Tragedy Strikes Vegas
Another Mass Shooting
This past week on October 2nd in Las Vegas, Nevada there was a horrific incident at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. From the upper levels of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, a 64 year old Caucasian man named Stephen Paddock opened fire towards the concertgoers across the Vegas Strip. This happened to be the Deadliest Shooting in Modern US History, but just 16 months ago the then deadliest mass shooting occurred in Florida.
This incident hits close to home because not only is Las Vegas just three hours away, but some staff of the Hesperia School District and Oak Hills High School Staff were affected by this. Genevieve Johnston, the Vice Principal of Activities, Darren Goodman the Vice Principal of Athletics, Fabiola Cintron an Attendance Specialist, and Vicki Ferren the Plant Supervisor all attended the Festival to enjoy great live music and have a nice time with their families and friends.
Mrs. Johnston was at the festival for all three days, along with her was her seven year old daughter Mckenzie, both were present during the horrific incident. Johnston stated that the shooting began around 10:00 PM while Jason Aldean was performing and she initially thought she heard fireworks, but by the second round she realized they were gunshots.
“I have to get my daughter out of here and I have to get her out safely” she thought. She ran with her daughter to the The Excalibur Hotel where they were staying at.
Johnston was thankful she and her daughter were safe but she was still worried about other staff members and people who were at the festival. Throughout the night she was able to get in contact with others and find out they were safe for the most part. She was in shock and could not believe the shooting actually happened. Mrs. Johnston is overall grateful that her and her daughter are well.
“I would still go to outdoor festivals” Oak Hills High School senior Milay Garcia said, “we can’t live in fear”.
She talked to me about how we cannot give these inhumane people power. Garcia was emotional over what occurred in Las Vegas because people went to Route 91 Harvest Festival to have fun while listening to music they enjoy. She put herself in their perspective too.
Alejandra Valle is a music lover and mother of four, when Valle heard the news she felt heavy hearted and was angry, “My kids and I love going to festivals and concerts, live music is the best to hear.” She shared “It’s upsetting because this is a recurring thing with guns.”
In all we cannot focus on someone who would do something so horrible but on the brave first responders and the concert goers who came together no matter what you looked like or how old you were. In horrific times like these we can still see the love people have in their hearts and that will overshadow the hate and ugliness of the merciless.
Oak Hills High School and Their Response
With what happened last week we also went ahead and interviewed a few students that attend Oak Hills. We asked how they felt about this tragedy because it is only a few hours from home and it did happen the night before going to school.
While conversing about safety, Senior Franklin Vega was asked if he lived in fear.
“No, there’s going to be violence no matter what”
As he continued he explained that there was no reason to constantly worry when he rather enjoy his time.
Shontrell Webster said “I don’t wanna ruin my fun” when asked if he was going to let what happened in Vegas have an effect on what he does on his free time.
We even contacted Mr.Williams for advice and he stated “You can’t live your life in fear” as he continued to explain that fear could stop you from living life to its full potential.
In all, there are evil people everywhere is this world. Just because few people are like this does not mean they can control us. We need to show that we are powerful and they will not make us live in constant terror. So we will continue to grow from these horrific events and hopefully they will learn they cannot break us and they will end.