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 to the GoFundMe page