October 1st will always be a rough day for me, no matter where I may live.
Today is the third anniversary of the worst mass shooting in American history, a distinction I fear that will be surpassed in the near future, just as it didn’t take but about 14 months for the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 to be topped.
Thinking about it three years later, what I feel the most is anger. For two very different reasons.
The first reason is when you live in Las Vegas, you feel a responsibility to make sure tourists who come here are safe and having a good time. Sure, we grumble about the most annoying tourists from time to time amongst ourselves, but it’s a small price to pay to get to live in one of the most exciting cities in the world. We get to live that energy 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and want anyone who visits to Las Vegas to feel that excitement no matter where they are or what they’re doing.
On October 1, 2017, we failed those 58 souls who perished. All but six of them were tourists and a madman not only killed them, but punctured the bubble that those of us who live here feel and in some ways, the town has never been the same since.
We have family visiting this week and two days ago had just happened to drive by the festival grounds where the Route 91 Festival was happening that evening and I’m always reminded that the 58 trusted they would be safe that night and let themselves give in to the vibe we try to cultivate here where you’re free to have a good time and leave your everyday concerns back in Chicago or Cleveland or Tulsa.
The second reason I’m angry is because the response to the shooting from federal lawmakers, most especially Republicans, is literally nothing because the tool the madman used to kill them was a gun and guns are sacred for Republicans.
Put another way, the 9/11 terrorists in four coordinated attacks over the entire eastern seaboard of the United States killed 2,977 Americans in an attack that spanned several hours. The response from Americans and the Republican Party was to lay waste to two entire countries, one of which had nothing to do with the attack, spend $7 trillion to do so and give the lives of several thousand American servicemembers as well as hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and Afghanis.
One weak, motherfucking man with several guns killed 5 percent of the people who died on 9/11 in only ten minutes in an area the size of a parking lot and the fucking Republican cowards in Congress DO NOTHING.
It makes my blood boil to this day that the cult of guns is so strong that 20 second-graders and six of their teachers can be literally slaughtered, 49 innocent club-goers can be literally slaughtered and 58 people in my hometown can be literally slaughtered with weapons of war and nothing can be done about it because so many of my fellow Americans are so weak and pathetic they just accept it as the price for allowing these weapons on our streets.
It’s unacceptable, it’s sickening, it’s perverted and most of all it’s angering beyond belief.
So fuck it. You can have this fucking country. May those 58 people and their families one day know some peace, but I fear they never will because the answer to their deaths was a resounding “fuck you” from Republicans everywhere.