As of noon today, the reported casualties of last night’s massacre in Las Vegas stand at 58 dead, 515 wounded, with both numbers likely to rise as facts continue to come in.
We are no longer in the world we knew. This is a world of murder, of acceptable slaughter, where ploughshares are defiled and beaten into instruments of death. And it makes zero sense to me.
Please, gun proliferation enthusiasts–please, help me understand, what you find holy in these machines of annihilation. Please help me understand why these lives are a necessary sacrifice. Does it help the corn grow? The trains run on time? Is it schadenfreude that it’s not you, your loved ones, your family lying in pieces on the strip?
Why is this allowable? Why wasn’t Sandy Hook the last straw? Why did we make the murder of preschoolers acceptable? What makes Alex Jones’ lies attractive? What lies will we be told, will we tell ourselves, that will make this “other”‘d enough to find some good television and forget about it?
I posted something similar in the wake of Orlando: I do so again, and will do so the next time, and the time after that, and as many times as will arrive in my certain-to-be-short life.
WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW:
Thoughts and prayers are a start. But more than that is required of us. We’re called to take action, so here’s how to help victims of the Las Vegas shooting.
The first thing that you can do is donate blood. The number of victims is still rising, and the need will be staggering before this story fades from public consciousness (I’m resisting cynicism, even as I type this. I’m sorry). You can seek out blood donation centers throughout the state of Nevada. You can also donate blood wherever you are, as any and all support of the overtaxed blood bank system will be of value in a time such as this.
Second, be careful about what you’re posting on social media. In a disaster, you have a responsibility for the information you share, Unconfirmed reports are dangerous. I’m queasy over the multiple hoaxes already in play about this shooting. Avoid graphic videos or photos or information that will trigger emotions in others without warning. It’s rubbernecking, it’s disrespectful, and we can and should do better.
If you want to contribute monetary resources, I recommend a donation to the Red Cross, as they have been on the ground since the opening moments of this horror. You can also donate to local organizations in Las Vegas, especially organizations who provide mental and emotional therapy in crisis situations, such as Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada, which provides mental and physical health care to people who are marginalized and in need.
There are already multiple GoFundMe pages supporting victims of the shooting, and these grassroots efforts are already going viral.
I’ve already done this and will do so often in the weeks to come: write to your Congressional representatives asking for common sense gun control laws. You can find your senators’ or representatives’ address and even a letter of basic explanatory language. Never underestimate the power of a chorus of passionate voices who have simply had enough of this bloodshed.
Let’s take some action, together, now. We can help, we can provide aid, we can take meaningful steps to limiting the capacity of the next of these heinous acts to come. But we have to choose to be better and stand united.
Thinking and praying alone just gives a sense of gleeful inevitability to the opposition. I find that unacceptable. I hope you do, too.