An Emotional Response To The Las Vegas Shooting

 

"The most deadly mass shooting in US history." A headline I've seen change three times. Virginia Tech, Orlando, and now, Las Vegas. I am 21 years old. 

I woke up this morning to another slew of headlines and texts and social media posts that our nation was attacked by hatred again. Something that's become almost as normal as the snow that falls on these Appalachian Mountains in the winter. My generation has almost become accustomed to things that our parents never witnessed until now. Planes flying into buildings, people shooting up night clubs, university campuses and even Elementary schools. It's something we've seen since we were 5 years old, and every time it happens, I am heartbroken even more for the world and country that we live in. 

Every time I checked the news (which was more than double the amount of times I would any other day) the injured and dead lists seemed to double. From 20 dead and 100 injured to (at the time of this article) 59 dead and 527 injured according to CNN. Mothers, brothers, fathers, sisters, lovers, friends, all lost all because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Lives destroyed by 64-year-old Stephen Paddock for reasons no one will ever be able to fathom. 

I am 1,854 miles away from this travesty, but I, like most people in this country right now, feel it to my core. I cannot begin to imagine what that horrible experience must've been like or how one could even begin to recover from something like that.

I remember being very young and going to Washington D.C. for the first time. I remember being so awestruck at how glorious it all was. The steps to the Lincoln Memorial seemed to go on for days and I had never seen something as beautiful as the White House. I remember feeling like I was so close to  a celebrity. "Our PRESIDENT lives THERE!?" I was so in love with this country. Everything about it. 

Now my heart aches for this country, for the ones who don't know if their loved ones survived. For the people who lost not only loved ones but their sense of safety and trust in the country they call home. These people just went out to have a good time. They just went to a festival to spend time with friends and listen to music and not think about the world we're living in.

Are concerts even safe anymore? Will stuff like this ever stop happening? At what point will we all just shut down from the horrible acts going on around us?

Not today. 

Terrorism doesn't get to win today. 

America is struggling, but we are still America; still one of the greatest nations in the world. This isn't the time to fight over whom you voted for in the election or what color your skin is, who you love or over anything else. Hatred and terrorism don't give a damn about any of that. 

This is the time to rally around the ones who were affected and the ones who lost something there. It's the time to hold your loved ones closer than ever before and let go of things that just don't matter anymore. Reconnect with people you haven't spoken to. Rebuild the bridges you burned. There is no room left in this place for anything but love and acceptance. "If you see something beautiful in someone, speak it." It's time for us to heal, not only personally but as a country. This country is still the same place I fell in love with 15 years ago, she's just a little rough around the edges.  

If you're looking for ways to help you can start by donating blood if you're able. You can also donate to the Southern Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross on their website, by phone (702-369-3674) or by mail at 1771 East Flamingo Drive #206B, Las Vegas Nevada 89119. You can also donate to the National Compassion Fund on their website where 100% of proceeds go directly to help support the families of victims of mass crimes. 

 

"Care. Love. Be outraged. Be devastated. Just don't give up. The world needs good humans today." -Ellen DeGeneres 

 

Sending all of our love, thoughts, prayers and action to you Las Vegas.