Las Vegas shootings has close repercussions

During a Jason Aldean concert on Oct. 1, 58 people were murdered in the largest mass shooting to date in U.S. history. Along with the number of deaths, 500 other people were injured and are still recovering. The mass shooting jolted people and institutions awake and aware, including Calvin.

Student James Hurd was in Vegas for a family wedding during the time of the shooting. He and his family had gone to the music festival the night before and at the last minute decided to stay in that night. Helicopters were circling the hotel for hours following the shooting. He describes what he felt as being a very surreal feeling, in more ways than one.

“It was surreal because in the moment there was a lot of confusion and panic and adrenaline racing…” said Heard, “It was also surreal knowing and seeing bodies in the crowd of where we were standing the night before, and knowing that could have been us.”

Many celebrities and government officials have shown their support and condolences through statements as well as social media. Gary Peters, a Michigan Senator, responded to many questions regarding the ever-debated issue of gun control and the second amendment, the week of the shooting.

When asked by Grand Rapids’ new station WWZM13 if the second amendment can be revised in any way, Peters explained how changing a constitutional amendment is a difficult process, although it is possible. Peters also stressed the importance of looking into another avenues to prevent further shootings from happening.

“The option is to look at some other things that are common sense that we can do, that are fully constitutional within the second amendment,” said Peters. “We do require background checks now, but unfortunately there are big loopholes that still allow people to buy these weapons. In fact, roughly 40 percent of all sales are done without any kind of background check.”

The mass shooting in Las Vegas is a perfect example of how tragedy can strike miles and miles away but have an enormous effect on Americans nationwide. Calvin students and faculty alike have been affected by the devastating situation and have already begun work on events on campus in response to the deadly shooting. Mike Verdi, a Calvin senator, feels strongly about limiting gun accessibility. As a nation, Verdi believes we need to enforce stricter gun laws.

“No one, and I mean no one,” said Verdi, “should have easy access to semi- automatic weapons.”

Andrew Oppong, Calvin’s Student Body President, shared information on what Calvin has been doing as a community to be aware of the shooting and enhance security among students on campus.

“Just because we are Christian institution people think it can’t happen to us, but it’s happened to Christian institutions many times before,” said Oppong. “Calvin’s main priority is making sure students and faculty are safe.”

Calvin has taken many precautions both before and after the Vegas shooting, including the new card locks on all the doors around campus. At the push of a button, Calvin is now able to lock down immediately on short notice in the event of any sort of emergency. Last week on campus, Campus Safety conducted an Active Shooter Training seminar in the Chapel Undercroft, to give students the information they needed on gun safety and protocol. At the Town Hall meeting in the Fishhouse, President LeRoy reiterated how important it is to the college that Calvin’s staff all receives preliminary training on emergency procedures to deal with these kind of situations.

Oppong strongly supports the fact that Calvin’s main priority is the safety of all it’s students and staff, especially after such a tragedy like the shooting. Oppong shared that Calvin’s response following the shooting was, “an institutional response of ‘let’s make sure our protocols are good and our students are safe.’ Calvin is first and foremost dedicated to making sure our students are safe.”