The Responses to Las Vegas: Just As Divisive

The Responses to Las Vegas: Just As Divisive

The reactions to the shooting in Las Vegas has started discussions, but they often are just as angry and heated as anything else.


After the shooting in Las Vegas, which has become the deadliest in modern American history, the discussions of how it could have been prevented have sprung up, with everything from gun control to mental wellness help to even hotel security. But it's far too late for fixing the problem, because, let's be real, nothing has been done about it after any shooting, no matter how deadly the attack was. This time was different – the shooter was a white man in his sixties, religion and political beliefs unknown as of the time of writing this. No note was found, and family has decided to stay out of the spotlight, and for good reason. But we need to look at the reactions from the government agencies taking care of the investigation, the news media (specifically the right-wing news), and the people of this nation to see what the larger impact will be going forward after an attack that leaves close to six hundred people dead or injured, all by one man with weapons.

The FBI has come out and said there is not enough evidence to consider this a domestic terrorist attack, as “terrorism” requires political or economic gain. However, we cannot deny that if the shooter was from the Middle East or otherwise nonwhite, he would already be considered a terrorist no matter where he was born or what his political beliefs were. In most other countries, an attack of this scale would immediately be considered terrorism and the proper authorities would be involved to find out if there is a larger cell planning more attacks like this – but this is not most other countries. ISIS took credit for the shooting as well, but that was quickly pushed aside by investigators, as ISIS basically will claim they did anything that caused injury or death to Americans (if they could report themselves to OSHA over causing accidents in the workplace, they would). But that didn't stop many sources from automatically assuming he was Muslim, because nobody wants to admit that terrorists can come up from American soil as well.

Fox News' coverage of the event has generated enough controversy, with hosts questioning whether or not we can “hate him yet” because we don't know his background (seriously, they said that, look it up), or trying to tie in the NFL protests into the shooting by saying that law enforcement saved all these people and protesting law enforcement is protesting America which is wrong. On the first point – as The Daily Show so perfectly captured – Fox News and their hosts just could not deal with the fact that the shooter looked just like one of their target audience, and questioned whether or not to hate him without knowing the motive. They also tried to turn it back on “the left” for disrespecting Trump, and that this was a reactionary attack. Yes, an “antifa” group did claim responsibility – but that group was proven to be a fake troll page months ago, and no actual group has spoken up in support of the shooting, so there goes Fox's usual point. And he was a white, older, middle class American citizen, which as I just said, they couldn't understand that the people who watch their programs could snap just like he did.

Lastly, and on a much better note, the help flooding in after the violence shows us what it truly means to be American. It's not respecting the flag or the president or even taking a side on an issue. Rather, as with hurricanes and other tragedies, people came out in droves to donate blood, help with victims, or donate to local charities. At the festival where the shooting occurred, even as bullets rained down on the crowd, people were helping each other escape, some even transporting the injured to hospitals in their own vehicles. We all come together in times of horror and violence, and unity is what makes us win over those who wish to cause us harm. From first responders to hotel staff to concert goers to the people providing first aid, we put aside our differences because everybody needs help to survive. Together we are one country, one people, no matter our race, creed, religion, music tastes, or political party. And nobody can take that from us, because once that happens, then we have become lost as a nation.

In tragedy comes the usual calls on who's to blame, what we can do, and stories of people helping each other become rampant. However, we cannot let the only times we have discussions on gun control or mental health, or the only times we all join together, be only when violence or other disasters strike. Rather, we must always stand united, so that the next, because it's only a matter of time before there is a next, won't be able to strike fear of leaving your home – no matter what, we are all humans living in the same country, and nobody can stop that, not even a crazed gunman. The Las Vegas shooting will forever be a tragic event, but as with 9/11 before it, the stories of America rising back up will be just as important. Finding a group to blame only makes the situation worse, and instead, focus on what we can all do better to prevent more loss of life and fear.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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