Thoughts and prayers won’t fix this latest mass shooting in Las Vegas

What we know about the shooting at the Mandalay Bay and how you can help
By Avital Norman Nathman  Published on 10/02/2017 at 7:35 AM EDT

Photo Credit: Thomas Tucker Via Unsplash

In what has already been called one of the worst mass shooting in US history, more than 50 people were killed and over 400 have been wounded at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas.

According to police reports, one person — a 64-year-old white man from Mesquite, Nevada — with multiple guns opened fire at over 20,000 concert-goers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival taking place at the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Vegas strip. The man, who had multiple firearms in his room, fired from his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay on the 32nd floor, which looked out over the concert grounds. The gunman was already dead when the Las Vegas Police Department SWAT team entered his room.

In the hours, days, and weeks to come, there will be a lot of “thoughts and prayers” offered to the survivors and residents of Las Vegas. There will be a lot of talking heads sharing what they feel could have been done differently. Listen to their words and see how they choose to phrase things. Look to your politicians and see how they respond.

So far, this has not been officially called an act of domestic terrorism but in my mind, how can it be anything else? Because this man’s skin is white and not brown or black, the rush to label it terrorism isn’t there, despite the fact that this was a very real attack on our soil. And, as it’s been shown repeatedly in the past, I won’t be surprised if it turns up this man also had a history of domestic violence. Assaulting women, toxic masculinity and mass shooting have been shown to go hand in hand.

The fact remains that ONE MAN with multiple guns succeeded in murdering many people and injuring many more. No amount of talking or praying will change that.

So what can? Policy change! Listen, nobody wants to come after your guns. I’m not against the 2nd amendment. But when the framers of the constitution included the right to bear arms, I can’t imagine they had scenarios like this in mind. Will implementing stricter gun laws –like not allowing someone who has a domestic violence record to be able to legally obtain a gun– really hinder your enjoyment of using a hunting rifle? No, it really, really won’t.

While the US may be ahead of the rest of the world in certain areas, when it comes to guns and gun violence, we’re doing pretty crappy. Many people know it’s been time for a change for a while now. How many more senseless deaths will it take before you sign on?

So what can you do?

In the immediate aftermath of this most recent mass shooting, there are a few things you can do. If you’re local to Las Vegas, donate blood. Those that were injured are all at area hospitals and the need for blood is there. Las Vegas police have already set up blood drives and are ready to accept donations.

No matter where you live, call your representatives today and demand they start prizing human lives over weapons immediately. Not a fan of speaking on the phone? You can even send a fax to your representatives by texting resist to 50409.

Familiarize yourself with the various organizations that are already working to reduce gun violence to see how you can help. Check out Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action.

Keep on speaking out and keep on speaking up. We cannot allow gun violence to continue.




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