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.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: People

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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