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Vegas Shooting: When is enough, enough?

Denise Cervantes

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It happened again.

We saw it at Pulse. We saw it at “The Dark Knight Rises.” We saw it in Paris. We saw it at Sandy Hook, and we are tired. We are tired of seeing the routine headlines and the predictable anti-gun rhetoric played on repeat each time we are confronted with these atrocities.

The nation woke up to another mass shooting on Oct. 2. This time in Las Vegas, during the Route 91 Harvest Festival where over 22,000 people filled the outdoor arena.

The attack comes only 16 months after the Florida Pulse club shooting, the benchmark for the nation’s deadliest mass shooting now has a new record. At least 59 are confirmed dead, and more than 500 were injured.

There are multiple ways we can respond in the wake of this attack. Yes, the way government facilitates the purchase and use of guns in the country is a conversation pertinent to these attacks. Yes, the implications of mental health and the culture around it is an important conversation. However, neither argument should precede the empathy and consolation needed for the families of the victims.

Furthermore, whether it be gun control, whether it be mental health, or a force that we are not yet aware of – no proposed cause will matter if it is absorbed by the numbness that has excused events of the same nature since Sandy Hook in 2012. Shootings prior to the prevalence of social media were likely not swept away at the same speed as they are today.

How long will we report the news, express our outrage, and distract ourselves with endless arguments until it happens again? The victims do not benefit from the president informing us that this is an, “act of pure evil”. A politician’s thread of proof for or against gun control does not save any lives.

We attempt to honor the deaths of the victims of these shootings by expressing our outrage, but a greater honor would be setting aside our political loyalties long enough to diagnose and correct the culture that has endangered them in the first place. We should not be docile as politics begin to eclipse our humanity. Will we be motivated by partisanship or empathy?

Mass shootings have become so normalized in our society that they can happen in the places where we go to escape the cruelties of the world, and we will still dust our hands of the issue by labeling the shooter as an outlier. However, each time we allow a mass shooting to happen without responding to proper corrections, we define their deaths as nothing and we effectively fail them.

The Las Vegas shooting has nothing and everything to do with the second amendment. We have seen our country fall to its knees too many times to our own gun barrels. It is evident that this is a problem, but in the midst of debating who is wrong and who is right, we seemed to have lost touch with what really matters — the victims at hand. The mass shootings in our country are much bigger than any of us, but before we jump into our political debates, we need to lend helping hands to our neighbors affected by this tragedy.

Rather than shout over the ambulance sirens, and step over their injured bodies to confront our opponents. We need to collect blood donations and understand the problem before we can fix anything. This is not the time to shy away from each other, but instead unite in solidarity.

Our initial reaction to these mass shootings should not be to argue anymore, because until we reject the numbness and definitively deem these events as unacceptable in our country, these arguments will be a place holder for useful change.

When do we as a country say enough is enough? We can tweet, we can pray, it is only until we act with the same vigor with which we toss blame that we can affect real change and uproot the forces that fuel these hateful attacks.

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One Response to “Vegas Shooting: When is enough, enough?”

  1. Matt on November 29th, 2017 1:42 pm

    This comment is in response to the Editor’s Note located at While the page appears to allow comments, numerous attempts have proven futile. The current captcha asks for 11-6=, but 5 entered is coming back as an error. If you’re going to effectively stop comments on a post, do so honestly. Do not create a system that appears to allow for comments, but does not function transparently.

    This is not an apology; it’s “the original intent was…” and “the column could have been clearer” masquerading as an apology. As the Editor, you should be ashamed to have let such poor writing be published in your paper. As an institution, Texas State should be ashamed to have someone with such lack of discernment leading their paper.

    You say, “the original intent of the column was to comment on the idea of race and racial identities”. Likewise, many proponents of the article have said that while it contained some poorly chosen sentences, the intent of the piece is worthwhile. These proponents, yourself included, imply that the intent was the idea that whiteness and race are social constructs that can and should be destroyed as their only use is oppression. That the “white” discussed in the article is the construct and not the skin color.

    However, if this is at all what Martinez was trying to say, he did an exceedingly poor job. So poor, in fact, that he literally says, “This column functions, however, within a different definition of whiteness: to be white in the United States is to be a descendant of those Europeans who chose to abandon their identity in search of something ‘new’ – stolen land.” By his own definition, Martinez is saying that his column defines whiteness not as a social construct, but as a classification determined by ancestor decisions. It’s a ridiculous definition for a number of reasons.

    The issue of Martinez’s faulty definition is illustrated when he writes, “You were not born white, you became white”. So which is it? Was I born a descendant of Europeans who came for something new, or did I somehow become the descendant of these people without being born that way? Please tell me you see the contradiction here. Please tell me you see the issue with “you were not born white” in an article titled, “Your DNA is an abomination.”

    The article goes on to say things like, “In your whiteness…You don’t give a damn”, “Through a constant, ideological struggle in which we aim to deconstruct ‘whiteness’ and everything attached to it, we will win”, “Whiteness will be over because we want it to be”, “…accept this death as the first step in defining yourself as something other than the oppressor”, and finally, “until then, remember this: I hate you because you shouldn’t exist”. If you truly believe this piece is about “the idea of race” (as you defended in your attempt to apologize and take responsibility), replace the places Martinez discusses whiteness or “you” with his own definition, or with “your DNA” as he’s implied in the title.

    This opinion piece contradicts itself, offers no clear examples or coherent discussion on its argument or solution, and uses abhorrently extreme and absolute language. Racist content and tumblr-level immaturity withstanding, you should’ve held your paper to a higher standard of quality. Further, when the article began to receive widespread criticism, you should’ve had the maturity to listen to criticism, read the article with a more refined lens, and take full responsibility in a professional, non-excusatory manner.

    Your name and this apology (or lack thereof) is searchable and easily found by future potential employers. I hope they are able to see it for what it is—severe lack of discernment, professionalism, and ability to take responsibility.

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Vegas Shooting: When is enough, enough?