I had a blog post ready to roll this morning. A charming little piece, talking about back-sliding and goal setting. Just the thing to inaugurate our re-focus on all things fitness here at Misdirected.
And I woke up this morning to a Facebook report from a close friend who had been at the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas last night. “Active shooter situation Mandalay Bay dozen or more shot shooters on 32nd floor…confirmed one officer down with GSW to neck.”
The Morning Brings No Answers
His post was dated seven hours ago. First, I confirmed that he was ok – he was still posting to FB as of a couple of hours ago, so I can breathe a sigh of relief that someone I really care about – someone who has been a surrogate son to Lor and me – is currently out of harm’s way. I quickly checked to see if my cousin, who also lives in Vegas, had checked in. Using the Facebook “Safety Check” he, too, had declared himself safe. Another sigh of relief.
Then, turning to CNN, I found out that a whole lot of other loved ones are not OK this morning.
“Deadliest Mass Shooting in US History.” I won’t repeat the details here. I am no journalist, and you can get far better info than I can give you. But, once again, a single person (apparently) has decided to act upon their rage by attacking a large group of innocent people.
I don’t know what this person’s motivations were. In truth, I don’t particularly care. There is no motivation that justifies attacking thousands of people whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Yes, that sounds like Queensryche, and no, I don’t particularly give a damn about that either right now.)
One man. More than 8 rifles. Thousands of fans enjoying Jason Aldean.
And now we have more than 50 people dead, and better than 400 injured.
And, today, my own perspective has shifted. These weren’t just random strangers I feel sort of vaguely bad about. My own family members were among those in harm’s way last night.
A Harsh Slice Of Reality
And the damnable thing is, I am a gun owner.
My guns are securely locked up in a gun safe miles away, but they are still mine. I am part of what gets referred to as “gun culture” in the U.S.
You know, the same culture that works tirelessly to protect the rights of people who want to haul multiple rifles into a hotel room in Las Vegas.
I am sure that, as the days and weeks roll on, we are going to hear about the various laws that are already on the books that this shooter broke. The new gun control laws that would have had no effect, the existing laws that weren’t properly enforced…all the usual tropes and quotes that emerge after another mass shooting.
Yeah, there’s the rub right there, isn’t it? “Another mass shooting.”
And, in response, the families of nearly 500 people will be asking why something wasn’t done to protect their loved ones.
Kurt and Jeremiah, I am so thankful that you are safe.
But half a thousand other families have nothing to be thankful for this morning.
The gun control debate is about to get rolling again, and I am no longer sure I am on the right side of it.
Pray For Las Vegas,