The West Wind

When Music and Terror Collide

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When Music and Terror Collide

Izzy James-Hutson, Assistant Editor

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Walking into the courtyard on October 3, 2017, West students may have noticed the flag at half staff. Seeing the flag and the news is the only reminder many of us will have, but for a multitude of country music lovers, the sound of automatic rifles will be rattling in their heads for the rest of their lives.

The sound of shot after shot, police sirens, screaming, and extreme panic was the reality of the ending of the annual Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. Stephen Paddock opened fire from a window of the Mandalay Bay hotel onto the country concert. This great tragedy left 58 dead and almost 500 injured, the greatest mass shooting in modern American history. Many concert goers confused gunfire for fireworks or could not hear the gunfire because of the music; this resulted in delayed action by concert goers and police. Concert goers ran in every direction, running when gunfire stopped and hiding when it started again, they continued this process for nine to eleven minutes while police tried to identify where the shooter was located. The shooting ended when police stormed Paddock’s room and Paddock and killed himself.

According to CNN, the hotel room contained 23 firearms, 12 that were rigged with bump stocks and other methods to be automatic. Physical calculations were found on a piece of paper inside the room, that are believed to be calculations for distance and trajectory. There were also cameras outside the hotel room of the hallway, believed to be for watching the police as they stormed the hotel. Explosives were found inside the shooters car, but no explanation of what they were for. No terrorist or religious associations are connected, but this does not mean the shooter did not cause terror. Horrific events like this one have been happening a little too often, but not much has been done about it.

Fully automatic weapons are illegal in America, but bump stocks are perfectly legal. According to The New York Times, bump stocks can make a weapon fire at nearly the rate of a machine gun. A bump stock uses the kickback of a gun and harness this energy by pushing the weapon forward again almost automatically. Bump stocks were used on multiple guns during the Las Vegas shooting, and because of this congress is moving to make them illegal. While the NRA is trying to keep this from happening, people are more motivated to get bump stocks banned due to the tragedy. Youtube also removed all gun modification videos off of it’s website.

This isn’t about politics, this is about victims and people who were affected by the evil of an individual man that left no explanation.

About the Writer
Izzy James-Hutson, Assistant Editor

Isabelle James-Hutson, also known as Izzy, is an assistant editor of The West Wind at West Brunswick High School. She is a junior at West, and this year...

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When Music and Terror Collide