Last night, one of our greatest fears in America was realized– that someone who COULD shoot WOULD shoot.
We do not yet know why (other than the straw that broke the camel’s back) 64 year old Stephen Paddock decided to rain down terror and murder upon the more than 500 people who were injured and the now more than 50 people who were killed, but I have long said that at the root of these sorts of terrible events lies an unmistakable truth of a free and armed society:
Mentally troubled people have always and will always do terrible things for terrible reasons. In the coming hours and days we will begin to discuss (and then to argue) anew, the tired but goto arguments regarding gun control, safety and public protection.
Rather than lining up to defend your side or viewpoint, I urge you instead to seek unity. Act as though your children are watching and looking to you for guidance on how to process such a terrible event. Because they are. Even if you have no children, America’s children are looking to each of us to learn what sort of adults they are going to become.
Whether they learn things like grace and dedication to unity and mutual understanding, community, and brotherhood or whether they learn to fire off word bullets, assassinating the character, intelligence, knowledge base or educational level or lineage of those with whom they disagree is entirely up to us.
So often in these sorts of tragedies, in this age of social media and instant opinion-fire, we jump from shocked to angry to self righteous without ever taking a moment to grieve.
The right response to what happened in Las Vegas is grief. It’s a dedication to better unity. It’s a choice to look to people on the other side of complex issues and to regard them with compassion, understanding, and care rather than as enemies.
My heart breaks for those who have been personally touched or ended by this terrible tragedy and it breaks for our nation that must now heal anew from a wound left by a single person who fell through the cracks in our society and ended up a killer. Take care of yourself–and your fellow man!