When I woke up, it was dark. I didn't know how dark.
Not until I opened up the news. Fifty people had been shot and killed and hundreds more wounded in Las Vegas the night before. Thousands of folks who had attended the Route 91 Music Festival were targets for a sniper perched atop a high-rise hotel across the street.
Motives were not clear as the sun began to creep into the new day. Other than the obvious one: killing. No one wanted to talk about domestic terrorism, since it wasn't clear why a sixty-four year old accountant would turn sharpshooter and bring death from above. Was there terror? Was it home-grown? I suppose we'll have to wait for the authorities to determine all of that.
In the meantime, we as a nation are left with yet another disaster. There isn't much natural about this. All those concertgoers showing up to the last night of the three night country music extravaganza entered the venue across the street from the Mandalay Bay hotel through a screening process not unlike that found at most airports. Why wouldn't they feel safe?
The ability to spray bullets into a crowd is one that is safeguarded by our Constitution. At least that's what a lot of people will begin to assert as the traditional gun control debate pot gets stirred yet again. And at this point, I say, "Why bother?"
This is a country that spent two weeks arguing about professional athletes sitting or standing for our National Anthem, a song whose lyrics are all about fire and explosions. We have spent the last seven years arguing about the way we insure our citizens against medical expenses. We debate the reality of global warming while monster storms devastate our coasts. We seem to be just as ready to use our nuclear weapons as we ever have been.
Why bother arguing about gun control?
Because fifty Americans lost their lives in a senseless tragedy. It should have been avoided. Just like all those other mass shootings that are listed on the shirt my wife wears to remind us all of the toll of avoidance. We have not been able to keep up with the cities that have been added to that list since it was first printed. Commas instead of a period.
When I woke up, it was dark.