A few weeks ago, I noticed a disturbing trend on my Facebook profile. I felt it becoming filled with a lot of negativity, so I decided to only use my Facebook posts for things that made me happy.
But when I woke up to the news of Las Vegas this morning, I didn’t really know what to say.
You see, the majority of the posts I’ve had in the past year have been “Pray for ____” or “Friends, stay safe”. Posts begging for updates from friends in the cities where mass shootings occurred. Posts condemning the inadequate regulation of firearms. Posts trying to process the various horrors our world has seen lately. Posts empathizing with the families of the dead.
So today, when I saw that another shooting had taken the lives of too many innocent people and injured countless more, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t figure out what to feel or how to express it. Smiling through my teeth hasn’t been cutting it, and I don’t feel like I can ignore the barbarity our world has sunk to and say nothing. So while I’m writing this, I’m attempting to process the many emotions that have built up to this point.
The truth is, I’m angry that this keeps happening. Pulse Nightclub, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Aurora… these are only a fraction of the shootings that have occurred in the past decade. Dozens of lives have been lost, and hundreds of people have been impacted by terror that regularly occurs within our own country. Are we masochists? Why do we tolerate this behavior?
Even today, politicians are trying to pass legislation that would ease gun laws even more.
Over and over again, I hear politicians asking for prayers, condemning the acts of violence, but very little else. If anything, they’re pushing for less laws and more guns. At what point do we as a society say that this is enough?
I’m not even that politically liberal when it comes to gun rights. My dad hunts, and I believe that when you are brought up with a respect for the purpose of a gun (to take a life), you are far less carefree and casual around them. You understand the power behind the bullets, the danger behind the trigger. Much like a sailor respects the sea, a hunter respects the firearm, and I feel that under this circumstance, guns can be used as a tool.
But semi-automatic weapons? Automatic weapons? There is no purpose except to perpetuate mass death. And by the way, that’s precisely what they were created for – war.
In this day and age, there is no use for them except for intimidation and, obviously, killing. They make it easy to take more lives. They make it impersonal when it comes to murder. They make taking away a person’s livelihood as simple as pressing a button.
So why has this become such a politicized issue? Why is it that we can’t agree that hey, background checks for firearms are probably a good idea? Or that maybe we should limit the amount of ammunition someone can have? Why is it easier for a teenager to get a gun than it is to get a drink?
That, to me, is dangerous. To me, the sheer magnitude of damage these weapons can cause is reason enough to exert caution, just as we do when we allow people to drive cars or take medication. It serves a purpose for the betterment of society.
This can’t be what our forefathers meant when they said the “right to bear arms”. Surely, they didn’t want the blood of shooting victims on their hands.
How to Help:
- This organization provides healthcare to those without in the area.
- This is a great article on how to contact your representatives about gun control.
- Find where to donate blood here.
- If you’re a certified trauma counselor in the area, you can help here.
- The Clark County Commission Chair has a GoFundMe for the victims here.