A week ago, I was just getting home and catching up on sleep from a whirlwind Las Vegas weekend. I spent Thursday-Sunday night in Sin City, taking in all that the city has to offer. I spent too much money, drank too much, and spent the days wandering the streets, seeing what I could get myself into. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right?
Waking up to the news that Las Vegas was at the heart of a horrific shooting has left me feeling very heavy-hearted and screaming for change. Listen, I get it: weapons aren't always purchased legally. I get that the streets are full of weapons. I get that criminals don't abide by laws and blah blah blah. But I stand my ground: there needs to be more stringent gun laws. I respect our right to bear arms. I respect protecting yourself and carrying a weapon and using it for self-defense. What I don't understand is why anyone in the whole wide world would need enough weapons and ammo to supply a small army. The Las Vegas shooter was found with 10 guns, and in the aftermath, an additional 18 were found in his home, along with explosives and ammunition. Let's say he bought every single one of those guns legally; was his mental health observed before he purchased the first? The seventh? The fifteenth? Was anyone tracking the amount of ammunition and weapons and explosives he purchased? Hell, you can't buy more than the legal limit allotted monthly of Sudafed, but are there similar restrictions in place for ammunition and weapons? Why not?
And if he got these guns illegally? More stringent gun control laws would slow the process of street buying/selling down. Tracking gun purchases starting from the top would cause a trickle down affect: the dealers would have more limited supply to weapons, which would, in turn, slow down the purchases made on the streets. We have this huge war on drugs going on, which is great, but what about the war on guns? On senseless violence? How much longer are we going to keep using the excuse "The gun didn't kill anyone, the shooter did?" If the shooter didn't have access to that gun, how many lives would have been spared?
I hear you, people yelling "There are other weapons that can be used!" Yes. I know. But how many mass killings have revolved around knives this year? Around bows and arrows? Around machetes? Did a man aim his pocket knife at a crowd of thousands from the 32nd floor of a hotel and kill 58 and wound 500+?
I'm not saying we take everyone's guns. Keep your self-defense weapons. Keep the ammo to keep you safe. But, my God, no normal citizen needs 28 rifles and ammunition to supply all of those guns. No normal citizen needs explosives or machine guns or automatic weapons. No normal citizen needs military grade weapons. Stop pretending that that's normal. Stop pretending that going out but living in constant fear for your life is normal. Stop pretending that it's okay to be numb to violence just because we're used to it. If you're not hurting today, or tomorrow, or after any senseless act of violence, you need to reevaluate your morals. If you're still defending the lack of gun control, you are in need of a serious wake-up call (and quite frankly, I'm not sure what more you need after this attack.)
I'm hurting today because I can relate to those affected. I was in that exact spot, on that exact block, just over a week ago. I love country music. If my vacation had been a week later, I'd have been there. I saw advertisements for the Route 91 Harvest Festival and wanted to change my vacation so I could attend. I'm lucky enough that those plans fell through. I am here today because God works in mysterious ways. I am lucky to be sitting here, typing this, and I'm lucky enough to be able to be a voice for gun control when so many remain silent. Others are not so lucky. For them, I will fight.