We've Already Forgotten The Vegas Tragedy

We've Already Forgotten The Vegas Tragedy

If we took one day per fatal victim, we'd still be less than halfway done
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One month ago, Steven Paddock savagely ended the lives of 58 innocent human beings before turning the gun on himself, bringing the death total to 59. In total, he shot more than 600 people within 10 minutes.

One might be tempted to think that an event as brutal and as heart-wrenching as this would be difficult to forget. That it would be ingrained in our nation's collective memory for several months, if not years or longer as a marker of our country's pain, a reminder of how harsh the world can be.

Instead, it has already been largely forgotten. Instead, we moved on in less time than it would have taken to remember even half of the fatal victims each for one day.

This reflects a lot of things in our society--a lack of empathy for those not in our immediate surroundings, a sense of isolation and distance from one another, and a hyper-individualistic mindset forged long ago as the predominant American ideology--but mostly it reflects the sheer normalcy of such tragedies.

As I wrote just after the shooting, what happened in Las Vegas was a lot of things but surprising wasn't one of them. That, above all else, is what allowed us to so easily move on and forget.

It's what allowed us to read the victims' names and brief backstories once over, maybe offer up some "thoughts and prayers" on social media, and then callously forget, rendering the victims as nameless and irrelevant to our lives as they would have forever been had they never fallen victim to a deranged man's storm of rapid-fire bullets.

But the victims' families can't forget. Nor can their friends, coworkers, neighbors, or acquaintances. Nor can those injured or even those spared from a bullet tearing through their skin but who, nevertheless, may remain scarred by their experience that night just the same. They, unlike us, have to remember.

They have to carry the burden of remembrance much like those whose lives were intimately touched by tragedies in Newtown, Aurora, San Bernadino, Orlando, Charleston, and so many other towns and cities whose names are now synonymous with the horrors a gun can inflict.

They have to carry this burden, all the while knowing and seeing the rest of us have moved on and forgotten without so much as a discussion of what could have prevented the tragedy from happening in the first place. So many were quick to offer up that we must wait to have such discussions and take time to mourn, but now that we've forgotten the victims and moved on from the tragedy, we still aren't having those discussions.

What hurts most of all about our nation so quickly forgetting and moving on is that it paves the way for future forgettings and instances of moving on. How are we ever to arrive at some sort of solution if we can't even collectively acknowledge a tragedy long enough to get there?

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Supporting Late-Term Abortion Is Actually The Opposite Of Feminism

Feminism is about gender equality and women supporting women- so shouldn't we support the unborn women of tomorrow?

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Before you read this, if you are someone who feels strongly that abortions are the "right" choice and that supporting late-term abortions is a step for woman anywhere, I do not suggest you read this article. However, I do want to write that I support conditional abortions- situations where the birth can kill the mother or where conception occurred because of rape. If someone rapes you, that is not okay by any means, and a baby conceived of rape can be terminated by the mother to avoid PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and any other mental health diagnoses. Of course, if a woman can bring a baby into the world to keep or give up for adoption, even if it was the product of rape, she should seek life for the innocent child rather than death. And what a rape victim chooses to do is neither here nor there- and it damn well is not anyone else's business.

So why should it be my business (or anyone's) if women have late-term abortions? Agreeing to murder out of convenience should not be societally accepted as okay. When the law passed in New York for late-term abortions, I did not picture 39-week pregnant women rushing to Planned Parenthood to abort their child because they got cold feet. I highly doubt that is the exact scenario for which the law went into effect for, and that was more so intended for women who did not realize they were pregnant and missed the time period to get a legal abortion.

Not that I support early-term abortion, because all abortion is the same regardless of when it happens during the pregnancy. Killing someone sooner rather than later does not make it less worse.

Excuses about how women are not ready to be mothers, do not have the financial means, would ruin their futures, they would get kicked out, lose their bodies, etc. are just that- excuses. Carrying a child for nine months might be an inconvenience, but killing someone will be on your conscience forever. If murders pleaded their motives to police as a way to justify what they did (excluding self-defense), what difference is it if a woman kills her unborn child?

Planned Parenthood might be taboo and have a stigma attached to it, but it does so much more than kill babies. Planned Parenthood is a place where girls can go to see OB/GYNO, get birth control, and learn about safe sex, protection, STDs, etc. Instead of stigmatizing it, young women should be encouraged to go to this institution for woman and feminism. Let high school health classes plan field trips there so that everyone becomes more educated on female health (boys included!). Female health education is very limited, especially in school, and many women feel that an abortion is their only way out, however, it's not. By becoming more educated, the rate of teen pregnancies can go down, as well as the need for abortions. Women educating other women should be the goal of Planned Parenthood, and abortions should be reserved for those who got raped or whose pregnancy cause death, health complications, etc.

Abortion might be giving women a choice- but who is giving the unborn babies a choice?

And of course the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is abstinence, and if that is your choice then good for you, and if you choose to have sexual intercourse, good for you too. Be safe. No slut shaming here. Women need to continue supporting other women, regardless of their sex life. Women who have abortions are not "whores" and should not be labeled as such- they are just people whose biology reacted to another person's biology.

If you truly do not want to have a baby, please please please give it up for adoption and do not kill it. It did nothing wrong, and yeah, it might be a little inconvenient to be pregnant, especially if you are in school, but there are hundreds of thousands of people that would love nothing more than to raise your baby. Be a woman supporting other woman and give the gift of motherhood.

If you take away anything from this article it's this:



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