My heart goes out to all Americans after the devastating Vegas shooting. I keep hearing statistics. Though horrifying, reducing people to numbers somehow manages to allow us to cope. “At least 59 people dead.” We all know the truth is too horrible to fully consider. What if those 59 people consisted of your family, your friends, or your next door neighbour? For many people it was. Our lives are so interconnected and the gravity of our interactions is immense. At least 59 people are dead. How many lives did they touch? How many hundreds of people are left grieving? Today in my Econ class we discussed how the government denotes a monetary value for a human life in order to create public policy. But you can’t. In my opinion, there is no possible way to measure the value of a person’s existence and impact on this world. To all of those suffering from this horrific event, I am truly so very sorry for your loss.
I know a lot of Americans are losing hope. At least that is the media’s portrayal. My aunt lives in Texas and I messaged her asking if she thought this would be a turning point for gun regulation. Her reply was, ” If they did nothing after all the kids died at Sandy Hook, why would this be different?”. But I challenge this notion. Now is the point in time Americans cannot give up. I love this quote from Michelle Obama, ” you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” I fully agree. In the most desperate of times, humanity has rallied together and been victorious. I realize it is not a simplistic issue and power lies in the hands of few. However, humans have accomplished great things throughout history, why shouldn’t they be able to accomplish gun control. We all know the saying, “All that is needed for evil to exist is for good men ( and women) to do nothing.” and I could not agree more.
I think another important consideration that has not been given much attention is mental health. A sane, mentally healthy person does not go on a killing spree. If passing gun control laws seems impossible and disheartening, why not focus on the other half of the equation. We all know someone who suffers from mental illness. In my opinion, it is an epidemic. Why don’t we start by providing sufficient support?