Our Viewpoint: Thoughts and prayers won’t change anything, action is the only option

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 at 9:19 PM

Two hundred loaded magazines, one gunman aged 64, 59 dead including the gunman, 515 injured. This should be shaking the United States to its core, but instead it’s merely business as usual and just another Monday morning.

It seems to happen the same way every time: news media reports it, timed delays for releasing of the shooter’s photo, mass postings about “thoughts and prayers,” lackluster gun debate, and finally, nothing. Now, here we are at the gun debate part of the cycle looking like we’ll go nowhere yet again.

I am sick of the lack of caring on both sides of the aisle, because it’s doing nothing but harm the American people as we lose more lives and just stare at each other dumbfounded.

On the right, we have political puppets with their pockets so full of gun lobbyist payoffs they can’t and won’t make a move, while on the left we have weak half-hearted arguments that do little to nothing other than agitate a conservative or two.

Let’s for a second look at the man who perpetrated the genocide on the Vegas Strip on Sunday evening, but mind you I will not use his name because some people are not worth a name. Those who lost their lives deserve the real recognition here, not the shooter.

The shooter was a white, unmarried 64-year-old man living in a retirement village in Mesquite, Nevada, about 98 miles northeast of Las Vegas. He was someone described by one neighbor as “just a guy” and “an army of one,” but sadly the second one took on a far deadlier meaning.

None of his neighbors or family knew he had any guns in general, and in any video interview, one can tell they truly are as baffled as we are by the actions he took.

Was this a question of unchecked mental health? Possibly, but regardless it was highly premeditated.

Police have recovered 47 shotguns, rifles, and pistols from three separate locations purchased in Nevada, California, Utah, and Texas, showing more than enough evidence that something was wrong.

Why are such purchases not tracked nationally? These purchases show more than just an avid collector; it appears as if the purchaser is planning to fund an army.

The shooter, in the week prior, had bet big in one of his online poker games, winning a whopping $100,000 which he funneled to an account belonging to his live-in girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who was visiting her home in the Philippines. Every action this man took pointed to something big, yet he was missed by everyone’s radar. Legislation must be made in order to implement both a system for universal background checks, as well as a bill to prevent those who are on the “No- Fly” list and those deemed mentally unfit from purchasing a firearm.

Before you stop me, I know that I didn’t say this was inherently a mental health issue, but just because it wasn’t, at least at this moment, part of the cause for this shooting, it has been a major cause before.

“From both the front of the stage and back people were being shot. I thought there were multiple shooters because the sound was different from the places bullets were hitting,” said Ruth Thompson, director of the ANNA Shelter in Erie, who was in the crowd during the shooting.

These are not just nameless people in these shootings; these are our neighbors, friends, family and furthermore our fellow Americans, and it is a dishonor to them for us to not politicize such an issue. It is wrong to not bring in politics, as this is a part of the reason why such events are allowed to happen.

Going onto social media will find you face-to-face with a horde of hindsight heroes who apparently are just never there to stop the bad guy, yet if we had more guns, they could. This is simply not true and won’t help us out, so the answer really lies in legislation.

I think that the person who has called out the hypocrisy of suppressing gun debate the best is Jimmy Kimmel who spoke somberly about it in his Monday night monologue.

“They say it’s inappropriate to be talking about it because it’s too soon. Well, maybe it’s too soon for you because deep down inside, you know you bear some responsibility for the fact that almost anyone can get almost any weapon they want. And you want to now cover yourself until the storm of outrage passes and you can go back to your dirty business as usual,” said Kimmel, as he struggled to not choke up throughout the newscast.

We are in a sad state of affairs when late night hosts like Kimmel are more emotional and concerned than the politicians we vote in to protect us. We must form educated dialogue across all party lines and we must change, because if we don’t, we have nobody to blame other than ourselves.

Our Viewpoint is voted on by The Spectator staff every week. 

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