This morning I woke to notifications that friends had marked themselves safe in the “Violent Attack in Las Vegas.” I blinked the sleep away from my eyes and reread the update, then immediately opened Twitter and CNN to find out what had happened.
The first update I saw said two killed. Then twenty. Now more than fifty. Over 200 injured. One lone gunman.
Let that sink in – ONE person stole the lives of more than 50 innocent men, women and children and forever impacted the lives of hundreds more. One man and his gun (or guns) carried out what is now the largest mass shooting in recent history.
The 2016 shooting at Pulse in Orlando previously held this horrific record. Just over a year later, another lone wolf, as the media calls it, changed that statistic.
Twelve people in Aurora. Twenty children and six adults in Sandy Hook. Nine in Charleston. Forty-nine young men and women in Orlando. Today, more than fifty in Las Vegas. All of these lives stolen in places we visit every day and places where we are seeking to learn, escape reality, bond, worship – movie theaters, schools, churches, nightclubs, festivals.
Each of these acts of terror was carried out by one person with a gun. One person. Mass fatalities and injuries.
And yet, what are we talking about after each and every one? The person behind the gun. We focus on what they did and why, which barely a mention of how. Not more than a passing word on just how easy it was for them to carry out such horrific acts.
It’s almost as if we value the metal and gun powder that took these lives than the lives themselves. How could this be true in a country that touts its family values and pro-life movement as hallmarks of its religious and moral obligations?
When do we finally say enough and take action to prevent these tragedies? When do we stand up and say our children’s lives matter more than someone’s right to own a gun and bullets? How many more have to die before we realize we are fighting the wrong fight? Is it when a lone gunman kills 50? 100? 200? Is it when it happens are your church? Your school? Your concert? Your movie?
Enough is enough.