ThroughTheBenz_featuredsize

It’s difficult to comprehend the horror of Sunday night’s tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas where 59 people were killed and 527 were injured. But what makes this tragedy even more heartbreaking is the way America has reacted to it, because it clearly shows that we as a nation have lost our humanity. We have lost the ability to see things and react from the standpoint of just being human.

It’s sad and discouraging that so much of how people reacted to this tragedy was framed within political views, or racial, or religious. The Democrats blame the lack of stricter gun control, while the Republicans go with their usual response about the Second Amendment right to bear arms. There are people who blamed this on Donald Trump. There has been much speculation as to whether it was an ISIS backed terrorist attack. There are even arguments over how the reaction would have been different if it was a rap concert which was attacked and black lives were lost.

But why does it matter? The fact remains that 59 people are dead; people of different races, religions, political beliefs. 59 families are grieving and will have to deal with loss for the rest of their lives. These people were moms and dads, sons and daughters, sister and brothers, co-workers, and students. They were part of their community. And now they are gone, and those who knew them are left to deal with their loss. There are 527 people who will have to recover from their physical injuries, but it is the emotion wounds which are the deepest and will take the longest to heal. There are many who were at the concert who were not physically injured, but they were still traumatized in ways we can’t imagine.

And once again America is grieving over yet another mass-shooting. Pulse nightclub, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Newtown, Columbine; names we know all too well, and now Las Vegas gets added to the list. We’ve seen how this plays out; the initial outrage and grief and then the bickering over gun control, but in the end, nothing ever changes. The deaths in Las Vegas will fade away only to be resurrected later on when the next mass-shooting occurs. And the sad part is that we know it’s just a matter of time until this happens again. Everyone is so quick to offer “thoughts and prayers” whenever a tragedy happens, but they are far more reluctant to actually take any meaningful actions. This column is not about gun control, but clearly something needs to be done; citizens have no business owning assault rifles. The other issue which is rarely addressed is mental illness and the difficulty in getting treatment. America deinstitutionalized mental heal care in the early 1970s, which reduced the population in mental institutions and made mental health care more community based. But during the ensuing years as the economy worsened mental health was always one of the first things which had their budget cut, and now we’re at the point where it can extremely difficult to access mental health services because there are so few resources available. And the result is that there are many people who have mental health issues, and who have the ability to get high powered guns, and that, as we’ve seen, is a deadly combination. Add to that the general state of this nation and all the unrest and divisiveness, and it’s a recipe for disaster. More innocent people will die, only to used as political fodder for each party’s agenda.

We’ve stopped seeing people as people; in today’s America being human is trumped by your political beliefs or the color of your skin, or what religion you follow, and that is a shame. We have lost our humanity.

Becca-Signature2