As if the recent loss of life due to a string of hurricanes were not enough, many awoke this morning to the realization of another senseless killing. The recent Las Vegas shooting marks another instance of history framed by tragedy. The shooting marked the nation’s latest outbreak of gunfire and bloodshed to erupt in a public place, again transforming a seemingly routine night into one of terror. A gunman in a high-rise hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Strip opened fire at a country music festival late Sunday evening, killing at least 58 people and injuring hundreds of others in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
The mass shooting is yet under investigation and law enforcement said the death toll could rise. Police also said an estimated 515 were injured and transported to area hospitals after the shooting. Authorities did not specify how many of the people were wounded by gunfire or injured in the chaos that followed.
While many victims have died from physical wounds, survivors can also be wounded psychologically in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is commonly associated with combat veterans because they are the most studied victims. There is less research on other people who were exposed to PTSD, such as survivors of mass shootings, minorities raised in violent neighborhoods, and victims of abuse, etc.
A report released by the National Center for PTSD shows that survivors of mass shootings suffer at extremely high rates, however, the type of trauma experienced by civilians during a shooting may not coincide with that of war veterans. PTSD is described as being different in mass shooting survivors and combat war veterans because the experiences are completely different. However, many fall victim to PTSD and need prayers as much as those left grieving loved ones.
With the recently witnessed tragic events, it is more important than ever to guard against becoming desensitized. The struggle humanity is facing is not just an “American” crisis; it is a global problem. Outside of back-to-back hurricanes that are outside of normal control, the human race has successfully become at odds for a plethora of reasons such as race, religion, politics, gender, class, sports, love, ethnicities, science, as well as other causes. Many people have issued a clarion call to unify in the face of tragedy, but the misconceptions of unity keep humanity divided.
As opposed to frowning on the differences that keep the world colorful, that energy could be used to celebrate the uniqueness of individuals, races, cultures, religions and other divisive opportunities. The world is in a state of crisis and unity as some hope for may never be achieved, however, there are ways to stand in solidarity with others who are dealing with the pain of tragedy.
Tragedy has hit the world in such a great way that fear has now overtaken much of humanity. The mass amount of bloodshed across the globe has affected people in one way or another. Although struggles look differently on the surface, they are connected through fear, pain, anger, frustration, and sympathy. Humankind must sort through the misconceptions of unity and find a way to bridge the gaps that have otherwise kept the world divided. As opposed to fighting inwardly and outwardly, people would do well to learn to respect fundamental human rights and adopt the motto “Live and let live!”
Another instance in history is framed by tragedy. Love and acceptance are innate, however, through nurture, humanity learns to judge, hate and segregate. The world is no stranger to hate, war or evil. Although it is horrifying, violence has been a constant companion. Despite the recurring tragic events, the world is full of the potential for increased positivity, love, and optimism. If the world ever hopes to resolve its major problems, countries and their respective governments must start working together towards the collective good. This kind of cohesive, psychological, global unity and cooperation must exist for any real change to take place.
When energy is directed in the right channel, humanity can emerge from tragic events stronger and more unified. It is normal to be fearful in the face of great tragedies, but instead of succumbing to the pressure now is the time to challenge one another to be better than that. Tragedy unfolds in the world way too frequently, but if humans allow every catastrophe to drive a wedge of hate and divisive behavior, unity will never be achieved and the possibility of peace will become a hopeless fable.
America is full of people with differing beliefs, cultures, ethnicities, and experiences. Yet, unity always seeks out opportunity in the wake of tragedy. The key to witnessing a spirit of unity is continuing to spread peace and love in the face of tragedy. The misconception of unity keeps the world divided; however, there are many ways to find solidarity with others while not losing focus on the issues paramount to a specific cause. In the wake of another instance in history marked by tragedy, the country must refuse to be fear-dominated and instead seek to be purpose-motivated.
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
The Washington Post: At least 50 dead, more than 400 injured after shooting on Las Vegas Strip
Top Image Courtesy of William Beem’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Sgt. Denoh Grear’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of William Beem’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License