Roberts: After Las Vegas shooting, are you angry yet?

America woke up this morning to a nightmare. Again, that is.A 64-year-old seemingly upstanding citizen stockpiles an arsenal on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and rains down fire on a crowd of 22,000 innocents. Or as he saw them, prey.The numbers are incredible.At least 17 firearms, most of them AR-15 rifles, fired from two shooting platforms.At least 59 dead.At least 527 injured.A nation stunned, but not surprised. Though what has happened in Las Vegas is unspeakable, it is tragically, not unimaginable.We have lived this particular nightmare so many times before. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Tucson, San Bernardino, Orlando.In the coming days and weeks and months, we will struggle to understand what happened here, to search for red flags waving wildly but not seen in time to prevent tragedy. Honestly, I don't know why we bother. Only two things are certain. MONTINI: Shooting is shocking but not surprising DIAZ: Praying after a shooting like this doesn't cut it No. 1. Nothing will change.We didn’t change anything after a classroom full of dead first graders. Or a theater full of dead movie goers. Or a nightclub filled with dead party goers. And we won’t change anything after a killing field full of dead country music fans.The NRA will wrap itself in the Second Amendment and assure us that guns aren’t the problem. This, even as the sound of machine gun fire echos in our ears. It is, apparently, our God-given right to own an arsenal capable of capable of turning a concert field into a killing field.Which brings me to the second certainty.This will happen again. And again. And again as America's anger once again fizzles into impotence in the wake of an organized gun lobby that will mow down any suggestion that we limit who can buy these weapons of war.We'll be told that it's a mental health issue as it certainly must be -- never Continue Reading

New Mexico grandmother among Las Vegas shooting victims

Lisa Romero-Muniz, a 48-year-old grandmother and Gallup, New Mexico, high school counselor, was among those killed in a mass shooting Sunday in Las Vegas, officials confirmed Monday.Romero-Muniz worked at the Hiroshi Miyamura High School. Her Facebook page shows several pictures of her with her children and four young grandchildren."She was not only an employee of our school district, but was an incredible loving and sincere friend, mentor and advocate for students in many of our schools," district Superintendent Mike Hyatt said in a news release Monday."As a colleague, she was outgoing, kind and considerate of all those she worked with and we will miss all of these great attributes she shared with students, staff and parents in our community," Hyatt wrote. MORE:  Arizona eyewitness to shooting: 'The man right next to my dad was killed'At a televised news conference, Hyatt noted that Romero-Muniz had worked for the district since 2003 at the elementary, middle-school and high-school levels.Most recently, she had been a "discipline secretary" who "had a lot of interaction with students." Many students posted on social media that "she was there for them," he said.Hyatt said the school district had sent a crisis response team into the schools to help faculty and students deal with the loss.A memorial was being planned at the high school Monday night. READ MORE: Las Vegas shooting: Stephen Paddock spent part of childhood in Arizona Las Vegas shooting: Family, friends search for missing UA alum Continue Reading

UA saddened by loss of alum Christiana Duarte in Las Vegas shooting

Family and friends of Christiana Duarte, a University of Arizona alum who had been missing since the Sunday shootings at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas,  learned Tuesday that she has died. UA President Robert C. Robbins, in a statement released Tuesday afternoon, called Duarte's death a tragedy. "It is a shocking and horrific event for all of us," Robbins said. "I know I speak for the UA community in expressing our deepest condolences to Christiana's family and in asking for their privacy to be respected."Duarte, a recent UA graduate, was attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival with her brother's girlfriend Sunday when the gunman opened fire on concertgoers. The 22-year-old's cellphone was found with her ID in it, but her family could not immediately locate her. Maddie Noble, a close friend, was one of several people who posted information about their missing friend on Facebook Monday. Photos they shared on social media show a smiling brunette in her early 20s with two prominent freckles on her cheek. She goes by "Chrissy" for short. RELATED:  Arizona eyewitness to shooting: 'The man right next to my dad was killed' Duarte's parents and brother were in Las Vegas with her over the weekend, but didn't attend the concert Sunday night, Noble said.Noble said she texted her friend after she heard about the shooting around 10:30 p.m. to see if she was OK. She didn't respond. By 11 p.m., word began circulating that no one had heard from her. Late Monday afternoon, there were conflicting reports among her friends about whether Duarte had been found in an area hospital. Her brother, Michael, declined comment on her whereabouts or condition. Earlier Monday, he confirmed through a Facebook message that his sister was missing, adding in a message, "My baby sister will come home!!! She's my life. My best friend!"At the Continue Reading

Online fundraisers set up to support children of Las Vegas shooting victim Steve Berger

Richard Berger remembered how his 6-foot-6 son Steve used to go behind him and rest his chin on Richard's head. Steve would tell his father he was getting shorter. "You knew when Steve would walk into a room," Richard said. The 1991 Wauwatosa West graduate's life was tragically cut short on Sunday, Oct. 1, after being shot at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas. Steve was at the festival celebrating his 44th birthday with friends.  Fifty-eight people were killed and nearly 500 injured when Stephen Paddock opened fire from a 32nd-floor room inside Mandalay Bay on a crowd of 22,000 during the final night of the country music festival. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Richard, who lives with his wife, Mary, in Brookfield, said while he grieves for his son, he also grieves for the other lives lost during the shooting. He has read all the summaries about each person and commented how they were all super people. Steve was fun-loving, hard-working and a good father to Hannah, 15, Harrison, 12, and Harlow, 9, his father said.  RELATED: Whitefish Bay man recounts horrific Vegas concert shooting RELATED: After the Las Vegas massacre, Wisconsin music festivals are adjusting their security plans RELATED: Hockey team holds moving ceremony to honor Las Vegas shooting victims, first responders Steve Berger worked at EFS Advisors in Minnesota for nine years as a financial adviser. A YouCaring page has been set up by EFS Advisors to help Steve's children. The money raised will go to help with the children's college expenses. The page says Steve was passionate about this work and beloved by his clients. "He cared so much for others and was always willing to take time to listen to clients, friends and co-workers to offer a helping hand," the page reads.As of Thursday, Oct. 12, $20,480 has been raised through this fundraiser. A friend and colleague of Steve's, Chad Continue Reading

Will Las Vegas shootings stir us to act, or will we shrug again?

Once again, someone with a gun turns an American playground into a killing field.A country music concert in America’s capital of fun — Las Vegas — is the latest and most deadly example. We’ve seen this happen on a baseball field, a nightclub in Orlando, a holiday party, malls and even actual school playgrounds — in Townville, S.C., Chicago and Kansas City in the last year alone.You may not have heard about the playground shootings, because only a few children were killed or injured. Shootings have become so commonplace in the United States that most rarely make the national news.Since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, there have been at least 1,518 mass shootings, with at least 1,715 people killed and 6,089 wounded, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The database defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are killed or injured. In the developed world, America is alone in this level of carnage. It’s not just mass shootings; greater access to guns has led to increased suicides.America’s unique relationship with guns also falls into a familiar pattern when it comes to mass shootings:We vow to never again let this happen.We urge our politicians to act.We buy more guns — and we send share prices of gunmakers higher.We convince ourselves that no laws can prevent all shootings.And that’s true. But evidence shows that smart policies can make a difference. Australia passed strict gun laws after a shooting that killed 35 people in Tasmania in 1996. Multiple studies have shown that the country saw a steep drop in homicides and suicides by guns as a result.America, of course, is a different place with far, far more guns in circulation. But does that mean we can do nothing?Polls indicate that large majorities of Americans from both parties favor many policies to control guns. These include Continue Reading

‘I thought I was going to die’: Former Louisville athlete recounts horror of Las Vegas shooting

Chrisanna Roberts loves country music. On Sunday night, the 26-year-old Louisville native shared a video of Jason Aldean singing the hit song "Any Ol' Barstool" on her Instagram, the final performer of the Route 91 Harvest Festival: a three-day country concert series in Las Vegas.But just 45 seconds after her post, she would be caught in the middle of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. A "lone wolf gunman" took aim at the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino around 10 p.m. local time, Las Vegas Metro Police said Monday, killing 58 people and injuring upwards of 500.Roberts said she and her four friends dove into a merchandise booth selling concert apparel to take cover. With a barrage of bullets flying from what seemed like every direction, she faced a tough choice. “Are we going to sit here and hide and hope that this shooter doesn’t walk around the corner? Or should we risk it and run to try and get out of here?" Roberts told the Courier-Journal. With shots and screams echoing around them, they decided to run.  Help Las Vegas shooting victims: Here's how to donate to legitimate fundraisers Read this: How to find out if family or friends are OK after Las Vegas shooting Roberts, a former softball player at the University of Louisville who is now a nurse in Arizona, started sprinting toward the narrow exit of the festival. She said she immediately lost track of her friends among the thousands of fleeing festival-goers. “You had no idea where the shots were coming from or how many shooters there were," Roberts said. "But you just saw people start, like, dropping. You’d be running next to somebody and then they’d just fall. Dead."With bodies and wounded people around her, and no friends in sight, Roberts followed the crowd and ran roughly a third of a mile from the concert venue into the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. "I Continue Reading

Charley Hoffman explains his decision to donate check to Las Vegas shooting victims

Charley Hoffman was celebrating the USA’s victory in the Presidents Cup well into the wee hours of the first night of October when he began receiving text messages and emails.His mood quickly started to change. A few hours later Hoffman was en route to a New Jersey airport when he learned of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, where a lone gunman killed 58 people and wounded nearly 550 more who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Strip.“How could this happen?” Hoffman remembered thinking.The news hit hard for Hoffman, a San Diego native who spent 20 years calling Las Vegas home. He graduated from UNLV in 1999, was a standout for the golf team that won the 1998 NCAA Championship, and still owns a home in the area. And a few of his friends were at the concert but were not injured.“Las Vegas is a town that virtually everyone has been to and they love to come to the city. And the local people are very proud of their city, very proud of the local tourism,” said Hoffman, 40, a winner of four PGA Tour titles. “There is a lot of pride in this town … what we give to the rest of the world. People visit us every day and we want to portray ourselves the best we can. That night was not Las Vegas.” More: Tiger Woods announces his return to competitive golf More: Justin Rose wins HSBC Champions in stunning comeback Instead of standing pat, Hoffman drew on his good nature and charitable spirit and decided to do what he could to aid the ongoing recovery effort in Las Vegas. Hoffman will donate his entire check from this week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to organizations that support victims of the shooting. He’s pledged at least $20,000 from this week’s efforts at TPC Summerlin just outside of Las Vegas.A fundraiser he held at TopGolf Las Vegas on Sunday and his pro-am at TPC Summerlin on Monday, events where he was joined by colleagues including Presidents Cup partner Continue Reading

Las Vegas shooting: Don’t attack politicians or me for offering prayers

Sen. Chuck Grassley sent out a standard “prayers for victims” tweet after the Las Vegas shooting.The response was swift — and brutal.NYCNewbies tweeted: What is your prayer? "I pray the families of those killed don't realize just how complicit I am in the proliferation of mass shootings"? More: Las Vegas shooting: The gun fight is over and the gun-rights crowd won More: Navy vet on Vegas shooting: We need gun laws that make us as safe as our military Peter Jacobson added: Your prayers are not enough! There's no reason for US citizens to own weapons that can cause mass murder. It is insane to think otherwise.Christie Rosalie: [email protected] instead of praying, stop accepting NRA $ and start changing gun laws.Joseph Papryzcki:  Laws stop this, not prayers.  Do your job.You get the idea. Grassley said Wednesday he hadn't seen the Twitter response but cited a Bible verse calling on prayers for all leaders: "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." — 1 Timothy 2, 1-2."So you can't denounce anything that involves prayer with government or for people because that's our responsibility to do," Grassley said during his weekly conference call with Iowa reporters.He also said this: "I take an oath to uphold the Constitution, not an oath to uphold the Bible. So I have to do what the Constitution says. And the Supreme Court's very clear about the right of individuals to have firearms."I’ve been watching the backlash rise against the expression of thoughts and prayers for a while now, with more than a little unease. We’ve seen snarling responses to prayers offered for victims of hurricanes, floods and wildfires along the lines of “get off your knees and Continue Reading

After Las Vegas shooting, we should all agree to ban ‘bump stocks’

When you watch shaky videos of Sunday night's mass shooting in Las Vegas, one thing stands out: the sound. The shots come in quick succession, like a jackhammer, followed by a few seconds when the gunman presumably was reloading. The crowd is sprayed with unceasing pulses, hundreds of rounds translating into lost and maimed lives.As you watch, helplessly, all you can think is, "When is this sound going to stop? Please, for the love of God, someone make it stop!"The gunman, 64-year old Stephen Paddock, was able to fire off so many shots in succession because he had altered his legal semiautomatic rifles with what could have been two "bump stocks," which can be purchased legally that enables a rifle to shoot up to 700 rounds per minute. More: Navy vet on Vegas shooting: We need gun laws that make us as safe as our military More: Jimmy Kimmel's tears aren't helping Las Vegas victims or decreasing gun violence That is why Paddock's gun had the sound of a fully automatic machine gun, a type of weapon heavily regulated since the 1930s. The 1986 National Firearms Act made manufacturing, owning, or transferring automatic weapons all but illegal, requiring those who own automatic weapons manufactured before the act to pay exorbitant fees and pass extensive FBI background checks. As a result, since the gangster era of the 1930s, automatic weapons have rarely been used in the commission of crime in America.Yet if society has agreed that automatic weapons should be banned — as even many pro-Second Amendment groups do — it makes no sense to allow the sale of a part that circumvents this long-standing prohibition. With a quick Internet search, anyone can find either a "bump stock" or a "trigger crank" to add to a semiautomatic rifle such as an AR-15, allowing it to mimic a machine gun. YouTube is rife with videos explaining how to install and operate these add-ons; one retroactively macabre video instructs Continue Reading

Here are all the victims of the Las Vegas shooting

The massacre in Las Vegas killed 58 people and wounded 489 who were crowded together into one field, but those deaths have been felt across the entire continent.The Clark County Coroner released the names of all 58 victims on Thursday. The list includes people from California to Massachusetts to the provinces of Canada.They range in age from 20 to 67. They were mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, grandparents and grandchildren.They worked in hospitals, police stations, schools, day cares, restaurants and fishing boats. They were at the Route 91 Harvest festival to celebrate birthdays, wedding anniversaries and a shared love of music.Here are all the victims of Sunday's shooting:Age: 34City: Beaumont, Calif.The mother of three young children was with her husband of 17 years when she was killed during the shootout.Her father-in-law, Dave Ahlers, said she was a stay-at-home mom who dedicated herself to her children and her family.“She was beautiful inside and out, and loved life and people,” her brother, Lance Miller, told the Redlands Daily Facts. “She was our sunshine.”People in her community were organizing a car wash to raise money for her family, and others started an online fundraiser to help.Read more about Hannah Ahlers.Age: 35City: Cedar City, UtahWhen news spread that a shooting was underway at the music festival, the Cedar City (Utah) Fire Department immediately sent crews to the home of Albert Alvarado, a seven-year member of the department. They knew his wife was at the show. Soon, news came that she was dead.Heather Alvarado ran an in-home day care center and worked with the department's Ladies Auxiliary. The couple had three children who would come along when they went on cruises together."This is part of our family," Fire Chief Mike Phillips said. "There's no question that we are going to feel the soreness and loss from this senseless act of violence from this coward for years to Continue Reading