My heart is shattered today at the news of the pure evil demonstrated last night in Las Vegas.
My prayers and deepest sympathies are with our hurting nation right now, and especially the victims and their loved ones.
I’ve been hard pressed to peel myself away from the news to write this post.
The level of atrocity and horror that is belching across our television airwaves today is enough to make you want to build a bunker and not come out until the second coming.
There was one thing I was not expecting today though: and that’s what I found when I scanned social media today.
Honestly, I have been so sickened at the response by much of the public – and much of my Facebook newsfeed.
Instead of calls for prayer and compassion for the victims of the shooting, there is outcry for gun control reform.
Instead of numbers and addresses for blood banks to donate the vital lifeline so desperately needed in Vegas right now, there are email addresses and phone numbers to “flood” our congressmen and women about gun control.
Instead of comforting bible verses or religious images, there are political cartoons, using the pain and tragedy of others to parody and promote their stance on gun violence.
Instead of sorrow, and compassion, and empathy, there’s rage and outcry and defiance.
And it is disgusting.
Now is the time when we need to be uniting, offering compassion, seeking peace and offering prayer and support.
The behavior on display today by much of the public is nothing short of a disgrace.
Almost as bad as our athletes kneeling during the national anthem.
I wonder what those athletes, protesting police brutality, would have to say to the plain clothes, off-duty police officers who stuck around and risked their lives at the concert, directing people to safety, shielding people with their bodies, and willing putting themselves in harm’s way, all for the protection of strangers.
I wonder what they would have to say to those first responders who – in ten minutes – blasted down the hotel door of a known gunman with automatic rifles and went in, coming face to face with almost a certain death, to save others.
I don’t want to get into anything political. Not today. Not ever, really. So I’m going to just let you come to your own conclusions on that.
But in response to the uproar of gun control opportunists, selfishly using this tragedy for their own political agenda, I have just two things to say.
First: shame on you. Have you no heart? Really.
Guns are not the problem.
There, I said it.
It’s not the guns: It’s the person pulling the trigger.
It’s mental illness.
As a survivor of anorexia – a mental illness – I will be the first to tell you, that mental illness is the absolute culprit behind the destruction. – Be it inflicted on others, or in my case, on oneself.
It doesn’t matter if the weapon is a gun, a box cutter, rented trucks, homemade bombs, anthrax, or food– the weapon does not commit the crime: the person does.
Just ask 78 pound, anorexic me. I was using food – or rather, the lack there of — as my weapon to destroy my own life.
It was the mental illness. And I had to go to inpatient treatment to literally kick the demons out of my life.
A man who would calculatedly open fire on a helpless, innocent crowd of people from a perfectly located hotel room, 32 floors up and two football fields away is mentally ill.
And as a result, there are thousands of people who are left in the carnage, both physically and mentally.
And I agree: rapid fire, automatic weapons – like machine guns – should never be in the hands of anyone, other than the members of our armed forces and law enforcement officers.
But it is a pretty naive view to think that gun laws will keep guns out of the hands of bad guys.
It’s a tough issue. And what about other weapons? What do we do about mentally unstable or brainwashed people seeking to acquire fertilizer or other ingredients to make homemade bombs, or renting a truck to drive through a crowd? What are we to do then?
What price are we willing to pay in loss of freedom and privacy to reduce threats at the hands of mentally unfit people?
How far do we go as a society? It is a messy and complicated issue.
But right now, in the wake of this ghastly episode, our focus should be on one another. On the hurting. On the healing. On the hope.
Not on furthering one’s political agenda.
I was going to close in my own prayer for this nation, but I was so moved by President Trump’s remarks today, that I’m going to let his words take us out tonight.
And regardless of your opinion on our brazen leader, I invite you to read his sincere words with an open heart.
“In times such as these, I knew we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.
Melania and I are praying for every American who has been hurt, wounded or lost the ones they loved so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack. We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace, and we pray for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.
May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost, may God give us the grace of healing, and may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on. Thank you. God bless America.”
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