Shooting at The Strip by Sandeep Silas

The only time I have been to Las Vegas was many years ago during the summer of 2005! My memories of The Strip as it is called are of a very free place where you can do anything you want to do from gambling to partying to….

I was showing the wonderful culture of the US to my sons as part of their growing up age. They were 13 and 16 and I was 45! The Strip is a straight road both sides of which humans have built their little heavens. We stayed at Circus Circus, which was more of the family type reputation. We had fun, that’s what we came to Las Vegas for. The younger son could also play at the machine and I remember the excitement on his face when the coins started falling as he hit a winning number. We were on a shoestring budget so any amount to be lost was of value as it would deprive us of something else we wanted to do. But, still we had a taste of the colourful bright disks revolving inside those machines. Outside on the street I could see flyers with names and telephone numbers of those who were available. I dialled one number and as I learned that the cost of witnessing a dance would be 150 $ I just dropped the idea like a hot brick. Why I am telling you all this is to emphasize the fact that the spirit of Vegas is free and full of fun.

Sad, that on October 2nd, which is celebrated as the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader who got India its freedom through non-violent struggle, the same day would see so much bloodshed in Las Vegas for nothing.

“58 killed 515 injured at the Jason Aldean concert in Vegas” was the worst ever headline any newspaper could print on Gandhi Jayanti day! The tourism promotion slogan for Vegas has long been, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, and this was blown to smithereens as what happened in Vegas went all over the world in blood and tears!

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(Photograph by David Becker)

A killer by the name Stephen Paddock, age 64, shot madly at 22,000 concert goers from the hide-out of his hotel window, leaving the most bloodiest trail in human history of a mindless shoot-out. Here, it was not even ISIS, or any other terrorist organization, but a lone individual, who didn’t even seem to have a grouse against anyone for political or religious reasons.

Video recording available at:

http://time.com/4964666/madalay-bay-las-vegas-shooting/

blob:http://time.com/6b453237-da6b-472e-8a9a-290a325cb6cd

(Video footage by time.com can be viewed from above mentioned link)

He killed himself after the volley of five minutes firing from automatic weapons that he had launched from his room on the 32nd floor of Hotel Mandalay Bay. The victims were unsuspecting revellers happy to be in Vegas for a holiday.

las-vegas-shooting 2

(Photograph by David Becker)

(CNN)Every detail of this indiscriminate mass murder seemed meticulously planned.

The selection of a hotel room overlooking a music festival, days before the attack. The cache of 23 weapons inside the gunman’s Las Vegas suite. And thousands of rounds of ammunition — plus an ingredient used in explosives — inside the killer’s home and car.
The latest revelation came Tuesday afternoon when police said gunman Stephen Paddock set up cameras inside his hotel suite and in the hallway. Police are not aware whether the devices were transmitting — the FBI is investigating their use — but the Clark County sheriff told reporters he thinks the shooter might have used them to watch for people approaching his room.
One camera looked out the peephole on the suite’s door.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives disclosed that Paddock had outfitted 12 of his rifles with a legal device called a bump-fire stock, which enables a shooter to fire bullets rapidly, similar to an automatic rifle.
Authorities released the first body camera footage of police responding to the shooting. It captured the rapid staccato of the gunfire at a fairly close range.

– Five handguns, two shotguns and a “plethora” of ammunition were found in Paddock’s Verdi, Nevada, property, police said. Authorities previously found 42 guns in Paddock’s hotel room and at his Mesquite, Nevada, home.” (cnn.com)

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(Photograph: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/02/us/gallery/las-vegas-shooting/index.html)

Now, that raises the most difficult question, which the Americans would not be willing to find an answer to.

Why is it so easy to buy sophisticated weapons off the shelf for any American citizen, while it is so difficult to buy medicine without any prescription?

There is no limit imposed on the quality and quantity of arms and ammunition that a citizen might need.

The US has one of the best data bank of its people. And medical history records are also maintained meticulously. It is common to see patients of depression in the US who suffer because of myriad reasons from heartbreak, loneliness to crisis of expectations. Since the social security net covers every citizen so remarkably, it is emotional upheavals more than anything else, which are the main cause of people falling into depression.

If I may suggest to the authorities in the US those be responsible, I would say:

  1. Arms sale to be regulated within the US
  2. People with unstable medical history or with criminal background to be barred from purchasing weapons
  3. Actual need to determine the quality of weapon to be sold to any person
  4. Monitoring mechanism to be put in place about the number of weapons circulating in the system and their safety in responsible hands

This might trigger a wave of protest under the umbrella of individual freedom, but then not having such a system in place is leading to results like what happened in Vegas. And, it is not the only time when a lone gunman has made schoolchildren or people at prayer the target of hate crimes and bloodshed.

Why should one man who is not at peace in his heart be allowed to amass weapons at such large scale and shoot innocent people who are holidaying for no reason?

I leave it at that, for the US Administration to take note of and decide in the best interest of US citizens.

It is the peace within every person’s heart that is more important than anything else in the world of today!

3 thoughts on “Shooting at The Strip by Sandeep Silas”

  1. Good article, clearly specifying lacuna in world’s largest democracy. They claim to be custodian of Peace all over the world, yet not able to give security to their own citizens.

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