Mandalay Bay Casino, an MGM resort in Las Vegas, was the location of a massive shooting, where around 50 people were killed and around 400 people injured (details still coming in). People have been quick to call for tighter gun control laws as well as promoting other political messages. There’s a reason this kind of thing doesn’t sit well with people and I recommend against it. Rushing in with politics on the tail of a tragedy is really bad move.
Some people are very certain about their beliefs being true. That’s a kind of insanity to me, something I’ve always fought. I’ve never been able to say that I definitely know something when it comes to political moves or philosophical points of views. If you are certain about your political views or philosophical views and can’t be wavered you’re probably wrong. In fact you’re definitely wrong. We all are wrong. Remember that.
When a tragedy like this one happens, the environment is ripe for political moves, religious indoctrination and other types of emotion-based sales. Everyone is in shock and the emotions are high because people are dead and people are suffering. People who swoop in like vultures to win favor for their tribe are making a critical error in judgement and the long-term negative effects outweigh any short-term positive gains.
In times of tragedy people are looking for comfort deriving from facts. Facts like “we got him” or “here’s how we’re going to stop this from happening again.” Swooping in with a political solution like gun control or religious solutions like pray or join this church or that church is not offering a real solution: it’s (sometimes well-meaning) patronizing.
On twitter I’m seeing some people are trying to make the point that this shooter was a terrorist. Their point seems to be that white lone-wolf -type shooters are just as much terrorists as Islamic terrorists. I feel like this kind of political message is missing the point. It’s clearly well-meaning. It’s clear that what they’re trying to say is that terror is terror. But the thing is, these things aren’t the same. Terrorism is committing acts of violence with the intention of creating terror which outweighs the normal “appropriate” reaction to the incident. The 9/11 terrorist attacks were terrorism because the purpose of the attacks were to intimidate and terrorize the country. There is no evidence that the Mandalay Bay shooter intended on creating terror. The only evidence we have is that a man shot many people. We don’t yet know why. Let’s not all go and say he was a terrorist. We don’t know why he did it. Let’s not go for political points.
In times like this we should all reflect on what it means to be alive and how fortunate we all are if we weren’t affected directly from this tragedy. We should offer help to the victims and those affected by this tragedy. We should do so without the aspirations of personal gain.