- The Washington Times - Monday, October 2, 2017


What happened in Vegas is not going to stay in Vegas.

The sniper attack that occurred Sunday night at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas left many people stunned — many of them because they were asleep when the shootings happened, and the morning-after news was as shocking as the wake-up call about the U.S. presidential results.

And the Republican-Democratic aftershocks continue to this day.

Honest-to-goodness trauma can have such an effect on human beings.

The origin of the word “trauma” is Greek, and according to a 17th century translation, it literally means “wound.”

Not all wounds, of course, are equal, and deadly mass shootings usually are defined by the number of victims who die, not those who survive.

Sadly, America is a most notorious nation for mass killings, and not because of civil war or the bloodied thumbs of a despot.

Americans are slaying their neighbors, schoolmates and coworkers; religious zealots and racists are killing worshippers; and the generally insane are firing upon people simply because they occupy space.

To wit, the scenes of some American massacres:

Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg.

Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

A holiday party in San Bernardino, California.

Several locations at Fort Hood, Texas.

Washington Navy Yard in the District.

A movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Several sites in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

A black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

A lawnmower factory in Hesston, Kansas.

A Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Okios University in Oakland, California.

A storage facility in Minneapolis.

An apartment building in Hialeah, Florida.

Umpqua Community College in Roseberg, Oregon.

Those are since 2002. A mere 15 years. A lifetime to people who live, say, in Chicago and who are subject to being traumatized every day with a rate of unbelievable, blood-curdling violence.

For the record, Chicago marked its 500th homicide of 2017 on the day of the Las Vegas rampage — and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s post-Vegas comments were quite scary.

He laid out a welcome mat for Puerto Rican hurricane survivors, said Chicago is prepared for the MLB playoffs and called on his political brethren to tighten gun controls.

No shockers there, right?

The mayor’s “constituents” are dropping like swatted flies, and the mayor dusts off his trusty and dusty playbook.

The violence and loss of safety valves that tear apart Chicago life can be as cumulatively traumatic as a single U.S. mass shooting.

Everyone who has survived “Chiraq,” to borrow a name from filmmaker Spike Lee, was wounded.

Everyone who attended that Vegas concert was wounded. All 22,000 ticketholders, not only the ones counted among the 500-plus enumerated by law enforcers.

Death tolls and other numbers tell but one part of the story, especially when that story evolves around mass killings, which are acts of terrorism. Period.

Sometimes people kill other people and they are not necessarily “insane.”

Reacquaint yourself with the definition of insanity, and reread that list of mass killings.

Next, tend to the future as if your life depended on it.

Because it does.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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