Let’s help quickly, not judge

By BRENT MAZE,

Our country is once again facing a major tragedy.

Late Sunday night, a big country music party on the Las Vegas strip turned deadly, as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock apparently opened fire from a room at the Mandalay Bay Casino that overlooked the area where the music festival was being held. As of Monday, nearly 60 people had been confirmed dead while hundreds of others were injured.

​​After such a heinous crime, we are outraged and want to put the blame on anything that could have remotely caused the crime. In the hours after the incident, people on social media have blamed ISIS, white Americans, liberals and conservatives among others. We’re also wanting answers from local police, hotel security, FBI, Department of Homeland Security and others of how they could have stopped it.

How did his family not know what he was doing? How could he sneak that many weapons into a hotel room without anyone knowing? Expect to see lawsuits from victims against the hotel and concert organizers because they had no idea that someone would do this.

This tragedy also allows those with an agenda to rise up and make a statement. Expect to hear from gun restriction advocates that say no citizen should have access to automatic weapons. And the NRA will likely combat that and say that people kill people, not guns.

Now that it’s been reported that the deceased suspect’s father appeared on the FBI’s most wanted list nearly 50 years ago, there might be advocates that would support us tracking all families of convicted felons. Others might blame it on hotels for allowing someone to book a room without a background check.

We could even blame God for allowing such a thing to happen.

We are looking for answers, but there aren’t many answers. Since the alleged murderer killed himself before law enforcement could take him into custody, the answers will likely be fewer and far between.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to this question. We live in a free society that allows people to have the liberty to choose what they want to do. If we want to increase our security, we give up that freedom. We have a constitution that protects the right to speak freely without prior censoring, the right to bear arms and the right to privacy among other freedoms.

So when we’re responding to a tragedy, let’s not be quick to judge, but let’s be quick to offer thoughts, prayers and any other help that our neighbors in distress need.

It was awesome to see the photos of people lining up to give blood. Others were on the scene helping. Some were first responders while many others were just fellow Americans stepping up to the plate to help. Others have already started fundraising drives to help the families of the victims.

Let’s reserve our opinions about what happened for a few days or weeks until authorities have completed their investigations. Only then can we take proper action to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

But until then, let’s pray for our citizens and our country. Then, let’s check on our neighbors here and take a minute to show our love for our family and friends. And let’s show our appreciation for those who put their lives on the line here to keep us safe.