What Happens In Vegas

Today when I went out to do my steps, it was after seeing President Trump speak at the Las Vegas Police Department in the aftermath of that city’s unspeakable atrocity.  My heart was heavy when I went outside, and even though the autumn sun was shining brightly, I found no solace in it.  And then I remembered a song by Glen Campbell, may he rest in peace.  I’m sure that if I wrote the lyrics into this blog, someone would come chasing after me to let me know that I had violated a copyright.  So I’m not copying down the words to Let Me Be A Little Kinder, but I’m including a link:  Let Me Be A Little Bit Kinder lyrics.

And as I walked and hummed and worked my way back through those simple lyrics, I remembered a kinder gentler time when we spent our evenings watching variety shows on our old black and white TV sets.  Back then Glen Campbell’s music was always … well  … Gentle on My Mind.  In those days there wasn’t a relentless twenty-four hour news cycle with people from one side of the fence or the other yelling at one another and absolutely refusing to see any validity in the other person’s point of view.

And so, walking and singing, I found myself thinking about those thousands of concert goers, standing as one with their phone flashlights pointed skyward and with their voices raised together singing God Bless America!  At the time they sang those words, none of them had any inkling of the tragedy that would befall them little more than an hour.

Those people were truly innocents at the slaughter.  And yet, in the ungodly reign of terror that followed, ordinary men and women showed extraordinary courage.  They put themselves in harm’s way, saving loved ones and saving complete strangers.  They lifted a wheelchair bound woman down from a raised dais where she would surely have died.  They lifted one another over fences; dragged people to safety; loaded people into cars and trucks to take them to hospitals, all the while binding wounds, supplying first aid, and giving comfort.

And the cops!  Oh my, oh my as Detective Joe Kenda would say.  They went into the face of death when others were fleeing for their lives. There were no safe spaces for them, and they stood their ground.  They guided victims to safety.  For the people trapped in that killing field, the ordeal of death and destruction must have lasted forever, but it was only ELEVEN minutes from the time the first shots were fired before police officers broke into the room and found the shooter dead by his own hand.  ELEVEN MINUTES!!  And how did they locate him that fast?  They were aided by alert people on the ground who helped triangulate and identify his exact location.

It is difficult to fathom such evil.  My heart aches for the people who have lost loved ones forever and for patients still in hospitals dealing with life changing injuries.  I hurt for the people who, on a seemingly carefree night of music and fun, were caught up in that horrific nightmare where, out of nowhere, the person seated next to them suddenly took a bullet in his head.  Those scenes will be forever etched in survivors’ hearts and minds.  They will never go away.

President Trump said that, as a nation, we’ll all be dealing with the aftermath of this event for a very long time, but for the people who were there on the ground—the survivors; the first responders; the cops; the crime scene investigators; the overwhelmed doctors and nurses at the hospitals—those folks will be carrying the bulk of this burden for the remainder of their lives.

The point of terrorism is to terrify us—to get us to go home, lock the door, hide in the closet, climb under the bed, and stay there.  Terrorists want us to forget about doing the things we love to do or being the people we want to be.  They want us to be afraid.

Let’s not let what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas.  Let’s honor the courage of those ordinary but utterly amazing folks on the ground—the ones who reached out to help others in need, putting their own lives on the line in the process.  Let’s rejoice that they stood up in the face of terrible evil and did what had to be done.  Let’s remember those incredibly brave people every single day.

And while we’re at it? Yes, let’s all be a little kinder.

Please.

28 thoughts on “What Happens In Vegas

  1. After being raised in Las Vegas, I appreciate your recognition of the trauma of what the city has been through.

  2. Amazing how people “step up to the plate” when crap happens. That is when we find out who we actually are in our core, do we run away trampling others or do we stop our flight to pick others up and take them with us. Something to ponder.

  3. This is the best blog you have written, and I think I have read them all at least twice. It brought me to tears. I think it conveyed all of our feeling in your eloquent words. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel in our hearts. This is the day the Lord has made and I will be glad in it as we hope for peace and reason to prevail.

  5. There was a memorial service for the off-duty LVMPD officer who died in this attack. Your blog is such a light after the darkness. A man from across the country made 58 white crosses and brought them here to put in front of the iconic Welcome to Vegas sign. We are going back to our everyda7 lives while some never will. But we are VEGASSTRONG and we will help them continue.

    Thank you for your wonderful words.

  6. Amen, J.A. Jance.
    I think you wrote very eloquently what we all experienced about the horrific event that happened in Las Vegas, just a few days ago.
    Thank you for your message of “being kinder. May we all heed those words.
    God Bless

  7. Thank you so much Ms.Jance, for your thoughtful words. I went to YouTube and found Glen’s song. Even though I grew up listening to his music I don’t remember that one so much & I wish I had. He was one of a kind R.I.P.
    Glen ?? & all of the other dear souls who passed in Las Vegas. Life is so difficult some days, but with God’s Grace & Strength to us, we continue on.

  8. Well said. My step granddaughter was there, all of 19 years old, running for her life. She was on the phone with her mom who could hear the shooting and her daughter screaming. A man had grabbed her hand and was running with her. He was shot and killed. I hope she can get over this. Prayers for all.

  9. I love your words. So many brave people that night, I like to think that is the real America, people helping others. Bravery in the face of danger. I’m Canadian, but American by birth and my heart cries when I see things like this happening.

  10. Think you for this. My 40 year old granddaughter had friends there. Her good neighbors who are grandparents came home but are so traumatized. The bride and groom from the Sat wedding were checking in! So many in SoCal know someone who was harmed in some way. A former co-worker now lives there. She said the PD and others had been training for a disaster for some time. She has a family, church, kids active in 4H etc. not what people think of when they think of Las Vegas residents. Lines to donate blood were long. Posted offerings of rides, housing etc also. Doing what humans do best. God Bless everyone.

  11. Beautifully said. And you are quite right. We all need to take the time to enjoy a sunset. And watch animals at play. And we need to remember we are all human. And we have a world to share.

  12. Your words will help heal a lot of people. Thank you.
    I am so very sorry that our world has come to this place. Why so many people believe that my way or I will shoot you is the conversation. How we do not LISTEN to others. I am sad that we do not seem to Love One Another… Sadness fills my heart….Jan

  13. Very well said! I was in the midst of a trip to the UK when I heard the news. I can assure you the people of England,Scotland, and Wales share your feelings

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