Dear Las Vegas,
I can’t tell you how deeply sorry I am, how much my heart hurts, how horrified I am, at what happened Sunday night at a country music festival on the Strip.
At how some nitwit 32 floors up in a hotel room opened fire on the crowd, killing, at last count, 50 people and wounding over 400 others, making this the largest mass murder in recent American history.
At how what should have been a night of fun, music and camaraderie turned, just like that, into a real live, real-time nightmare.
I can’t begin to imagine how chaotic, unnerving, terrifying and ultimately senseless the whole scene was as it unfolded. People knew they were in danger, but had no idea where to run, as this monster continued his all-out assault, motivated by who knows what.
It’s heartbreaking. It’s sickening. Unfortunately, though, it’s not especially shocking.
It’s simply our modern-day culture. Somebody kills a bunch of innocent people. Again.
We all know what happens now.
“Thoughts and prayers” come in from well-meaning people around the world. Which is entirely appropriate. After a tragedy such as this, many of us feel too helpless to do anything other than let the victims know we care, but that’s important for them to know.
Then, the gun control advocates and the National Rifle Association and its acolytes have a shouting match over what the proper response should be. About all I’m saying about that is, “Guns don’t kill people; people do.”, definitely ranks in my Top Three for single most asinine statement I’ve ever heard in my life.
Then, ultimately, nothing changes, the story becomes old news in our 24/7 news culture, and things go on as before, until the next mass shooting.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Somebody, please, prove me wrong. I would love for someone to break this cycle, and soon.
I know you’re hurting really bad, Las Vegas. I wish you comfort, healing and strength.
And one other thing. To those of you whose compassion and courage moved you to rush to the aid of victims before the first responders could reach them: you were, by far, the brightest lights on the Strip last night.