I’ve just woken up to the nightmare in Las Vegas. At this point, over 50 people are definitely dead, making this the worst mass shooting in American history. The count of wounded has doubled in the past hour, from 100+ to 200+ and likely to grow.
[UPDATE, 9 AM: 400+]
[UPDATE, 7 PM: 527/59]
The shooter, now dead, was a baby boomer from Nevada. He fired a machine gun from a thirty-second story window of a hotel adjacent to a country-music concert. The majority of the victims were quite a bit younger than himself. The confined concert space has been described on TV as a “killbox.”
The first thing is to stop and reflect, to will empathy for the victims and their loved ones, to mourn the lives cut so short, and yes–if you are so inclined–to speak to the Deity on their behalf, demonstrating your sense of human kinship to its maker (if you believe there is one). If you don’t believe in a supreme being, it’s still essential to turn aside from the hate reflex, which does no good at all.
What is making me feel physically ill and tempting me to anger this morning is the online responses to this horror. Voices from the cesspool are chiming in expressing glee. “Pray only trumptards died!” “The rest of the world is laughing at Las Vegas.” “Karma.” “Trump is responsible.”
But there were also the kind responses: “I’m not a Trump supporter, but that is a terrible, hateful thing to say.” “Never wish evil on others.” “Don’t incite violence.” “People are dead! Show compassion.”
If you’re passionate about politics or anything else, by all means be passionate. Study, learn, talk, debate, participate. But also, be a good civil citizen. Not everything has to reference your belief system. Also, your belief system needs to include that great virtue of “getalongability” or it needs fixing.