Let’s restore our humanity.
Just as most Americans did, I woke up Monday morning to texts and alerts about the mass shooting in Las Vegas. What occurred late Sunday night, and early Monday morning has become the worst mass-shooting in American history. Immediately, anguish washed over me and while watching videos from the concert, rage pulsed through me. A million questions rushed through my mind, and they are likely the same questions running through most American’s minds — “Why?” being chief among them. Pure, unadulterated evil reared its ugly head within the walls of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. But what is particularly concerning is that there seems to be no apparent reason this was committed. That being said, I have every confidence in the world that the authorities will eventually uncover motivation. But what if they don’t?
It is early and what we don’t know far outnumbers what we do. Evil surfaces almost daily in this world, and with our technological abilities, we are able to see more of it. But as with most tragedies, we can take ever-so-slight solace in knowing there was at least a reason behind the atrocity. In Dylann Roof’s case, it was racism — and with Emanuel Samson, revenge for Roof’s barbarism. With the 9/11 hijackers, it was a mix of religious creed and disdain for America. And in what was the largest mass-shooting in American history until last night, Omar Mateen’s religiously-motivated bigotry drove him to murder 49 people, and wound dozens more. But in this case, there seems to be no motive, as of yet. It is terrifying that such violence can be committed with seemingly no motive driving it.
“Man is a political animal, but that does not encompass the entirety of our character.”
Social media is already ripe with those attempting to score political points, and conclusions are continuously being jumped to by those on all “sides” of the aisle. The fact that political squabbling is hijacking the airwaves that should be dedicated to empathy and mourning speaks to how divided we have become. A major catalyst of this phenomenon is the politicization of every aspect of our lives. Due to the rise in size and scope of government, politics has increasingly affected more and more of our daily life. Man is a political animal, but that does not encompass the entirety of our character. There are things that transcend politics, and mass-murder is one of those things. The debate over gun control, or lack thereof, will rage on in the coming days, weeks, and years — just as it has for as long as I have been on this Earth. But the time for mourning must come first. Without it, we cannot stay sane.
Every 50-70 years, our country is faced with a cultural crisis. And to date, each has bettered our country in some way. Right now, it is unclear the manifestation from which it will surface. But it certainly appears inevitable. With tribalism running rampant through our politics, a step back is necessary. We are all Americans aiming to make our country the best it can be. As we await more details, this must not be forgotten. In light of this calamity, we are not Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives, pro-gun or anti-gun, we are all Americans. Let us save the blame-game for another day, and help those affected in any way we can.
Follow this author on Twitter: @bradjCincy