Thoughts on Las Vegas

As is everyone, I’m heartbroken for the senseless mass shooting in Las Vegas last night. And I’m further saddened that I’m not all that surprised by it.

I’m somewhat new to social activism – or perhaps more accurately, in my case, social media activism. I don’t get out there and paint signs or march in rallies, but I speak my mind online, for whomever will read. And I’m often frustrated, and astonished, when people fail to see and immediately adopt my worldview. I’ve seen it written a thousand times: “No one is changing his/her mind due to a Facebook post.” But onward I charge.

Today, I’m a little surprised that I’m not writing a gun-control rant in this space. Many folks are doing that today, and I don’t begrudge them for it. Others will no doubt say that it is too soon for that, although that usually seems to mean “let’s put off that discussion until…never.”

For me, the message today is Peace, Love and Understanding. As of this writing, we don’t know the motive for last night’s massacre. But whatever this may have been done “in the name of,” we’re going to be talking about division and hate. As a nation, we have been driven, and are being driven, by radicals who want to emphasize our differences, and not our similarities. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, sex, or ethnic origin. Today, we are being divided among every single one of those lines.

If and when we learn why this sick individual decided to murder all these people, the easy thing to do will be to discredit and condemn those who hold similar beliefs. Which, of course, drives deeper the wedge between us. If we are to come together as a society and as a nation, we are going to have to do it with peace, love, and understanding, rather than with sticks and stones. Sadly, sticks and stones may be necessary along the way, but they will not win this war.

My plea for you today is to consider the perspective of one person who is not like you, and think about how you are alike, and how you can accept the differences, and live peacefully in America.