‘Thoughts and prayers’ are not enough


In case you missed it, “the worst mass shooting in modern American history” happened this week… again.

A man in a Las Vegas hotel suite armed himself with an arsenal of guns and massacred at least 59 people and shot at least 500 others as they listened to country artist Jason Aldean sing.

People were as upset as they were the last time the worst mass shooting in modern American history happened.

If you recall, a gunman massacred 49 in an Orlando nightclub last year.

Our thoughts and prayers were with those people, just as our “thoughts and prayers” were with the people victimized in Las Vegas.

It is #VegasStrong, the same way it was #OrlandoStrong.

Before that it was #BostonStrong, even though those mass murders took innocent lives with bombs instead of bullets.

I suppose that somehow makes it different.

A nation moaned when kindergartners were shot in school, worshippers were massacred in churches and workers were killed in office buildings.

Politicians have been targeted, as have teenagers in lunch rooms.

We all shake our heads and count our lucky stars until the next tragedy, when we shake our heads, count our lucky stars and place a “#” in front of the next American city followed by the word “Strong.”

America is clearly not the only place where violence happens.

We all were #Strong with Paris not so long ago.

The outcry was strong when a shrapnel-laden bomb killed 23 and injured about 250 others at that Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

We were all very upset and those people were in our thoughts and prayers, until they were not.

They were in our hearts and minds until something else was in our hearts and minds.

The next thing.

Violence has always happened and let’s be clear: there were far more deadly mass shootings in history.

It just seems modern America is taking mass murder as something that is “just part of the world we live in today.”

Something to be expected.

“It’s part of the American experience: We deal with mosquitoes in August, airport delays around Thanksgiving, expensive health care and the potential of being shot, at any time, by a semiautomatic weapon as we try to go about the most boring, precious, asinine aspects of our daily lives,” Monica Hesse recently wrote for “The Washington Post,” in a piece called “What we’re really saying when we say ‘Don’t politicize tragedy.’”

I may be wrong — it wouldn’t be the first time — but murder on a large scale is not something I think we should accept as “just part of the world we live in today.”

I can’t say what the solutions are, but I do know we have to work to find them if the people who have died senselessly were ever truly in our thoughts and prayers.

One thing is clear: the next “worst mass shooting in modern American history” will be here before any of us knows it.



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