Over 500 people were injured and at least 58 were killed yesterday by what appears to be a lone gunman firing upon the crowd at a music festival in Las Vegas. Before my thoughts on the debate surrounding the shooting are listed below, I would like to say that while pundits and professionals rehash the conversation concerning guns, terrorism and public safety again, remember that there are at least three other huge crises occurring that should not be ignored: Puerto Rico's destruction by Hurricane Maria, nuclear brinksmanship with North Korea and Congress's continuing work on tax (and ostensibly healthcare) reform.
Nevertheless, the horror in Las Vegas is the dominant story today, and with very little information, and only a few hours to contemplate that information, here are a few things I think you should hear concerning the shooting:
1) The safety and medical response was outstanding from onlookers and first responders
2) Terrorism is defined by motive, not response. Until the assailant is profiled, it’s premature to call a shooting terrorism
3) Other characteristics of the victim or the perpetrator – like religion or race – have no bearing on whether an act was terrorism.
3) Many of these weapons were strictly controlled. It’s not completely clear that more gun control solves the problem
4) American has a huge gun problem. America has a mental health problem. America has an aggression problem
5) These problems are most pronounced among white men. More resources are needed to address the crises impacting middle class white men
6) This can happen anywhere dense crowds congregate near tall buildings, cliffs, antennae, trees. To this point, the safety we've felt has been an illusion