1 minute read
3 Oct 2017
5:40 am

Humankind: victim and perpetrator in Las Vegas

The slaughter of more than 50 people and the wounding of hundreds more was beyond callous.

File photo: An injured person is tended to in the intersection of Tropicana Ave. and Las Vegas Boulevard after a mass shooting at a country music festival nearby on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, killing over 20 people. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot dead. The investigation is ongoing. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Donald Trump often says strange things, but we cannot fault his description of the Las Vegas bloodbath as being “pure evil” – there is no other way to describe it. It was, simply, terrorism.

Whether the gunman – identified by police as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock – acted alone out of some warped reasoning only he could understand; or whether he acted in the name of an international militant group, makes no difference.

The slaughter of more than 50 people and the wounding of hundreds more is beyond callous. And to cut down people when they were in the process of enjoying themselves shows an inhumanity which is breathtaking.

While our hearts go out to those who lost their lives and the wounded whose lives will be changed forever; let us not forget the millions of other victims of violence – by individuals, by terror groups and so-called civilised states – whose deaths daily shame us as the human race.

Why can’t we live together in peace? Why can we not respect each other and our differences? Why do we so often want to solve our problems with weapons, or with fists?

Humankind was the victim in Las Vegas yesterday, but it was also the perpetrator.