Las Vegas shooting hits Decatur


Photo credits to Christopher Davis

The Davis family reunites to celebrate Christopher Davis’ grandmother’s 80th birthday.

On Oct. 1, Stephen Paddock open fired at the Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas where he took 59 lives and injured over 500.

On the other side of the country, in Decatur, many people received the news in the safety of their own homes. It was a heartbreaking reality, but one that was far away.

For Christopher Davis, a Decatur Civics/Economics teacher, the news wasn’t just woe, it was personal. He had received a text that stated his cousin, Dylan Davis, suffered a gunshot wound in the shoulder.

Christopher felt a variety of emotions: feelings of sadness, relief that he was going to be okay, and anger. It hit Davis that if Dylan had stood just a foot to his right, he would have taken a bullet to the chest. The sudden emotions gave Davis an opportunity to relive some memories he hadn’t thought about in years. 

The Davis family reunites to celebrate Christopher Davis’ grandmother’s 80th birthday.

“I remembered his cute little smile and all the hugs he gave me that [one] weekend, “Davis said.” Then I thought about how we could have lost him last weekend, and it was a difficult thing to think about.” 

Photos courtesy of Christopher Davis
Dylan Davis with his girlfriend outside of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Dylan received medical attention to stop the bleeding at the scene of the shooting and was told to see his doctor when he went home to Fullerton. CA. The surgeon decided to leave the bullet fragments in his shoulder, a standard practice if there is no pain.

Davis was thankful that Dylan was able to make it out alive. Dylan’s brother, Brandon, has a wedding planned for late October, and Davis is glad that his cousin can be there to celebrate with the family.

The shooting in Las Vegas has caused a controversy over gun control, and if it was the biggest mass shooting in modern American history. The massacre is being compared to the Pulse nightclub shooting, among others.

“Even though [Stephen Paddock] modified the guns to turn them into automatic weapons, I can’t understand why something like the bump stock attachment is a legal thing to purchase,” Davis said. “I am fine with people owning guns, but I don’t believe the Founding Fathers intended people to own automatic weapons that can kill dozens of people in a very short amount of time”

A.P U.S History teacher, Javier Fernandez believes that calling it the worst mass shooting in history highlights the Las Vegas massacre. Yet Fernandez provides an alternative point to his perspective.

“A quick look at history suggests many other incidents that might not qualify as ‘mass shootings’ specifically but that are incidents of murder and terror that are even more atrocious than Las Vegas,” Fernandez said. 

A.P United States History teacher, Javier Fernandez.

Fernandez uses evidence of “race riots” and the Jim Crow era, and compares the Las Vegas shooting to the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 performed by the United States military.

Unfortunately these acts of violence are still occurring in the 21st century. The Las Vegas shooting has affected people nationwide like Dylan Davis, who was one of hundreds who were injured. Christopher Davis is glad that his cousin is recovering, and that he will able to make more memories with him