The mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017 is one of many mass shootings which has shocked and dismayed the American people. Over 50 people dead and over 200 injured. If we cannot label this shooter a terrorist then I truly do not understand the definition of terrorism. The shooter’s skin color, age, gender, religion and sexual orientation do not matter. The lives lost matter. The injured matter. The mentally and physically scarred matter. The fact that after numerous mass shootings and thousands of deaths America still has yet to end the sale of automatic weapons and parts of automatic weapons. There is no need to have an automatic weapon for hunting. There is no need to have an automatic weapon for home security. I understand it is our right to own guns in this country, but that law was written before automatic weapons were even conceptualized.
Prayers will not end this problem. Americans are doing absolutely to solve this problem and yet all seem to agree the mass shootings need to end. Policy change needs to occur if the mass shootings will ever end. Our attitude about guns as a nation needs to change if we plan to end the mass shootings in America. Until we end the sale of automatic weapons, mass shootings will continue to occur.
However, our attitudes about guns are not the only thing that needs to change. Our views and treatments of mental health issues also need to change. We need to get rid of the stigma on mental illness. We all go through hard times. We all experience trauma. We all think and deal with life’s difficulties differently. There is no need to judge others for how they think. We need to offer those who are struggling with mental illness help and the ability to easily ask for help when in need. The urge to harm others, especially hundreds of strangers, is not the urge of a healthy person. We need to start having more open, honest and kind conversations about mental health, while also eliminating the weapons in our society that allow these tragedies to occur so easily.