But why should law enforcement go to further lengths to rain down on concert-goers experiences? Have concerts actually become a target? And couldn’t common sense gun reform make it so that it is unnecessary to be in fear of public events?
Of course, the NRA is opposed to anyone threatening to take away automatic assault rifles from the hands of American citizens… but why? These are weapons meant to mow down large numbers of heavily armed men, not take down a deer or rabbit. This is not a weapon used for hunting animals. It’s used for hunting something that can shoot back.
That is why, despite the NRA small but noteworthy attempt to address the issue of gun control, artists such as Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Vic Mensa, The Chainsmokers, Moby and Ariana Grande have gone online to express their views on this very controversial topic.
Perhaps it will be through the support of these mainstream pop artists that we will finally have “the talk” about gun reform in this country and the fact that there is zero need for assault weapons… ever.