‘How much do we have to endure?’

Students and faculty respond to deadliest mass shooting in U.S. History

All 58 victims of the shooting in Las Vegas have been identified according to the New York Times. Hundreds took part in a candlelight vigil on Thursday, mourning the loss of Charleston Hartfield, a Las Vegas police officer killed in the massacre.

Identified as the deadliest mass shooting in United States history, the ages of the victims range from 20-67. The devastation left behind the wake of the shooting has been felt across the nation.

Students and faculty around Wilkes University expressed concern, anger, and a desire for revised legislation concerning gun control in the United States.

Dr. Marcia Balester, Coordinator of First Year Foundations and adviser of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society voiced her opinion, affirming that she doesn’t sense any concern in students or faculty of incoming students, regarding their safety on campus or at campus related events.

To quell incoming student and parent concern about safety on campus, Balester said:

“The only way to combat something like this is if you see something, say something. If everyone is vigilant, especially taking note of possible signs, I think we can make some endroads.”

However, the events in Las Vegas evoked memories of Sandy Hook within Balester, who hopes to see events like these minimalized in the future.

“It’s really a shame, it reminds me of Sandy Hook, but if nothing passed even after Sandy Hook, I don’t know what can be done. The shooter bought over 33 guns in the past year… He should have been on a federal watch. You can’t control someone with an agenda, but I believe something needs to be done to make these types of situations less frequent in the future,” said Balester.

Gun control wasn’t the only pressing issue bothering those around Wilkes, students also voiced their frustration with media and political agendas following the tragedy.

“Right now, I don’t think it’s the time to capitalize and focus on gun control… Let’s allow the victims to rest and allow the time to mourn first. Right now, I don’t think it’s appropriate to capitalize on someone’s grief with political agenda,” said junior pharmacy major Lily Nguyen.

Fellow junior pharmacy student Neha Kunche, expressed her disdain for increasing gun violence and felt the need for action was first priority.

“Generally, I don’t like talking about issues like this, but I’m sick and tired of seeing these types of headlines. I think most people are tired of seeing ‘the highest mass shooting in U.S. history.’ We just saw that same headline a year ago… How much do we have to endure? There’s a time for grief, but we need to do something. We’ve had so many incidents, I find it ridiculous. Let’s not drag it out, let’s take action,” said Kunche.

According to data gathered by the Gun Violence Archive, there is a mass shooting – defined as four or more people shot in one incident, not including the shooter – every nine out of 10 days on average.