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Recovering from an ‘act of pure evil’

October 11, 2017
Pine Island Eagle

An "act of pure evil" gripped the American consciousness with blood-stained fingers Sunday night.

Stephen Paddock - a monied, 64-year-old former accountant and land investor whose idea of a good time was high stakes gambling at lux Las Vegas casinos - opened fire at a country music festival packed with an estimated 22,000 attendees.

Armed with a 23-gun arsenal that included rifles converted to automatic weaponry and equipped with scopes, Paddock fired hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the sniper nest he carefully configured in a room on the 32nd floor of the adjacent Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

He shot and killed 58 people as he fired, re-loaded, and fired again, for nearly 10 minutes.

He gunned down nearly 500 more, with those injured overwhelming 13 hospitals throughout Nevada. As of Wednesday, approximately 50 remained in critical condition as a result of the carnage.

As in the wake of similar acts perpetrated across the country, people are searching for answers, demanding and debating solutions to prevent future acts of random violence.

We'll leave the former to law enforcement investigators who are working around the clock. We have confidence in their ability to determine the "how," and perhaps the "why."

We'll leave the latter to politicians though we have much less confidence in anyone's ability to answer the evil that can be manufactured by the conscienceless among us who think that the blood of innocents is an answer to anything here on Earth or whatever lies above and beyond.

Instead, we will join the actions of Americans across our great nation - yes, our great nation, despite the forces within and without that think senseless slaughter can destroy us and the principles upon which we were founded.

We will grieve.

We will pray.

And we will firmly reject any thought that the ill deeds of this or any gunman, rather than the actions of the quiet heros, the first responders and medical personnel, define who we are.

Let us quote President Trump, who said this so well:

"In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one - and it always has. We call upon the bonds that unite us - our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.

"Our unity cannot be shattered by evil. Our bonds cannot be broken by violence. And though we feel such great anger at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today -and always will, forever.

"In times such as these, I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light, and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope."




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