British Columbia

Parents of Victoria man shot in Las Vegas 'sickened' by recent U.S. mass shootings

“We don’t really want to set foot in America right now," said Sheldon Mack's dad, whose son was injured during the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas two years ago.

'We don’t really want to set foot in America right now,' said Sheldon Mack's dad

Sheldon Mack was celebrating his 21st birthday when he was was shot twice. He has since made a full recovery but his parents say the ongoing gun violence in the U.S. still affects the whole family. (Chris Corday/CBC)

The parents of 23-year-old Sheldon Mack — who was shot at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas nearly two years ago — say they were "sickened" to hear the news of two mass shootings taking place in the U.S. within 24 hours of each other. 

Both El Paso, Tex., and Dayton, Ohio, saw deadly mass shootings this weekend where 29 people were killed and dozens injured. 

"Yesterday we were out running errands in the car and we heard the first news from El Paso and then we were watching that and just seething with outrage that nothing seems to change," said Hudson Mack, Sheldon's dad. 

Although he says his son has finally made a full recovery, his family continues to be touched by violence in the U.S.

He says his family could have lost another loved one recently, when a gunman opened fire at a garlic festival in California.  

Sheldon's older brother has a girlfriend who was working in San Francisco for a month, Mack explained, noting the only reason she went to the festival on Saturday instead of the day of the shooting was because of a conflict in her schedule. 

"We were one day away from having another loved one in harm's way," he added. "I'm just sickened by the inability of right-thinking people to stop this."

It's not safe

Sheldon's mom, Patty Mack, says she doesn't feel comfortable going to the U.S. anymore. 

"It's not safe there anymore and we are not safe as Canadians going there," she added.

The couple have tickets for a concert in Seattle next week, which they no longer want to attend.

"Every day is war, where you can't go school shopping, or go to Vegas, or go to a garlic festival. I mean, we shouldn't be afraid of losing our family," Patty added.

Hudson says it seems Americans have allowed shootings to be normalized, adding the issue is a gun issue rather than a mental illness problem.

'We are members of a club that nobody wants to be part of, and it certainly isn't a very exclusive club: people who have been affected by American gun violence," he added.