I woke up this morning, like many of you did, with the tragic news of a mass shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 people dead and hundreds injured.
As soon as I started looking for information, I saw the usual information from the usual people. Those on the far left blamed guns and demanded gun control immediately. Those on the far right blamed Islamic terrorism and demanded a stronger effort to keep Muslims at bay.
I have made it no secret that I lean to the right politically. I believe in personal freedom and smaller government. And I hate to break it my friends on the left, but stricter gun control laws would not stop this type of event.
First of all, laws are for those who choose to obey them. Anyone who is going to randomly shoot complete strangers has already made the decision the law is irrelevant. Plus, in countries where guns are almost nonexistent, terrorism still happens with things like trucks and knives.
You cannot legislate away evil and crime.
For those on the right, a madman does not represent any religion. In this case, the man was a white middle-aged American. Although ISIS has claimed credit, I have my doubts. I suspect this was one man who for some reason went crazy.
And banning a religion will not end terrorism. Heck, it will likely increase it. Do I think our country should have common-sense laws to make sure we know who is coming in? Absolutely. But ban a religion? Come on. This country was founded by religious men trying to escape oppression. It is why we exist.
I think the thing that bothered me the most this morning as I looked at Facebook and Twitter was the extreme reaction from some who clearly have little value for human life. One woman I know claims she literally vomited and wept when she saw the news this morning. This woman, who knows no one who was in Vegas, not only wept over the loss of human life, but was so troubled she vomited. Or so she claims.
Yet, this same woman proudly claims to be pro-choice and celebrates every day when 3,000 babies are killed in our country alone. If there is such a thing as the truly innocent losing their lives, it is those babies killed before they are even allowed to take a breath.
Another theme I saw from several was those who said they found some joy in the killings because those shot were attending a country music concert and many country fans voted for Donald Trump. These same sentiments were shared by many when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, by the way.
Really? So if someone votes the opposite you do, they deserve to die? Is that really what this country has come to.
Now I know, these are the fringe. But the fringe is becoming more and more mainstream every single day.
As for me, I refuse to let go of my belief that almost all humans are good. Whether black or white, Christian or Muslim, liberal or conservative, people are generally good. We hear about the crazies, those who want to inflict harm on as many as they can. But no matter how bad the news gets, I believe people are good. And I don’t think I’m alone.
This quote from Mohatma Gandhi reflects my view and is the thinking I hold onto on days like this:
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”