A Senseless Shooting
It was chilling to read the eyewitness accounts of people caught in the crossfire of the shooting at this past Sunday night's country music festival in Las Vegas.
In general, I try to stay away altogether from grim, negative news reporting. But yesterday, I happened to be on Twitter looking though trending news and topics and when I learned about the Las Vegas shooting, so I started reading through all of the news reporting on it.
One Wall Street Journal article depicted the horrific scene in gruesome detail: People couldn't tell where the gunfire was coming from, where it was safe to take cover, or which direction to run. The concert venue was described as a death trap with people fenced in and stuck behind concert barricades. It was mass pandemonium as people panicked and fled for their lives. In the process, people were trampled. People were seen carrying a lifeless body to safety, and others used their fingers to plug bleeding gunshot wounds.
Fortunately, some were able to safely escape, but the horror of what they experienced will linger long after. One woman who had found safety went into shock when she realized that she had blood splattered on her and didn't know if the blood was her own or someone else's.
Sounds like a macabre scene out of a war zone. No one should have to experience something as nightmarish and traumatic as this. These people didn't sign up for any of these things when they made plans to attend a music concert. And now they will have to deal with the after effects of shock, PTSD and survivor guilt.
After reading this, I couldn't help but think about how I'd feel, what I'd do and how I'd react if I was in the situation. It was really frightening to think that something like this could happen at any public place or gathering.
I do hope that some good comes out of this. Outdoor concert venues and organizers should take note and make sure that there are enough safe escape routes for concert goers in case of an emergency. This should be a consideration for any event involving large groups of people, much like having proper fire safety exits in a theater.
I was so disturbed by the eyewitness accounts I'd read of the Las Vegas shooting that it made me cry, especially when I learned of the heroic actions of those who shielded their loved ones as they tried to escape the gunfire.
Later, I read something something else even more unsettling. 45 minutes before the concert started, a woman in the crowd of the music festival had screamed, "They're all around...You're all going to f***ing die today." Now THAT is chilling! Not much is known about this mystery woman or if she is connected to the shooting.
Each time a shooting like this happens, I think what a senseless loss of life with so many innocent lives taken. I'm not optimistic that we'll get a satisfactory answer as to the motives of the shooter. After all the shooter has shot himself dead.
What is it that drives someone to the extent of planning and executing a mass murder like this? What kind of pain are they in? What is their state of mind? What is it that motivates someone like this? How are they able to pull something like this off with no one noticing? Could this have been prevented? We may never know all the answers to these questions and it may happen again.
The all too familiar phrase, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people" will surely get bandied about again, but it seems to me that it's guns that are enabling killing to happen on a such a massive level and that's something to seriously think about.