The Las Vegas massacre should unite us, not divide us

That familiar gut-punch arrived again Monday morning with the news of the massacre in Las Vegas.

There’s nothing more reprehensible than a mass killing — their utter senselessness and the horrific loss of innocent life.

There can be no worse criminal act.

I hate the false narratives these mass murders create, especially the one that says that we as gun owners have chosen a side in these killings — that we are somehow less capable of feeling empathy for the victims and their families because of the contents of our safes, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

Those of us who have served in the military or law enforcement — those of us who have seen firsthand the  damage bullets can inflict on the human body — were especially horrified by the carnage one madman created from his elevated hotel room window.

The thought of spraying a crowd of peaceful American concertgoers with bullets … it’s just such a horrible act that I can’t put my outrage into words.

We should be unified now, but the conditioned response to these mass murders — a response that’s become a tragic template of sorts — does nothing but divide us as a nation.

We’ve entered Phase Two of the tragedy template — time for the asinine navel-gazing as to this madman’s motivation and affiliations. This was expected, but it’s still classless and rank.

Why did he do it? 

Was he a terrorist? 

In my humble opinion, anyone who sprays a crowd of civilians with gunfire is a terrorist, regardless of whether there’s an ISIS membership card in his pocket.

And as to his motivations — I learned long ago that a rational mind will never be able to interpret the wanton acts of an irrational one.

We may never know why he shot more than 500 people, and I’m good with that. There’s nothing in this monster’s twisted personal life that could ever explain why he committed such a heinous act.

Next, the narrative will shift to his weapons, and be followed by calls to outlaw this or ban that, most likely the bump-fire stocks he used to create the full automatic-type fire.

Make no mistake, evil is the real enemy here. Unfortunately, it’s something that cannot be banned or legislated away.

What’s often left out of the narrative, or what’s mentioned only in passing, is the gallantry of the First Responders who in this case ran toward the sound of the gunfire.

I’m sure many LEOs, especially the combat vets, knew they were marching into harm’s way while seriously outgunned by the sick bastard on the 32nd floor.

The SWAT team members who breached his hotel room deserve special praise. Knowing what waited for them on the other side of that door — that takes a special kind of balls.

As the memorials and the 59 funerals take place, I hope true healing follows in their wake, for once.

It’s time to abandon the standard mass-shooting template and its false narratives.

Fifty-nine of our citizens were just murdered in front of their friends and families. Five-hundred were wounded.

No one has a side on something like this.

We are all Americans, after all.

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About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

6 Comments

  1. You’re out if touch man. They have praised the first responders. They have shown pity on the dead and wounded. They are showing the people lined up around the block to give blood. You should shut your mouth and wait. Let them get it off their chest. They do have some valid questions that aren’t answered. So chill dude.

  2. I don’t see anything here that represents the feelings of the majority of Americans that there should be common-sense gun legislation, even among gun owners. Where are the articles and columns from those voices?

    • Wes we have common sense gun laws. The law says you can’t shoot people. There are common sense laws about heroin, which has zero useful street use. Yet laws banning it’s private manufacture, sale, distribution, and use are still thwarted by law breakers. What regulations have you found that sociopaths will obey, do tell?

  3. Common sense gun laws are laws that make high powered multicapacity guns practically impossible to buy. Gun buybacks for high powered guns. Requiring the redesign of lower powered guns so they can hold fewer bullets and are as hard as possible to alter to lose these limitations. Gun registration that lists all guns you own and uses technological means to track each bullet with the best technology.
    I don’t want your 22 pistol you use to shoot snakes when you go camping or your deer hunting rifle but none of those needs the ability to shoot more than 5 or 6 times before a reload. however, if your gun is a weapon of war with no purpose it needs to go.

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