gunman in las vegas

Last night, it happened again. A lone gunman with hate in his heart or madness in his mind initiated an all-out assault on unsuspecting revelers. As of this writing, more than 50 people have died. 500 more lie injured. The gunman is dead.

The people who knew him tell us he was the ordinary sort. Not a man full of hate or vengeance. Not an extremist anything. We don’t know yet how much of that is true. The gunman’s motivations remain a mystery. We only know that he lived for 64 years and then left behind carnage.

Almost 16 months ago I woke up on a Sunday morning to a sadly similar tale. The week before, I had written a hopeful piece about my faith in humanity and the direction it was headed. That morning, in contrast, I wrote about the tragedy in Orlando.

Much of what I said then still stands up today. These are dark times. We are on the precipice of glory, or doom. Our leaders and enemies are crazy. As we grow towards enlightenment, ignorance fights back all the harder.

I don’t know exactly what we can do. I don’t know how we can stop the spread of madness. Or the power of ignorance. I do know that, in the wake of these tragedies, we must find a way to come together in our thinking. We must find ways to work together and build a better structure for humanity.

I grieve today. For all those who lost their lives, I grieve. For everybody connected to this, I grieve. But in grief I also find resolve once more. Resolve that we will find solutions to the senseless epidemic of violence and death.

That was us in Las Vegas. Each of us were there, at that concert. Each of us were fleeing, in panic, under a hail of gunfire. All of us were injured. Part of each of us has died.

I am left to wonder, how many more times will I have to write these words?

My heart goes out to the fallen, and to all who held them dear.


11 thoughts on “A Lone Gunman Opens Fire

    • Thank you, Paul. I guess because I was just there in Vegas, and so many I love were at a concert venue together while we were in town, that this one just somehow feels “too close to home.” Or maybe enough is just enough. I don’t know. I feel a little shell-shocked over this one.

      Surely, a strike like this will wake us all up from the stupor we walk around in? It will blast a hole in the wall of ignorance surrounding so many of these events?


      • Carole Casarino

        Exactly what I am feeling Tom. Your writing describes all the pain and sadness a great many of us are feeling today. And, hope that we can put an end to it somehow.

        • Thank you, Carole. I continue to believe that is possible, that what is good about humanity is somehow better than what is bad about humanity. Days like this can shake that faith, but cannot break it.

    • Thank you very much. Hopefully this will prompt us to come up with some sensible gun control legislation in this country. Too many weapons with too much potential for mass fatality are too easy to procure. That needs to change.

  • I’m going to be brutally honest, because I don’t really know how to be any other way. When I saw the headline when I woke up, I regarded it as if the cat had puked on the carpet. Disgust, irritation, but not at all out of the ordinary. I’ve become numb to this. I remember seeing the sandy hook shooting on the news when I was at the Gym. I got off my treadmill and wept freely. Everyone at the gym was stupefied, crying, hands over their motuhs. But now…..I see things that say “worst in history” and I continue eating my breakfast and think “until next week…”

    • I know how you feel, DG. I think that feeling comes from the inundation of these events, by the media, once they occur, and the lack of a reasonable response by our leaders to curtail it.

      I think, as difficult as it is, it is important to feel outrage now. Apathy leads to acceptance or, just as bad, simple inaction. Anger leads to reaction and response. I’m angry at this gunman for what he did, for whatever reason he did it. And I’m angry at our political leaders for doing nothing in the wake of these tragedies to ameliorate the situation, to limit the propagation of the kinds of weapons that can kill so many, so quickly.

      • I was telling a friend a story that is just haunting me today. My husband works for a university and last week, his office got a death threat. This guy threatened to shoot the place up and then burn it down. He went to work, I let him. The police installed panic buttons in all the desks, the employees typed away and drank their coffee. “Its the risk you take, writing computer code for a university, you might get shot” my husband said “yea” I said

Now, You Be You: