Las Vegas Has Me Feeling A Lot Of Things, But "Surprised" Isn't One Of Them

Las Vegas Has Me Feeling A Lot Of Things, But "Surprised" Isn't One Of Them

We have to decide if we as a society are OK with mass shootings being such an inescapable part of the American experience.
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When I first heard about the shooting in Las Vegas, I was just about to go to bed. The initial estimates I saw showed a few people dead and a couple dozen injured. I was saddened but, honestly and depressingly, I was not at all shocked.

When I woke up the next morning and saw the end result of the absolute carnage –– 59 dead and upwards of 500 injured, not to mention the thousands whose lives will be forever tinged by the trauma associated with surviving what was like a war zone –– I was devastated.

For a time, I was just numb to it all.

But still, I wasn't shocked.

I refused to read anything more about the attack or any of the many profiles of the victims which are inevitably written after each mass shooting; I couldn't bring myself to do it. After about a day had passed, I watched the heart-wrenching Jimmy Kimmel monologue, in which he opined that "It feels like someone has opened a window into hell," and I teared up.

Then, after another couple of days passed and my numbness had faded, I went outside and sat on a bench, late at night, and read through the New York Times tribute to the victims. Halfway through the first entry –– on 46-year-old Lisa Patterson, mother of 3 –– I broke down. I wept through the next 58 entries.

Out of the 59 people dead, there were left so many years un-lived, so many hopes and dreams not realized. There were so many children left without parents or parents outliving children. So many people lost close friends or family or coworkers or neighbors or significant others.

So many others will be saddled with medical costs and debilitation for the rest of their lives. Countless more will have their memories forever tinged with tragedy, marked possibly by survivor's guilt or PTSD or just general trauma and distress.

In just one night, an unbelievable amount of suffering was enacted, an immeasurable amount of damage done. A 64-year-old man with no previous criminal experience stockpiled hundreds of bullets and a shocking amount of weapons designed with no purpose other than to kill, and then he used those weapons to carry out their most logical goal.

As easy as it would be to demarcate this as a so-called "lone wolf" attack, a simple case of a deranged man bereft of morality, the truth is that the Las Vegas shooting was not an anomaly.

Far from being a mere glitch in the otherwise perfect American landscape, it was a symptom of a culture which glorifies guns and violence, a culture which holds the right to keep and bear military-grade arms designed with the express purpose of killing other human beings above the right to a safe, secure, and happy future for its citizens.

The shooting in Las Vegas was the deadliest mass shooting carried out by an individual in modern American history, but, then again, so was the Orlando shooting at Pulse Nightclub, and that happened a mere 16 months ago. In the past 477 days, there have been 521 mass shootings in America, which is more than one per day.

I mentioned before that as devastated as I was, I was never shocked by what I saw and heard about the shooting in Las Vegas. It has become routine, predictable in a way that tragedies like this should never be.

There have been times where I've wanted to write or tweet or say something about guns or violence or solidarity or the ultimate, necessary good of humanity after some attack like this and thought, "I can just wait; there will be another."

And that is heartbreaking.

I've grown up in a country in which most mass shootings barely scratch the headlines outside of local coverage. And, when one manages to reach a national audience either by circumstance and luck or by its sheer size, nothing happens.

Since the Sandy Hook shooting shocked our collective consciousness, each successive shooting has felt less and less surprising and more and more inevitable and unavoidable. Rather than trying to stop these things from happening, our politicians offer up nice but ultimately meaningless "thoughts and prayers." I do not claim to know what the solution to our problem is, but I know that it is not whatever we have been doing for the last 18 years of my life.

I am so sick and tired of waking up and reading about the year's most recent mass shooting. I am so sick and tired of watching coverage of families weeping over lost loved ones. I am so sick and tired of hearing calls for something –– anything –– to be done, with politicians acting like men, women, and children dying from the bullets shot from a legally acquired killing machine just has to be a fact of American life.

Never mind that nearly every other developed country has managed to move beyond this and has found some way to eliminate or drastically reduce deaths from mass shootings and from gun violence as a whole. See, this is America, and America is exceptional.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.
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"A man told me to have a good day... I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in because that is the extent of modern day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote: "I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "We can do it!" but realistically speaking in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly, and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of a war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25 year olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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Christian Women And Modern Feminism Cannot Coexist

Women who hold the truths of the Bible cannot also hold the ideas of modern feminism.

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Feminism, as it is defined, is the "advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes," according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. This is NOT where the problem lies.

Eve was made from the rib of Adam, not from the foot to be below him, or the head to be above him, but the rib to stand beside him. The problem does not stand with the ideology that women and men are equal as humans, as this is a Biblical truth.

The problem lies within what feminism has become.

For Christian women, our calling is outlined directly in Titus 2. It states, "(women) are to love their husbands and children, be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands."

This seems to fly directly in the face of modern feminism, doesn't it? Working at home?! How dare you say that! Notably, this verse never says women cannot have a career outside of the home; it simply says that the home is a priority when a woman has a husband and children.

Submissive to their husbands?! That sounds like slavery!

The church is to submit to Christ's word and will, and the husband is to be the spiritual leader of his home. Similarly, the wife is ideally like the church in which she allows her husband to lead the family. It never says that a woman is a servant and can be abused by her husband.

Modern feminism teaches that women are not just similar to men, but that they should be better.

They constantly focus on what they can do that men can't, and what they can do better than men. Why is this a problem for Christian women? Men and women are meant to complement each other in their personalities and physicalities, they are not meant to try and outdo each other.

God made both man and woman to bind together and live life together, as humans are made for companionship. Modern feminism also teaches that you have every right to abort a child within you, even if it's a result of your own irresponsibilities.

Jeremiah 1:5 states, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart..." As a Christian woman, how could you support an ideology that completely disregards the sanctity of human life?

Modern feminism attacks the core of Christian womanhood and effectively destroys the special qualities of women created by God.

We are made differently than men and that is OK. If you are a Christian woman, and you hold the truths of the Bible as law in your heart, there is absolutely no logical way that modern feminist ideologies can coexist.

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