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.