In the words of Vladimir Putin,

“Terrorism has once again shown that it is prepared deliberately to stop at nothing in creating human victims. As never before, it is vital to unite forces of the entire world community against terror."

America has once again been a victim of terrorism. Last night in Las Vegas, 50+ innocent lives were ended due to the actions and twisted thoughts of one life. How we respond in the wake of tragedy is crucial to how we will grow. In less than 12 hours, millions have shared Instagram and Facebook posts, praying for those who died. As I read the news on the bus on my way to class, I overheard a group of girls explaining that they are afraid to leave their homes, wanting to hide behind their screens as the world goes on mourning.

This is how we should not handle terrorism.

What you don’t know is that your empty prayers will not end terrorism.

It will not heal the lives of those who lived. It will not dry the tears of the people who lost mothers, fathers, children, lovers, or strangers. It will not bring those innocent lives back. Nothing will. What matters now, in these precious 24 hours, is how we respond. We cannot fuel hate with more hate, we cannot sit and ponder, we cannot kill to reprimand those who were killed. What we can do is stand our ground, in the simplest of ways. By showing fear, we are giving into what these terrorists want. They hover their thumbs over us like ants, watching us cluster around in confusion, waiting to bring terror down. Our fear will only continue to fuel their passion, their “mission”.

What we don’t know is that these “people” are weak. Just because you carry around a big gun or bomb, doesn’t make you powerful. We cannot allow ourselves, not just Americas but all people, to be intimidated by this false power. In the wake of the terrorist attack in Barcelona, the people marched through the graves of where their fellow humans were slain and said: “We will not be afraid.”

If we all want to effectively fight terrorism, ALL people, of every race, political view, sexuality, gender, age, economic status and religion, must march as brother and sister. We will not need guns or bombs or war when the strongest weapon will be our resiliency.

To every mass shooter, murderer, terrorist... all I have to say is fuck you.

I can’t even call you a human, only a demon. Demons don’t haunt graveyards and jump out of dark corners in horror movies, but walk through our grocery stores and live in our neighborhoods, raping and killing for their sick pleasure.

You will never defeat us. Even if hate runs through your veins and motivates you to rise every day from dark slumbers, hate will always lose.

I refuse to live my life in fear.

I refuse to be afraid of someone so weak.

Every day, I walk outside and accept that the fact that I might die. After encountering death, you begin to laugh at it, and I laugh at every terrorist who thinks I will let terror live inside me.

I encourage all my fellow brothers and sisters, blood or not, to get the fuck up, go the fuck out, and say fuck those terrorists. I refuse to be afraid. Not anymore.

This is the last time. We will end terrorism here.