I don't usually make these kinds of posts. I think about them, but mostly they stay in my head. But we attended a large country music festival earlier this year, so the events in Vegas hit a little close to home.
I'm not totally anti-gun. I don't think all guns need to be banned. If you enjoy target shooting or hunting, or want a gun for home and self defense I'm ok with that. I can even envision scenarios where if I lived alone in the middle of nowhere or in a big city I would consider having a gun. But I am absolutely in favor of more gun control. I don't think anyone and everyone should be able to purchase an unlimited amount of weapons, and then tote them around all over in public. I don't think people need semi-automatic weapons or assault rifles. And I certainly don't think people need enough weapons and ammunition to take out 500 people in the span of 15 minutes.
That said, I'm not going to tell you that what happened in Vegas, or anywhere else for that manner, is only about guns. Mental illness, disregard for the law, grudges against society, and general lack of respect for human life all play a part. But it is partly about guns, and saying it isn't makes you look just as foolish as those who blame it entirely on guns.
But here's the thing, what I think, or you think, or what anyone thinks doesn't matter. Nothing changes based on what we think. People are still dead. Families still mourn. Hundreds try to cope with the mental and physical injuries inflicted during this event. Gun control advocates use it as a political platform, and I don't blame them. Gun proponents spew their tired arguments about why guns are not the problem and post ridiculous memes that don't help victims heal anymore than changing profiles pictures to say Pray For Vegas. Both sides spout statistics in their favor. Local news stations will run stories on security at local venues for upcoming events. People will think twice about buying that concert ticket, taking their kids to a public park, or booking a vacation for a popular tourist attraction. But eventually, most of us will go back to living a normal life and this will become just another sad day in American history. The price you pay for the "right to bear arms."
I hope it's not always this way. I hope someday people feel safe doing normal things, that today's children grow up to a better world, that we don't continue to wake up to these kinds of headlines. But in a country that clearly prioritizes universal gun ownership over universal health care, that hope is fading.