The Vegas mass shooting’s impact on gun control debate


A map of reported gun related happenings in the United States this year thus far.

Paige Vannarath, Reporter/SCC

The worst mass shooting in U.S. history occurred during the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 and has stirred passions over gun control measures in light of the unprecedented gun violence.

Within this year, more than 270 gun related mass murders have overwhelmed the country.

Overall, according to a recent Washington Post article, there is a 12 percent increase in deaths by guns year after year prompting the debate on why this continues to be a trend unique to the U.S. and questioning what can be done to stop the violence.

We spoke with Police Officers Marvin Tahmahkera and Anthony Ortiz who serve Scottsdale Community College’s Public Safety.

They shared their personal thoughts on the issue at hand.

“Whittling away at the Bill of Rights and The Second Amendment, probably not the best idea,” Tahmahkera said. “We live in a free society, so if you live in a free society you’re going to have some risk.”

Tahmahkera believes that it’s the user’s fault for giving guns a bad name.

“I believe in guns and I believe in your rights too but I also have feelings and emotions for people that have other answers,” Ortiz said.

“We need to be careful of not demonizing the tool. Try not to demonize that…it’s the person wielding it,” Tahmahkera said.

Former Las Vegas resident, Lauren Saige, felt the depth of the music festival’s massacre and shared some of her thoughts.

“When I think about it, it’s just like ‘oh my gosh,’ I could have lost someone close to me, I could have been gone because of one person who had such easy access to it,’” Saige said.

No less than 23 firearms were recovered in the shooter’s hotel room after the rampage, as reported by the New York Times on Oct. 2.

“People do kill people, it’s not the gun,” Saige said.

Saige emphasized that easy access to guns is a problem and that,

“Makes it easier for people to kill people.”

Saige advocates for mental health programs to prevent ill-intentioned people from getting the chance to possess, “Any gun for that matter.”

Brandon Easly, works security for Barrett Jackson and feels that enhanced protective measures should be taken in order to better prepare for future incidents but believes that senseless acts of violence are not preventable.

“Background checks might change things just a little bit,” Easly said. “I feel safe owning a gun.”

SCC Public Safety officer, Ortiz hopes that people will continue to unite.

“Everybody shows support, you are there for them, sending money, prayers. It is truly amazing how everyone was united. Hopefully we can continue and move forward from that,” Ortiz said.