Las Vegas Mass Shooting – nothing has changed since Sandy Hook, is this the new America?

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City paper, 10/2017

These are my words:

For the next few weeks, the news magazines will run pictures of vigils and lit candles. “Experts” from all sides will debate every aspect of what happened. We will get to know the children, the adults, and the shooter and his family. People from all walks of life will get into a war of words about gun control. There will be hearings, investigations. It’s all part of it, all necessary.

But… what if nothing changes?

That is what scares me the most.

Because so far, nothing has changed.

Columbine. Virginia Tech. Ohio. The Aurora movie massacre. Countless others. We move from one massacre, one shooting, one attack to the next and nothing changes.

We always say ***enough*** but nothing changes.

Politicians will read prepared statements and nothing will change. We as a nation will express our outrage and nothing will change. Grief counselors and crisis managers will be sent and nothing will change. We’ll talk guns and nothing will change.

Eventually most people will move on and get back to celebrity sleaze, sports, and politics and put this shooting out of their minds.

That’s simply unacceptable.

People, IT HAS TO CHANGE.

IT MUST CHANGE.

NOW.

This is not about Las Vegas this week. I WROTE THOSE WORDS IN 2012 – ABOUT SANDY HOOK. The next paragraph read:

Sandy Hook MUST be the breaking point, the proverbial straw, the events that says it’s time to throw out whatever book is being used to process these horrific events, because they keep happening. Because what we do doesn’t work.

Because if the murder of 20 six and seven year olds isn’t the breaking point, what will be?

It has to stop. And I think that we need to look deeper. It’s time to REALLY look in the mirror, as a country, and see what isn’t working. We need to change that.

October, 2017

Nothing has changed.

Focusing ONLY on the mass-shootings and not the acts of other terrorism (bombings, cars smashing into crowds, etc. that seem to happen every few weeks), mass shootings have only increased – dramatically. Google “Mass shootings in America” — you won’t believe what you read.

This week, Las Vegas, nearly 60 dead at this writing, over 500 injured as a lone gunman opened fire from a hotel room into a concert crowd with (reported on MSNBC) over 20 semi-automatic weapons.

Friends, I got nothing. It’s all been said on both sides. It is NOT going to change. This is the new reality – every so often, with absolutely no warning, people in America (and around the world) will be in what was considered a safe place – a concert, a church, a store, a mall, a school, and suddenly, many will die or be horribly wounded in a hail of gunfire.

For no reason.

Hell on Earth.

And at this writing, the Las Vegas shooter had no history of mental illness, never got into trouble, never appeared on any watch list, and still managed to acquire at least 20 semi-automatic weapons and opened fire into an outdoor concert. {This information may change by the time this runs in the newspaper}

How do we stop that? Apparently, we cannot.

Sandy Hook was supposed to be the breaking point, the time for meaningful change. Five years later the mass shootings have increased dramatically.

This week, AGAIN, I have only questions, no answers, and am starting to come to terms that despite all the praying and hand-wringing and reports and calls for action, this is the new reality.

We’ve always been told, “Live your life! This is the first day of the rest of your life! Cherish the ones you love! Embrace life!”

That’s good advice. Because in America 2017, our lives can end in a moment – for no reason. Because the world has become a far more dangerous place, and it’s time to accept that things are not going to change.

While our government’s agenda at the moment seems to be a) desperately trying to take away health care for 20 million people; b) provoking North Korea into a nuclear war; c) not helping Puerto Rico recover from unimaginable damage after Hurricane Maria, it seems like no one is leading the charge EVERY day to ask, how are going to protect our citizens? How are we going to prevent these mass-shootings?

As for me, I’ll keep my faith in humanity and in God. I will try to live my life as best as I can and cherish it, and all that it has to offer. I’ll do what I can to help people and try to be kind.

But I know, deep down, that I am not safe.

I have NO faith things are going to change.

So all I have to offer is this – live your life. Love as much as you can. Do all the good you can. Embrace what this world has to offer. Try not to hurt anyone. Be kind to each other. Be better to each other.

Try not to give up hope.

And please be safe, and pray for America.

 

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