Letter to the Editor: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas

This week, almost 60 people who went to Las Vegas to enjoy a concert will never return home to see their families. Their lives, their hopes, and their dreams will stay in Vegas forever, while hundreds more undergo intensive surgeries at local hospitals, all because one man was able to amass a military grade stockpile of deadly weapons that have no other use apart from killing large numbers of living things from a distance at high speed. The gunman’s twisted spirit will also remain in Vegas, in the heart of a state that says private citizens have a “natural right” to own the same firepower trained soldiers use in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But it’s not just Vegas. It’s Sandy Hook too, and San Bernardino, and Orlando, and Aurora, and Charleston, and Columbine, and the list goes on. And already we’re back to the same stale routine of arguing whether more guns, or fewer guns, would prevent these atrocities. This, as we ignore the basic truth that this mostly seems to happen in America, the land of the spree, and home of the grave.
There are a lot more graves today. Some of those graves have old bodies. Some have young bodies. Some have white bodies. Some have brown bodies. Some have women. Some have men. But they all share one thing in common: if America had the same gun laws as Australia, England, Germany, Canada, Cuba, Israel, Japan, Egypt, or the island nations of the South Pacific, or the FSM in the North Pacific, they would all be alive today, and the only thing to stay in Vegas would’ve been their hard-earned money, pumped quarter by quarter into flashy slot machines.
I believe Americans are exceptional in many things, but probably none more so than our continued willingness to sacrifice innocent lives for the sake of a few lines of text that probably never should have made it into the Constitution to begin with.
Liam Cummings
(Editor’s note: Liam Cummings was visiting Pohnpei from the United States when the news of yet another horrendous mass murder by firearms in the “land of the free and the home of the brave” arrived.