Image by Robert Freiberger via Flickr
Monday, Oct. 2, 2017
What happened in Las Vegas was not tragic. It was expected, and expected violence can never really be that tragic. Yes, to those affected, the shooting is beyond tragedy—beyond the comprehension of human emotions. To America, though, Las Vegas is just another relapse of its habitual affliction.
What is tragic is allowing the expected to happen. Yes, the killer may have still been able to reach the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay and open fire on concertgoers, regardless of any new gun laws and regulations, or mental health services being provided, but doing something is better than doing nothing. Trying is better than failing.
After Orlando, Charleston, Sandy Hook, Aurora, San Bernardino and the countless other massing shootings, did any of us honestly expected such senseless acts of violence to simply end? To shrink back into the nether regions of Americana? How much hubris runs through the American conscious to think this would not happen again? Maybe it wouldn’t have been a Las Vegas concert, but a mass shooting of this scale was bound to occur.
The problem lies in balancing Constitutional rights with safety, a very slippery slope that could lead to irrevocable damage to our freedoms. In order to have freedom, such as the ability to own guns and protect the fulfillment of the Second Amendment, we must live with certain caveats that come along with those freedoms. The caveat with guns is someone may use them for evil, and evil is hard to stop.
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Regardless of whatever rights we’re discussing, there are caveats we live with every day, though few as dangerous as guns. People speak speech some find hurtful, offensive and downright disgusting, but we still protect free speech. Police may have difficulty collecting the evidence they need, but the Fourth Amendment should be as strong as the Second, and the others.
America is the richest country in the world, yet it still cannot protect Americans from other violent Americans—and we will never be able to. There will be another Orlando, Charleston, Sandy Hook, Aurora and San Bernardino—and Las Vegas. It is not a matter of if, but when. We’ve so far failed to do anything, so why should we believe something will be done now?
When such a tragedy does happen again, our country will let out a collective sigh of pain. Some will make tearful pleas for something to change—and nothing will—before we move on in a week, thinking this won’t happen again.
Until it does.