The Reality Of The Las Vegas Aftermath

The Reality Of The Las Vegas Aftermath

Let’s work together to figure out how to stop it. We already know how cruel the world can be.

Many of us woke up this morning alive and well in the world. Our loved ones are safe—we are grateful to be alive another day.

But that’s not the case for victims of the recent Las Vegas shooting whose families will suffer for a lifetime to come.

Disgustingly enough, this is not new to us. We’re already past the point of asking for reasoning. Why does this continue to happen? How could someone be so evil? Why is the world so cruel? What is truly the purpose?

And most importantly, how is this even possible?

We’ve already determined the cause and effect of mental illness and gun violence.

We can’t change the epidemic of mental health or the access to illegal weapons.

We can’t take away the Second Amendment or monitor gun supply to the average person.

What we can do is stop saying there’s nothing we can do.

What we can do is stop influencing society to be evil. Stop humanizing inhumane beings. Stop reporting on the background of the killer and start focusing on the victims and heroes.

Why do all the major news headlines state how the massacre is some kind of historical event? Why are there long-form, in-depth stories about this sorry excuse for a human and his personal life? Who gives a sh*t about why the shooter was mentally ill and decided to end innocent lives before taking his own worthless one?

The first articles to hit the internet were about the gunman’s life story and background. I knew more about him before I knew how many people were even murdered. Major news outlets like The New York Times, People Magazine and The New York Post all immediately published articles about the gunman’s criminal father and personal life.

The day after it happened, The Chicago Tribune published an article that discussed his love for gambling and country music, which was shared and circulated through multiple news sites. The New York Times published an article that gave a full-blown history of the bank-robbing father’s past. Why is this important? Yes, some elements of the story are important to know, but our prioritization of informative facts seems to be off. Why are these types of stories the first to circulate? Why do we glorify heinous crimes?

We don’t know how a crime of this capability was even possible for one sole person. We don’t know if the FBI is even telling us the complete truth—or if they even have it all figured out. And that’s what we should want to know. Not the reason that evil people suck. We are searching for all the wrong answers.

What we do know is, if a mentally ill person feels as though they have nothing to live for—they will do whatever they can to take out a mass of innocent people before taking their own life. We must stop and think about why that may be.

If you have nothing to live for—you would rather die a villain than to die as nothing at all.

Public figures like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel all spoke out with the same ideas: as a nation, we must stop saying there’s nothing we can do and start doing something. This should be at the top of the priority list.

“The bar is so low right now that congress can be heroes by literally doing anything,” Stephen Colbert said in his segment on The Late Show that aired the day after the tragedy.

“Universal background checks—or come up with a better answer. Enforce Obama’s executive order that denied mentally ill gun purchases—or—a better answer. Reinstate the assault weapons ban—or come up with a better answer. Anything but nothing,” he said.

“Doing nothing is cowardice, doing something will take courage. But you know what… it took courage for the people at that concert last night to help each other as bullets flew.”

Realistic or not—his words speak volume. It was a nationwide cry for help and desperate need for unity.

Let’s work together to figure out how to stop it. We already know how cruel the world can be.

*A few ways you can help:

-Donate water, canned goods, or non-perishable items to organizations like Three Square and Catholic Charities

-Donate blood to centers throughout the U.S like America's Blood Center and The American Red Cross

-Donate to the GoFundMe page

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Will Enough Ever Be Enough?

Yet another school shooting in America, still nothing done. We are dying.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018: We are all heartbroken to hear about another school shooting.

At Great Mills High School in Maryland, a 17-year-old male is pronounced dead at the scene after shooting two other students and a school resource officer. Just before their first period started, at 7:55 am, Austin Rollins shot one male and one female student with a handgun before being shot by the school's resource officer. While the 16-year-old female is in critical condition, the 14-year-old male is currently stable. This is the 17th school shooting in 2018. That's 17 days out of the past 80 that parents have gone to bed with their children in body bags as a result of gun violence.

I don't care what political party you associate with, gun violence is completely out of control. I am a registered Republican and completely agree with stricter gun laws. Learn the difference between a gun ban and sales control. Concerned citizens are not trying to take away your guns, but are trying to take away the rights from those that are risks.

Could you imagine legally having to send your child to school but never coming back? You've packed their lunch, maybe with a special note, and gave them a kiss before they left for school, not knowing that it was their last. No matter where we go, we are not safe. We can't go to malls, movie theaters, schools, or even churches without having to worry if it will be our last trip. Our homes, our places of worship, and our schools are supposed to be the places where we feel safest and, instead, our children are filled with fear. Instead of focusing on the political views that divide these groups, why don't we focus on what unites us? Why don't we focus on protecting our kin?

Everyone has had an opinion on the walkouts that have been happening around the country. Everyone has had an opinion on the 17 minutes of silence for the 17 children lost in the Florida shooting. I've seen people disgusted that Nickelodeon had 17 minutes of broadcast cut because it "interrupted the only program [I] let [my] children watch".

If your child was shot at school, you wouldn't have to worry about what programs they watch, but rather where to bury them and how to afford their memorial.

I've seen people saying that it's no wonder that Millenials are dumb. They "find any excuse to cut class". Have you thought about the fact that they are genuinely worried about going to school?

Personally, I've experienced both a shooting scare at my high school and a bomb threat at my college. I shouldn't have to worry about my life ending. I'm legally forced to go to high school and get an education or I'm putting myself into a lifetime of debt to get a degree.

We are all too young to stress about gun violence. Our school years are supposed to be the times our of lives, but they're being wasted on worrying about dying every day.

Rest in peace to all of those who have lost their lives in shootings, not only this year, but always. Hopes, thoughts, and prayers go out to their loved ones. One day, we will unite and find a solution.

We need to work together and forget the labels of parties and cliques in school and look out for one another instead. There is no kind but mankind.

Cover Image Credit: Boston Herald

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The Republican Versus Democrat Stigma Needs To Slow Down

We Need To Be Individual Again

We as a society have developed an unnecessary need to place people in a specific party based on what could be a single value out of many. This is a letter for those who do not define themselves as one or the other; for those whose values range between conservative and liberal, for those who feel the unfortunate pressure of society to choose one even though your values do not fit just one.

The political parties at one point generally just meant “these are my basic beliefs, so this is the candidate I will vote for because they most closely represent them.” Party affiliation was harmless. Republicans and Democrats could get along fine, differing opinions not getting in the way of relationships and alignment. More importantly, you did not have to be part of a specific political party to be an active member of society. Your opinions and principles were yours.

Over the years following the last two election races, political parties gained a much more significant and defining meaning in our lives as individuals and as members of society. There is a newly developed stigma behind political opinions. You are almost pressured to feel one way or another about every single topic. If a majority of your values are of the conservative agenda, you must be a heart-and-all Republican. In contrast, if you are more liberal-leaning you are docked as a set Democrat. We as citizens are being labeled according to what may be a few hard-values. And dishearteningly enough, can be ridiculed for what we value. Even if you might not value everything the same as your determined party.

There exists those of us that hold values from both parties. It is possible to value women’s rights and also value a traditional marriage. It is possible to be a gun owner and also active in keeping children safe in school. You do not have to just submit to every belief of one party. You can value aspects of different parties and still be a functioning member of the American society. Do not let the looming obligation to declare yourself as strictly one or the other. You do not have to pretend you agree with everything Democratic or everything Republican; you can have your own values. And you should. Our society is messed up in the way that values are pushed on citizens. We are meant to be free individuals with our private values.

It is not fair to those of us who value different things. Not every American is a to-the-bone Democrat or Republican. It is possible to hold liberal beliefs as a conservative person. And Vice-Versa. We need to stop labeling one another as one or the other, conservative or liberal. We need to stop silencing each other because we have differing views. We need to accept not everyone is perfectly one party, and diversity exists. Open mindedness exists in Americans, despite the seemingly growing generalizations. We need to be able to agree to disagree on certain topics.
Cover Image Credit: LexiHanna

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