Last night, a white man named Stephen Paddock opened fire on a concert near Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. As of 9:28 A.M. on Monday morning, over 515 people have been injured and more than 58 were killed. This is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The state of Nevada defines terrorism as “any act that involves the use or attempted use of sabotage, coercion, or violence which is intended to ... cause great bodily harm or death to the general population.” That definition clearly applies to this extreme case of terrorism. Sheriff Joe Lombardo indicated that they are not treating this crime as a terrorist attack. We are constantly seeing clear cases of terrorism be treated as a simple crime of madness. How this attack is being dealt with reflects the killing in Charlottesville, when a alleged white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters, yet was never deemed a terrorist by the government. Our own president failed to recognize the Las Vegas attack as a terrorist attack, even though it embodied the exact definition of terrorism. The hundreds of shots that had rang out were heard around the world, causing pain, grief, and, most importantly, terror.
We need to stop making a certain race or religion solely responsible for terrorism. The true definition is more important than one person's opinion about the color of skin. Modernized terrorism has stained the images of Muslims in the minds of Americans. Some people tend to label terrorism by looking at the color of skin rather than facts. As Americans, we need to fight these stereotypes and make everyone truly equal in the eyes of the government and the people around us if we are to accurately address these attacks and educate our generation.
Co-VP of Journalism and Publication