Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Tragedy Strikes the U.S.

The worst mass shooting in U.S. modern history to date happened on Sunday October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The shooting occurred during a Route 91 harvest country music festival being held on the Las Vegas strip. About 20,000 civilians were attending the event when the shooting began.

The gunman, 64 year old Stephan Paddock, fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured. When authorities made it to the shooters hotel room ten minutes after the shooting began, they found Paddock dead having killed himself.

According to public safety chief, Tom Phillis, nothing as tragic as the Las Vegas shooting has ever occurred at or near Augustana. However, he maintained that there are procedures public safety is prepared to act in the event of an emergency.

“We have an emergency team that trains throughout the year to handle a variety of situations. Ultimately, Augustana and Rock Island Police would immediately go into action, and every effort would be made to keep people safe,” Phillis said.

If a shooting ever happened on campus, Phillis asserted that the college has the resources to handle the aftermath.

“Our faculty, admin and staff would be available to meet with students, this includes campus ministries and counseling services. Our counselors have a network of peers that could be brought on campus to help support the emotional needs of our community,” Phillis said.

After the shooting in Las Vegas, many turned to the head of the country to see the response of President Trump. His administration declined to discuss the issue in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

“There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country,” White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said.

Gun control laws have been a highly debated topic, especially in the most recent presidential election. With the Las Vegas shooting, this debate is being brought to the forefront yet again.

Augustana professor of political science, David Dehnel, said that the United States needs to start thinking about gun control before this happens again.

“The United States has the most lax gun control laws among developed nations. It also has the highest rate of gun deaths, accidental and homicide, among developed nations,” Dehnel said.

The shooting in Las Vegas was one of the most tragic events to occur in the modern United States. Investigations are ongoing to figure out the motive of the gunman. Many people are still suffering from loss after this incident and there are still many questions to be answered.

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Tragedy Strikes the U.S.