Pray for Vegas

Today, we are going to shy away from sports and talk about the grander issue. The deadliest mass shooting in US history happened last night in Vegas.

Last night, 30,000 gathered on the Las Vegas Strip for the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. As headliner Jason Aldean took to the stage to close out the night, a gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino (CNN). At least 58 people were killed and more than 515 injured. Officers killed the gunman.

Is just didn’t feel right for me to sit here and write a blog about the MLB playoffs or more anthem protests when this horrific event happened. Instead, I am going to take you through what went on in my head when I found out, in an effort to create and open and respectful dialogue and take a step closer to ending these mass shootings.

I went to bed in my hot room (our A/C is out) dreading having to get up for class the next morning. I tossed and turned all night because of the hear, but I never looked at my phone. I finally woke up at 8:00am and checked my phone. My lock screen was filled with Twitter notifications from country music stars tweeting. This is what my screen looked like:

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 11.17.31 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-02 at 11.17.48 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-02 at 11.18.02 AM

I was confused to say the least. I unlocked my phone and immediately opened BuzzFeed, the top story said “Massacre in Las Vegas”.  I began to read several articles from CNN, ABC, CBS, and they all said the same thing: 58 people were murdered last night by a man with an assault rifle.

This made me feel many emotions, anger, sadness, confusion. But one thing I was not was shocked. This is becoming all too routine in our country. Just last year the record was set for deadliest shooting in US history. And a bit over a year later, after Vegas, a new record stands.

I am 22 years old, and four of the deadliest shootings in my country’s history have taken place during my lifetime. This is the history we are writing for our children. Shootings, terrorism, bombings…it’s disgusting, it’s senseless, it’s unnecessary.

Something needs to be done. I don’t know what that is, but I am hoping this article will reach enough people and spark enough conversation that something will happen, because we can’t keep losing 50 people on one day every year. And I urge you as you read this and start conversations, this is not a political issue, this is not a race issue, this is not a gender issue, this is a people issue and it needs to be fixed.

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