I am saddened beyond words at the senseless violence that occurred in Las Vegas yesterday. The dead will feel pain no longer but their families and loved ones will have to bear the burden of this terrible crime for the rest of their lives. Likewise the wounded, their friends and families, the first responders, the medical staffs at dozens of hospitals, and other concert goers just out for a fun night of entertainment will all be dealing with the demons of Sunday night for years to come.
And for this to happen in Las Vegas, “America’s playground”, where thousands of visitors were peacefully enjoying an outdoors concert, makes it even more troubling. People go there to have fun, not to be indiscriminately slaughtered by some madman with a grudge and a few thousand rounds of ammo.
We may never know what set Stephen Paddock off on his murderous rampage, but one sad fact is that while he was possibly the most successful mass murderer in modern US history he has plenty of company. 9 out of every 10 days, somewhere in the US, there’s a mass shooting (defined as having 4 or more victims). That’s more than 1500 events in the past 5 years.
That such a great country, populated by intelligent, caring people, can foster an environment where so many think the answer to everything is to pick up a gun and start shooting, frankly baffles the rest of the civilized world. And for politicians, even in the blood-soaked shadow of such a horror, to seriously consider a further loosening of already weak gun laws, is unfathomable to any person of sound mind. And yet it happens again… and again…. and again…
There’s a saying that a doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient, but in this case, for this particular sickness, only America can and must treat itself. And for all my friends and family members in the US I can only hope they finally recognize the cancer within and take the political actions necessary to start the recovery.