Hi all. My friend Martin Lastrapes sat down with Gary Lopez, witness and aide to the aftermath at the shooting in Las Vegas, this week to discuss firsthand what it’s like to be involved in such a horrible incident. Given how frequently this is now occurring in our country, it’s probably necessary that we all start planning for when it happens to us or a loved one. Perhaps some words from one who has already been through it can give us some guidance, and if not, perhaps they can at least motivate us to think hard about whether we value our safety or weapons of mass destruction in the hands of civilians more.
On a related note, my favorite person and partner is an Iraq war combat veteran. Last night, the high school down the street let off a bunch of sudden, unexpected fireworks. He ran into our bedroom asking if it was gunfire. Later, when we realized what it was, he told me his first thought was it sounded just like Silopi in 1991 when the Kurds attacked the Iraqis and he needed to “…get my boots and my guns.”
This, again, is the country we live in, where a father can’t even read his kid a bedtime story without suddenly and violently being taken back to a warzone because, who knows?, it could be a warzone right outside his own window. Imagine how many other vets live this experience every day. We are traumatizing our own country and our own society by festishizing automatic guns, by putting guns before lives, and the fact that it’s only getting worse is the price we all have to pay.