EDITORIAL: This Generation’s 9-11
Just when the United States was reeling from three devastating hurricanes comes word on 10-1-17 out of Las Vegas that “at least” 59 people were killed when a gunman opened fire, from an elevated position, on country music fans attending a massive outdoor concert.
Hurricanes have caused untold human misery in Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico. Just before the Las Vegas shooting, the President didn’t help matters any by going on a Twitter-rampage about National Football League players conducting a peaceful protest against police brutality. It was an issue that had been festering for more than a year, and it cost one NFL-worthy quarterback his livelihood, yet President Trump - who has a long and acrimonious relationship with the NFL - chose now to call players a bad name and encourage owners to fire their players. For the players, it went right back to the plantation system - “the man” encouraging “the owners” to whip them back into shape.
If timing is everything, the “look over there” tactic took attention away from hurricane response and from what must have been a planned-months-in-advance mass shooting. Why didn’t Las Vegas police intell have at least some idea the concert might be attacked? We are more aware of terrorism now than we were on 9-11-01, but in some ways, we seem to be less ready. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the 10-1-17 gunning down of the music fans of Las Vegas; perhaps, we need to believe them.
Even while it is trying to get things right from the hurricanes, the American Red Cross was able to help with the Las Vegas tragedy. It said in a statement, “The thoughts and deepest sympathies of the entire American Red Cross family are with all those affected by Sunday night’s tragic shooting in Las Vegas. The Red Cross is on the ground working in close coordination with emergency officials to provide comfort and support now. The Red Cross is helping to establish a family assistance center by providing mental health and spiritual care to loved ones struggling to come to terms with this tragedy. Over the coming days, the Red Cross will continue to coordinate closely with local officials and community partners to determine how we can best support the Las Vegas community and the loved ones of those who have been harmed.”
Hospitals in Las Vegas were flooded with victims, and to the Red Cross’ credit, it provided more than 250 additional blood products to local hospitals to help those injured. “We stand ready to provide blood and blood products as needed in response to this tragedy,” its statement said. “Volunteer blood donors are needed each and every day to help save lives. Last night’s tragedy illustrates that it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps during an emergency. Red Cross blood donations will become part of our national blood inventory, helping to ensure we are prepared for any blood needs that arise wherever blood is needed.”
Laurens County people are extremely generous when it comes to blood donations, and we certainly encourage that to continue. Donating money to the official Las Vegas GoFundMe account also is a way to assist victims. Beyond that, there’s not much we can do. Meaningful automatic weapons control legislation will not be forthcoming from Congress. The United States government will have to impanel an investigation - think, The Warren Commission, The 9-11 Commission - concerning the Las Vegas shooting. Some of its information will be public, some will be sealed.
We have seen all this before - a rural Tennessee church; a Townville school, Charleston; Sandy Hook; Orlando; Aurora, Colorado; San Bernardino; Fort Hood; Virginia Tech, Columbine - nothing will be done. Kill the gunmen before they can kill a bunch of people, that is the only course of action that the United States government will sanction. That being the case, expect to see more people allegedly “reaching for a gun” die on the streets of America.
The more blood that we donate - the better. The more blood that we spill - so, so, so much the worse.