A gunman poised high on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino rained bullets down on an unsuspecting outdoor crowd of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival. The shooter killed 58, and 515 were either wounded or injured while trying to escape. The tragedy has become the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
The shooter, Stephen Paddock, 64, took his own life before authorities could get to him. His motivations are unknown and he has no affiliations with international terrorist groups. Paddock used a hammer to break the window, and was found with at least 10 rifles in his hotel room.
Jason Aldean was in the middle of his set, closing out the last day of the show, when a series of shots rang out, confusing the crowd. Most of those in attendance thought the sounds were fireworks going off. The music went on until a second volley caused the musicians to flee the stage. Once the music ended, mass chaos broke out, as audience members sought cover and pressed en masse to exits, jumping over barricades and other obstacles to escape.
The US Department of Homeland Security says that there is “no specific credible threat” involving other public venues. This is very important to note, because we cannot let fear mongering stop us from from enjoying our freedom to congregate. Music is that special art form that unifies people and does not discriminate based on race, sex, color or religious belief. Live music has the power to bring people of all walks of life together to share the same space, breathe the same air and enjoy being together for a common cause.
This shooting cannot become the inciting incident that allows people to take this privilege away. If we stop going to live events, then the shooter has won. We cannot let fear rule our actions. If we celebrate music, we celebrate the lives of those that were lost during this dark day in history.
What happened in Las Vegas was horrible, and our hearts here at Get Some go out to those suffering from loss, injury or trauma. If you live in Las Vegas, we urge you to do what you can. Donate blood. Donate time. Do what you can to help.