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Praying for Vegas: While We’re Waiting

Romans 12: 1-2

The saying is what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. It is for the depravity and sins those who visit wish to rationalize their own behavior. And, given some bounds, a release from the confines of society can be helpful and positive. But, people are not supposed to stay in Vegas. People are supposed to enjoy their week or weekend and come home. At least 50 will not be with another 200 injured.

There is not much known in the immediate aftermath in what is expected wind up being the deadliest mass shooting in American history. A shooter positioned himself on floor 32 at the Mandalay Bay casino across the street from the Route 91 Harvest Festival, which is a three-day country music festival that draws upwards of 30,000 people. As the headliner of the event, Jason Aldean, played on stage, shots began to fire. Reports vary that the shots continued from anywhere between five and 15 minutes before police used explosives to enter the room of the shooter and take him down.

The shooter has been identified as Stephen Paddock and thought to be a lone gunman. Paddock is a white man who is in his 60s and has been living in a retirement community approximately 80 miles from Las Vegas in Mesquite Nevada. Local news Kiro7 indicates he had not had run-ins with police there, however the Washington Post suggests Las Vegas police were familiar with him from past encounters. Marilou Danley, a living companion of Paddock in Mesquite, is the only other person of interest identified by police, and she is in police custody being questioned. Her involvement- if any- is unknown at this time.

Details will slowly become known. Please use caution in what news you believe, share, and post. There are already many false news stories gaining traction, and even the details at MSM sites will change throughout the day as new evidence comes to light.

In the meantime, please join me in praying for those affected by this horrific tragedy. Sporting events, concerts, and other large gatherings are supposed to be celebrations of our humanity. The past several years has seen terrorists across the world attempt to strip any security away from our lives. Pray for the police who ran towards the danger as everyone was frantically fleeing- who somehow found and stopped the shooting as quickly as they did.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I am also taking a moment to pray for people as a whole. For people who become deranged enough to see mass shooting as a legitimate option, for people who use these tragedies to spew snarky and hateful messages, for people who are broken and need to heal (that’d be everyone). Humanity is fragile, our world is broken, and there is only one path to salvation. We need to come together rather than push each other away. One great, big hug for all.

  • Harv

    nd thoughts and prayers and thoughts and prayers and thoughts and prayers and thoughts and prayers and thoughts and prayers and thoughts and prayers and thoughts and prayers and thoughts and prayers a

  • Du

    What a senseless tragedy today in Las Vegas. Definitely praying. Sin and evil abound without question, regardless of law. The law is a like a mirror to our brokenness…And thanks for saying it Michael, there indeed is only One path to salvation. His name is Jesus.

  • tigersbrowns2
  • I look forward to a day when we might finally do something proactively to reduce the frequency and severity of such events, rather than simply offering thoughts and prayers after. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for it to come.

  • mgbode

    There is nothing simple about prayers. They are complex. I offer my prayers daily and proactively share the Word. I agree, it often does not seem that people want to help each other nor end the senseless violence against ourselves. We create issues, then continue to escalate them without any other regard. I have faith in the eventuality of good- and there are so many good at heart. It is important to remind ourselves of that in the face of these trials.

  • tsm

    Evil is not “out there”, it exists within our human hearts. Our prayers for all of those in Vegas.

  • Steve

    “In the meantime, please join me in praying for those affected by this horrific tragedy. ”
    “Pray for the police”
    “I am also taking a moment to pray for people as a whole. ”

    Amen. Amen. Amen.

    But also, pray that our lawmakers, and call them, and vote them out if they don’t, don’t just say “let’s pray” and do something to help fix a serious problem we have in this country. We have had 273 shootings this year where four or more people died. Yesterday was the 274th day of the year.

  • mgbode

    I am all for rational laws that can make real change to create a safer atmosphere. I am sad when ALL laws around guns become politicized. Like the many making the false equivalence of silencers whose bill was supposed to be voted on this week (silencers reduce by 30dB- take from popping an eardrum to the loudness of a jet engine on high-powered rifles).

    Now, if we want to create a better background check method around private sales (also known as the gun show loophole), then I’m all ears. Plus, plenty of other potential measures.

  • Good may well be an eventuality. But that does not give an adequate excuse for inaction. There is a difference between a preventable evil and a genuine tragedy. We may be powerless in the face of earthquakes or hurricanes, but it is well within our power to reduce the frequency and severity of what happened last night in Las Vegas. And while the answers may not be easy, they will most certainly involve more than prayer and positive thoughts. Actions are needed. A phone call to a member of Congress for every prayer sent up to the heavens might be a good start.

    I sincerely hope those affected by this event will eventually find solace, and faith can be a means of doing so. But until we summon the collective will to change the things we can change, we are simply waiting for the next terrible thing to happen.

  • mgbode

    Sure, I think this gets misunderstood often. Prayers can be asking for direction and having the courage to take that direction in action. It doesn’t mean asking for a magic cure- though perhaps for some it can at times. Anyway, I think you’ll find that most want some type of action with the bigger issue being specifically the correct course to take.

  • Steve

    ” I am sad when ALL laws around guns become politicized”

    Laws are political by nature. But I’m not talking any specific form of gun control. And then throw in issues like health care for mental illness being woefully and saddeningly inadequate.

    We couldn’t pull guns off the Street after young children died at Sandy Hook. I have given up on this country being able to get over their love of guns. But so many of the responses stop at just praying for the victims. We also need to pray for the strength in ourselves to find a way to prevent such tragedies from happening over and over again.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi B-BO … there’s not a whole lot you can do but hope for mankind to “get it” … and we know that won’t happen. you can put any kind of gun law on the books that you like & yes , there are things we could do better , but if someone wants to get their hands on a gun , they will find a way … unfortunately , the next “terrible thing” is just around the corner.

  • jpftribe

    In the US, that is absolutely true. Not so much elsewhere.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi STEVE … i just don’t think there is a single gun law or precaution to keep these kinds of things from happening … if criminals want to get their hands on a gun , they’ll find a way to get one. i would guess that most of those 273 shootings were in Chicago & most , if not all , were probably illegally owned guns.

  • tigersbrowns2

    oh , it’s happening everywhere … Mexico seems real bad to me … and i’m not sure I’d want to go to South America , the Middle East , Europe or Asia … maybe if you moved to Greenland , Iceland or the North Pole you might be safe.

  • Steve

    About a tenth were in the greater Chicago area.

    And, yes, we see about four-fifths of gun crimes performed by someone other than a legal gun owner with his or her own gun. Using that knowledge, why isn’t there a much greater effort to crack down on illegally owned guns? Throwing up our hands and going “who knows?” isn’t a solution to begin with, and the results of that not being a solution are obvious and sad.

  • jpftribe

    US has a demonstrably bigger gun problem than the rest of the developed world, and it’s very complex.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX4qUsgHa4Y

  • tigersbrowns2

    interesting … thanks.

  • tigersbrowns2

    i agree with you , sir … i’m just saying if a criminal wants to get their hands on a gun , they will do it by any means necessary

    sorry , i missed the “4 or more people” … i think i heard there were over 100 in a single weekend in Chicago.

  • mgbode

    Using that knowledge, why isn’t there a much greater effort to crack down on illegally owned guns?

    I doubt you’d find many who don’t think there should be. The “how do you do it” is the sticking point. I’m open to suggestions. What bills or processes have been proposed?

  • mgbode

    That seems hyperbolic. Please be more careful and try to find articles about such types of claims when you can.

  • Steve

    “they will do it by any means necessary”

    This is not true. If we make it more difficult or costly to use a gun illegally, illegal gun crimes will drop. No, we’re never going to get it down to zero, but the status quo is so incredibly awful that we’ve got to do something else.

  • “We’ll never stop everything, so we shouldn’t do anything” is not something I’m willing to accept. Civilians don’t need automatic weapons, nor do they need high-capacity magazines. You want to play with those, become a trained soldier or law enforcement officer (and when you return to civilian life, so goodbye to them). Gun manufacturers can produce weapons that cannot be easily modified for automatic capability. Background checks could be more thorough. Limits on the number of guns any one person may own could be inacted. No other country in the world has the problem with guns that we do in this country. Yes, there will always be those who might find a way to get around measures like these. Yes, there are cases of mental illness that may lead people to violence. But not doing anything–about guns or mental health–clearly isn’t helping.

  • tigersbrowns2

    sorry , man … I’m just not savvy at pasting & stuff … 101 people shot in Chicago over 4th of July holiday this year … all shooting occurred between 3pm on Friday & 6am Wednesday with 14 people dying. that better ?

  • tigersbrowns2

    i agree …

  • Steve

    Absolutely. On top of what you said about better methods around private sales, I would like to see ways to entice legal owners to keep their guns better secured, and even punish them if their guns were easily accessible to be used illegally.

  • tigersbrowns2
  • mgbode

    Thank you sir. Misread how you posted it above. Thought you meant 100 4-person or more shootings in a single weekend. I appreciate the added clarity.

  • mgbode

    I agree. Where I’m unsure is how to do it without opening up a huge issue of punishing people for being robbed. It is decidedly in the gray in deciding who is and isn’t responsible.

    Let’s take an example from sports news. Plaxico Burress went to a club with a gun in his sweatpants. Let’s say he had proper conceal and carry permits and it was legal there. Should it be illegal for guns to not be in an approved holster? Should that be permitable seizure if found during a frisk? Or an arrestable offense? Ticket/fine? Would it be seen as an attack on the poor given the added cost around such?

  • jpftribe

    When I lived in the UK, they had healthcare problems, crime problems, gang problems, finance problems, refugee problems….lots and lots of problems. They didn’t have a gun problem. Yes, people were shot and killed with guns, but it was such a rare occurrence it made the national news.

  • Steve

    “without opening up a huge issue of punishing people for being robbed”

    Again, absolutely. We’d have to punish those who are careless with their guns, and not those who are responsible. But the status quo simply does not work. We’ve got to try something else, even if we aren’t 100% sure it’s going to work perfectly. The downside of responsible gun owners having to go through more red tape is a helluva lot better than the downside of more people dead.

    As far as something like Burress, I’d be interested in seeing improper securing of a gun laws that go beyond whether it was in a locked cabinet.

  • jpftribe

    “No honest man needs more than 10 rounds in any gun,” a Sturm Ruger
    co-founder, the late William Ruger Sr., told Tom Brokaw in 1992. “I
    never meant for simple civilians to have my 20- or 30-round mags or my
    folding stock.” By 1994, with even Ronald Reagan voicing support,
    Congress banned
    high-capacity magazines as well as assault rifles. But a decade later,
    lawmakers let the ban expire amid pressure from the National Rifle
    Association. By then the elder Ruger was deceased, and the
    Connecticut-based company resumed civilian sales of 30-round magazines.
    Since 2007, the company has sold more guns in the United States than any
    other manufacturer.
    As the business grew, Sturm Ruger CEO Michael Fifer lobbied
    personally against a Connecticut ban on high-capacity magazines,
    commonly used with the company’s semi-automatic rifles. “The regulation
    of magazine capacity will not deter crime, but will instead put
    law-abiding citizens at risk of harm,” Fifer wrote to state lawmakers in early 2011.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/06/fully-loaded-ten-biggest-gun-manufacturers-america/

    58 died yesterday at the hands of a guy using 30 round magazines. Show me one US civilian saved by their use at the hands of another civilian, just one.

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  • mgbode

    Yeah, both parties have doubled down on supporting assault gun rights since 1994 when that ban went into place & it caused a whole bunch of seats to be lost. The Dems have only recently started to push back on it again as they have shifted from where they rely on votes.

    It would be incredibly difficult to put a cap less than 20 as that is most handguns now. It could be a middle ground though. One of the problems becomes what do you do with the legal guns bought? You can offer incentives to turn them over, but forced seizure is a bad idea.

  • CBiscuit

    Could not have said it better. I always thought Sandy Hook was my turning point. If a pile of dead infants and toddlers did not move things…sadly nothing ever could. Thoughts and prayers are nice but so empty here after so many times of this.

  • jpftribe

    Any solution will be imperfect, but an outright ban on all future sales would be a good start. Stock in the aforementioned Strum Ruger went up 3% on news of the shooting.

  • Saggy

    Why don’t we make narcotics available over-the-counter? Because it’s one more step that deters people from abusing them.
    Will people always get illegal drugs? Yes.
    Will less people get illegal drugs because we have laws that make it hard to do? Yes.
    Will people always get illegal guns? Yes.
    Would stringent gun laws make it harder for them to do so? Yes.

    The NRA has the GOP by the short and curlies. Republican leadership is calling shootings like these “the cost of freedom.” Well, spending other people’s money has always been easy for them, so it shouldn’t surprise you that they’re willing to incur these “costs” at others’ expenses.

    This isn’t the cost of freedom – it’s the cost of stupidity.

  • Saggy

    Yes. It’s going to have to come from another angle.

    Follow me here:
    I hate smoking. Can’t stand the smell of cigarette smoke. I’m not going to elaborate – if you agree, you know what I mean. I am all for people being able to smoke, and I actually am OK with people smoking in public areas like sidewalks and street corners (but not inside).

    My idea to curb the smoking issue would be to start writing tickets for people who throw their cigarettes on the ground. Make it a $500 fine. Isn’t littering illegal? So enforce that part of the law. If people know they will be fined heavily for littering their butts, they’ll be more careful about it. The catch? Make them throw their cigarettes away in fireproof bins, located only in certain designate areas.

    So, instead of making smoking illegal in certain places, you make it difficult to follow the related laws in those places, thus moving the chains, if you will.

    So, by this analogy, I’d like to see something happen with guns. I support gun ownership wholeheartedly. I also support strict gun laws. I just can’t understand why we fight for people who are too mentally ill to even feed themselves to have guns. We wouldn’t let them drive a car because we’re afraid they might not be able to handle it properly. You know, they might kill someone.

    Oh, I’m done. This is getting away from me. But instead of deleting I’m just gonna post it. One of my idols, Tom Petty, dies and all I can do is think about Vegas. We should be celebrating the music right now. This is dumb.

  • Petefranklin

    2 days later and the shock is growing here. 2 of my sons classmates, sisters, shot. One is critical. The offduty cop who was killed coached youth football and my kid on an Vegas all star team. A coworkers nieces husbands kid…dead. Somber all over town.

  • Saggy

    that’s some real stuff right there. hope it’s not too rough for your family.