Las Vegas

It’s starting out to be an interesting week. The events of Sunday in Las Vegas have broken my heart. I just can’t imagine being in that situation and dealing with the effects of that. I’m devastated and I’m hundreds of miles away.

It seems things like this happen all the time. The news is always portraying bad things more than the good things, which doesn’t help matters. Frankly, I don’t watch the news. It just bums me out. Besides, as evident yesterday with the whole Tom Petty thing, the news doesn’t always have the correct information. This makes it hard to trust everything we see. Now, I know there are people who are going to blame Trump or gun control or all these other controversial factors, but I don’t want to talk about those. I have friends on the far right and the far left, so I’m going to take a middle stance on this.

What happened on Sunday was a devastating tragedy. That is a universal truth. However, as sad as it is, it’s nothing new. Contrary to what some people believe, this country was founded on hate and discrimination. I could name several groups of people that this has affected: Native Americans, blacks, Hispanics, Irish, Japanese, and women (just to name a few). It is true that this country was founded for religious freedom. However, it is also true that while legally someone was allowed to worship differently, they usually couldn’t for fear of being ridiculed, scorned, or even killed.

There are great things about this country. There really are. But there are also really bad things about this country. I actually recently wrote a paper about this. The thing about history is that the good AND the bad must be included. You can’t just gloss over the bad and focus on the good. It doesn’t work that way. I tell people that my favorite thing to study is the American Civil War, and that’s still true. But I love looking at all aspects of it. I love studying the battles, the military tactics, the home front, the government, the industry, the slavery, and the causes and effects. There were some really cool things in the Civil War, like the first successful submarine, the invention of ironclad ships, and other inventions and weapons. But, there were also some really bad things besides the battles. But that’s one of my favorite things about history. You can study the good and the bad to get this whole picture.

I have a couple analogies for this. The first one is something also kind of close to my heart. See, if I didn’t love history so much, I would probably honestly be studying to be an engineer. I love the way things work together. I love understanding what works and what doesn’t. I’ve made some of my own things, and there are times that I have to change my original plan because it doesn’t work. In essence, it’s a “bad” plan. Thus, I have to learn and adapt from my failures to find out what will work.

My second analogy is that I love to paint and color. However, I do not care for the color yellow. It’s not just a color that I enjoy.  Nevertheless, when I am painting or coloring, there are times that call for the color yellow. I can’t just avoid using yellow to paint. There are things that need to be yellow.

So it is with life and history. We take the bad and good together as a whole, and we learn from them. We keep the good and adapt from the bad. Going back to my example of the Civil War. Submarines are still in use today. But slavery (at least in the form of the 17-1800s) is illegal. Why? Slavery is bad. So we learn and adapt from that. This is how it should be with Las Vegas. Again, I am devastated by the events. Honestly, I don’t have an idea for how to proceed. I wish I did. But I don’t have all the answers. I just know that something needs to change to prevent something like this from happening again.

I kind of actually think of 9/11 in this sense. After that horrid day, airport security changed. It improved with metal detectors, scanners, searches, and police, and a much more complicated process. In a sense, 9/11 was the catalyst.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want to minimize the importance or tragedy of 9/11 or Las Vegas. However, now that they have happened, there is not much that can be done on a broad scale except put measures into place to prevent it from happening again. I don’t know when or what will happen, but something does. Otherwise, what is there to prevent this from happening again?

I stand with Vegas. My heart breaks for all involved. But I’m also angry about this. I’m not naive enough to think that this country is full of love and happiness all the time. It’s not. As I mentioned earlier, this country was founded upon hate. It never goes away. Our job as Americans is to put measures in place to make the hate in this country as minimal as possible. This is a country where theoretically we can all live together and have our own lifestyles. I think of Middle Eastern countries, some of which are just recently allowing women to drive. America isn’t like that. There shouldn’t be these kind of restrictions placed on certain discriminated groups, especially here in America.

The question is: when does this end? If we take a stand now, maybe we can prevent more of these from happening. However, I personally do not believe that taking away all guns is the answer. I fear that it would create a Prohibition-like scenario. Nevertheless, I do know people that think that this is the answer. I think the best form of action is to do something that represents more of the middle ground. Being too drastic and taking no stance are going to have the same effect.

This was not my original plan to write about this today. I had a few other ideas in mind. However, much like I’ve been talking about, I needed to adapt and understand the change that is happening. This is what we should adopt as a country. Understand what is happening, learn from it, and implement something to prevent this from happening again. But, we must be careful about our implementations, because something too drastic will only create more of a problem, and something not drastic enough won’t solve anything. Again, I don’t have the answer. All I can do is pray and hope that those in charge will make the decision they believe will be the best for this country. This is a breaking point and something’s gotta give.

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