It has taken me a few days to gather my thoughts and truly wrap my head around the tragedy that happened in Las Vegas, NV on October 1st, 2017 at 10:08 pm during the end of the Route 91 Harvest Festival near the Mandalay Bay. To start, on Sunday night, I received a phone call from my landlord since his sister, brother in law, niece, and his niece’s friend were all in town so that Melanie (the niece) and her friend (Amber) could go to the Festival. My landlord owns several houses in the community where we live, so the house that he puts his family up in when they are in town is literally about a 7 minute walk from my home. I always keep extra inhalers and other first aid supplies on hand sine my oldest daughter has asthma, and it just so happens that Melanie has asthma as well. So you can imagine my shock when I got a call from my landlord telling me to run over to the house where his sister was staying and to take a couple of inhalers over to Melanie because she was having an attack. As it turns out, the attack was caused by severe anxiety, stress, and A LOT of fast running. Luckily she and Amber were toward the back of the venue, and as soon as the first wave of bullets were fired, they ran to the back exit and across the street to where there was a gas station which they hid behind for cover. Melanie was white as a freshly laundered hospital sheet when I got there and she and Amber were shaking and in tears, understandably. After I gave her the inhaler and the albuterol calmed her breathing, she started telling me about the people dropping around her, the blood soaking the street, and a woman who also ran for cover behind the gas station who had a gunshot wound to her thigh, which was gushing blood. She told me about how it was complete carnage out there with 22,000 people running for their lives and trying to save the lives of those around them. While she and Amber were thankfully unharmed, they will both be looking at medical bills for a long while for therapy sessions, since this will most definitely be a factor for PTSD, which having it myself I was able to let her know that she may not even know she’s having Post Traumatic Stress for several more days after the shock wears off. It took me a full week before I was diagnosed after seeing the state that my Godson was in after a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, and seeing him before the Paramedics took him to the UMC Hospital Trauma Center. That was in 2012, and I STILL have trouble some nights when I’m falling asleep because of the images from that night, so I can only imagine what Melanie and Amber will be going through after that reign of terror!
So then I found out that a friend of mine from Cedar City, UT, Heather Alvarez, was also at the concert and she was one of the (now) 59 fatalities. I had just seen her in June of this year when I went to Cedar City for my 25th High School Reunion, and she was married to one of Cedar City’s firefighters. This came as a complete shock to me, since I didn’t even know she was in town this weekend. I still have no clue if anyone else that I know are among the fatalities or if they are one of the 527 wounded that are currently spread out between five Valley Hospitals. This is one of those times when you hear about it happening around the country, these mass-shootings, but you never expect that it will happen in your own town and you CERTAINLY don’t expect to know any of the victims!
Now we cut to where I take personal issue (and I’m certain I’m not the only one, as 59 families are without their loved ones now) with the Politicians and the Hollywood Elite immediately crawling out of the woodwork to use this tragedy as their on political platform to try and push their “gun control” agenda through, rather than spending that energy trying to actually help the victims and the families thereof. At the time the shooting happened at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Florida, there were nothing but prayers, well wishes, fundraising campaigns to help the victims, etc. Even our own Supernatural Fandom (the SPN Family) and the actors of the show worked to help the victims by way of tee-shirt campaigns, well wishes, and the like. Jared Padalecki had devised a campaign through Represent with a special design for the Orlando victims, complete with a special rainbow colored design specifically for the victim’s fund. Ironically, the only REAL comment from ANY of the cast and crew regarding the Las Vegas Massacre came from Jensen Ackles on Monday morning to let us know that his thoughts are with us here in Vegas. I checked on the other cast members’ Twitter accounts, and they have been very silent with our tragedy. With Orlando, Tweets were flying and campaigns set up within 24 hours. With Las Vegas? It is now Wednesday, October 4th at 10:50pm (soon to be October 5th) and we still haven’t seen anything. There have been ideas for fundraisers, sure, but not for the victims… the funds would go to gun control advocacy! It’s almost as though Las Vegas is insignificant to them suddenly, which is a major letdown and very disappointing because there are a lot of SPN Family out here that are hurting and we feel almost forgotten even though the shooting on Sunday night is officially the most deadly mass shooting in modern US history, so far surpassing Orlando by 9 deaths, and considering the amount of wounded people in the hospital, that could easily rise in the coming days since we don’t know how many of those are on life support right now.
The victims in Las Vegas are hurting, physically AND emotionally, and we could definitely use the support of our heroes. Yet we are all people who are being treated as though we don’t matter either because we live in “Sin City,” or the people who were here for a country music festival were probably “Republicans and Trump Supporters,” (as was mention by the now EX-VP of CBS who said the Vegas victims don’t “deserve” sympathy), even though at that concert there were many Democrats, minorities, men, women, children, Republicans, etc. We are talking about a crowd of twenty-two THOUSAND people who were there to enjoy music and share a common interest as AMERICANS regardless of race, religion, creed, or political affiliation.
Now, let’s do some math… the average “Pauper’s Cremation,” which is simply cremation of the body where the ashes are send home in a vinyl covered hard cardboard box, and doesn’t come with use of the Mortuary facilities for a viewing, funeral, or memorial, along with a Minister of some sort, costs on average $3,000. I know this first hand from when my ex-roommate’s husband passed away. You then have to pay the entire fee for the cremains to be released to the family. Now, multiply that by 59 people, which comes out to $177,000 provided NONE of those families want any extras, which will be HIGHLY unlikely. Our County Commissioner, Steve Sisolak, and Sheriff Joe Lombardo set up a GoFundMe account for a victim relief fund, which has a goal of $10million (which I’m certain will be surpassed). This relief fund is to go to funerals, medical bills, future surgeries, etc. This has LITERALLY been the ONLY fundraiser that I have seen so far to help the victims and their families. If they ONLY raise $10m, minus the cost of the funerals, there will literally only be enough money to help a mere handful of people out of 527! This will only be enough to cover hospital bills and Ambulance bills that have already been incurred, and not enough to cover any future surgeries, physical therapy, and mental therapy… and the Politicians want to turn this into a gun control agenda and politicize this?? The left has completely gone off the rails! In fact, they have gone SO far left, they have fallen completely off the playing board and have lost ANY modicum of a moral compass they may have had, which shows me they could care less about human lives at this point. Their only agenda right now is to disarm Americans so that we can’t protect ourselves against a tyrannical Government, criminals (who by the way will get their hands on guns regardless of gun control laws), and take away American’s ability to hunt for food in some areas where that’s a means of survival. Do I believe that assault rifles belong in the hands of average Americans? No I don’t, I believe those particular firearms should stay within the military, since nobody needs THAT much fire power to protect themselves… but that’s my own PERSONAL opinion, and has no bearing on my support for our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, and I will NEVER try to infringe on someone else’s Constitutional Rights because I personally don’t like it. That’s just ridiculous! EVERY individual has the inalienable right to protect themselves, their families, their property, and their country.
That being said, can we stop it already with all of this political nonsense and concentrate on helping Las Vegas heal? The radical regressive left needs to be reigned in, and the far right Bible thumpers as well. The only people creating this division in this beautiful country are the people THEMSELVES. It’s time to start taking responsibility for your own actions, and stop trying to place the blame on others when we fail. If you screw up, you OWN it.
We are Vegas Strong, we need to heal, and we need HELP with that WITHOUT being used as a political pawn in your twisted game of “Stratego.”