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“Lone Wolf” Grim Reaper

Shooting in Las Vegas Takes 59 Lives and Leaves More Than 500 Injured

Naeirika Neev

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A “lone-wolf” gunman named Stephen Paddock stood 32 floors above a crowd of approximately 22,000 people as he aimed and committed one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

From the Mandalay Bay hotel, this 64-year-old accountant shot into a mass of people at a concert on the last day of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival and killed 59 people and injured more than 550.

He was revealed to have no particular political or religious motive for committing this horrendous act, but at least 10 weapons were discovered in his hotel room, including rifles with scopes. A law enforcement official even said that a rifle was meddled with to be functional as an automatic weapon.

In Stephen Paddock’s home at least 18 additional firearms, explosives and several thousand rounds of ammunition were found, according to Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo. Furthermore, a search of his car turned up several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a substance used to make explosives.

Despite the chaotic turnout, there were also acts of heroism. People were providing water and other supplies as well as helping others escape. According to Time magazine, 6-8 blocks of blood were donated and the city came together to give support and help.

The intent behind this action is still a mystery to the public, but especially to his brother, Eric Paddock. According to Eric Paddock, his brother, Stephen, was just a regular guy who baked cookies for their mom and lived a quiet life with his girlfriend in Mesquite, Nevada

However, some interesting information has been unveiled by Stephen’s brother, Eric. As it turns out, their father was a bank robber who was on the most-wanted list from June 10, 1969 until May 5, 1977, according to the FBI. He was eventually arrested on 1978 after having escaped from prison.

Moreover, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack but has failed to provide any evidence for this claim and upon investigation no ties were discovered between the shooter and ISIS.

President Donald Trump called this occurrence “an act of pure evil” and there is no doubt that this man caused an immense amount of grief to the families and loved ones of the victims, and an unimaginable amount of fear.

But a deeper look at the tragedy shines a light on a question that has persisted in the case of such shootings. Why is it that authorities and the media are so hesitant when it comes to calling this man a terrorist?

By definition, terrorism is the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Though acts of terror have taken place in the past and claimed countless innocent victims, the criminal behind the act of most likely only going to be called a terrorist if they are a person of color.

According to The Statistics Portal, since the year 1982, white men have been responsible for most mass shootings. But the fact that white mass shooters are often described as “lone wolves”, “misunderstood” or “mentally ill” instead of terrorists reveals a whole lot the portrayal of people of color as terrorists, thugs and criminals. This image has been upheld by the media in discreet and unnoticeable ways such as a simple word that is chosen to describe the shooters – “lone-wolf” as opposed to “terrorist”.

Another recurring key question here is, “how many tragedies like this do we have to witness before we realize that something needs to be done about gun control?”

The store where Paddock’s weapons were purchased, Guns and Guitars, disclosed that the weapons were purchased legally and that Paddock passed both the screening and background checks.

There is no logical reason for anybody to be able to possess weapons of this strength and be able to utilize them. The sale of guns is a major business and large corporations such as the National Rifle Association make major profits off of it. With the wealth and power that the owners of these companies have, no wonder they want to defend the right to bear arms and fight gun control.

These weapons are designed to kill a devastating number of people in a matter of minutes. Though it does not take a genius to realize that such weapons should be banned, under the power of large corporations that profit here, human life will continue to be looked over for as long there is profit.

Therefore it is time for us, as the new generation and the future of America, to do what we can to make a change and build a better society.

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“Lone Wolf” Grim Reaper