It’s 10:05 p.m., and the rattle of gunfire can be heard over terrified wails of panic. It’s 10:15 p.m. when the bullets stop, and 59 innocents are left dead on the bright Las Vegas Strip. 59 individuals with individual stories, individual experiences, individual hopes, individual dreams and individual longings. In 10 minutes, 59 unique perspectives were wrongfully washed away like tears in the rain.
When I heard news of the Las Vegas massacre that took place on Oct. 1, 2017, I was miserable. Yes, I was miserable, mad, angry, depressed and grief stricken. But I was not shocked. Shock implies that the event is unexpected, yet after observing this year’s other happenings, the bloodshed almost made sense.
It’s as if the Las Vegas massacre was a microcosm of current America: chaotic, messy, violent and so loud that people couldn’t think of where to run. Whether it is non-stop tweeting or flying bullets, our country seems to be in a state of inescapable chaos. Division runs rampant while those who stand against hate are rallied against and mercilessly slaughtered. Where is justice? Where is nuance and frugality in response to conflict? Where is the sanity in this panicked world?
Well, while sanity is currently scarce, I believe there is hope to confront the frenzy. As of late, we the people have let pandemonium divide us. Instead of seeking refuge in each other, we depend on leaders, political figures and celebrities to unify and change the country.
This philosophy of apathetic responsibility, where those with power are relied upon to make a difference, is what chokes virtuous American progress.
Clearly, individuals of influence, even and, perhaps, especially our leaders, are flawed like everyone else. Any belief otherwise is unrealistic. Therefore, why not take back our mantle of obligation?
Ignore the tweets meant to induce disorder and conflict. Disregard the celebrity statements intended to promote struggle and increase record sales. Look through the politician’s veil of self-promotion, and be wary that humans are easily controlled through fear and confusion. These people are of no more value than the common man.
For example, an ‘ordinary’ man by the name of Jack Beaton is now being mourned as a result of his honorable acts. According to multiple sources such as People Magazine, Jack Beaton shielded his wife from gunfire during the Las Vegas shooting and bled to death from multiple bullet wounds.
He gave his life for the woman he loved and, having performed an act of the highest heroism, deserves to be known.
Furthermore, I believe Beaton’s actions exemplify a noble response towards discord because he took the bullet and did what had to be done in the face of terror. There was no blame cast upon gun laws or the policies of obviously ineffective leaders. No, that moment was purely productive and selfless action taken in response to calamity.
On the other hand, deciding how to act when facing other modern predicaments is not so simple for most. So, while realizing the complexity of certain problems, let’s start speaking and begin doing.
Ideas have liminal value if they do not inspire action or call others to change, so speak against injustice and share what must be altered. Speak so that the citizens of America may be called to accomplish reformation and revolution as they see fit. Speak because words and ideas precede action and progress. We must stop relying on others to solve the problems of this earth and, like Beaton, act and speak for our fellow man.