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Tragedy Isn’t for Personal Gain

by Eli Duncan and Jake Grosvenor

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With the recent events of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history taking place on our home ground, we’ve been open to the personal effects it has on a community. But more importantly, we saw the way some people use our tragedy for personal gain.

Looking even within our own community, we saw students taking advantage of the situation that affected thousands of Las Vegas residents.

CCSD allowed students to leave with a parent if they needed the day off to cope with the events of the deadly shooting. Students took this and decided they would use it for their own reasons that did not involve helping the community or ‘needing to cope.’ Students instead took the day off to go get Canes or a nice breakfast, instead of doing what’s right and not abusing CCSD’s kindness.

It’s hard to excuse such acts from anyone, especially a student. The halls of Palo Verde that following Monday were quiet and felt empty despite thousands of students walking within them. The effects of this shooting hit hard with local residents, we felt the silence and the grief in the air the minute we stepped outside. No one had a good day, families would have a dinner table with an empty seat, family pictures that will always be incomplete, and that feeling consumed the normal loud and busy nature of Las Vegas.

The fact that students took such a national tragedy as an excuse to ditch school is beyond disgusting and disrespectful to those who we personally knew were affected who still mustered the strength to come to school.

Students are not the only ones to blame for using such a devastating event for personal use, but many other citizens of the nation are just as guilty.

The hashtag #prayforvegas had taken its circle around the internet and had been the top trending tag on twitter, but not everyone used it to send good messages to those who needed it most.

Instead, people used this tragedy as a way to push political agendas, putting blame on Obama, Trump, Democrats, Republicans or anyone else they could. People used an event that hit the hearts of thousands in Las Vegas to put blame on those opposing their views and president old or new that they didn’t agree with.

Going beyond Palo Verde students, even adults who should be well respected are using this event to put their own very disrespectful thoughts out into the world. Echoing the tweet put out by David Leavitt, in the aftermath of the Manchester bombing,  said that the last time he listened to Ariana Grande he “almost died too.” This time, another CBS employee commented  on FaceBook something equally as horrible.

The comment read: “If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.”

On an even bigger stage, Hillary Clinton tweeted that we need to take on the NRA to make sure this tragedy never happens again. Her one moment of sympathy came when she said in her tweet, “Las Vegas, we are grieving with you—the victims, those who lost loved ones, the responders, & all affected by this cold-blooded massacre.” She then proceeded to take aim at the NRA and gun suppressors.

The talk for gun control and banning of guns can take place. We may not agree with it, but it is a talk people can have. However, pushing out this talk mere hours after family and friends were injured and killed is flat out irrelevant, not needed, and ignorant on her part. Pushing aside preexisting thoughts on Hillary, it’s fair to say  that she meant well when putting out that Tweet but it was poorly timed and could have waited until the clean up and the grieving has stopped.

This event hit our home. Las Vegas has and always will be a tight-knit community. If you haven’t found your connection to the massacre, unfortunately, you soon will. My (Eli’s) sister was there. She got home safe and wasn’t preaching for the confiscation of guns, she was pushing for the positive actions. The donations, the volunteers, and the recovery of all those injured.  

There is no doubt that we are still coping with this loss and we will for months, and to take something that was so intense and surreal and use it to push your political views is disgusting. We’re not saying avoid the topic, but it had not even been 24 hours before millions were calling for Trump to be impeached and so much more. It’s like those lives that were lost and affected didn’t even matter anymore, people saw those lives lost as an excuse to “back”  what they believed.

The city of Las Vegas was still needing help, we needed people treated and healed, and we weren’t even done with losing people. People are still in the hospital injured, fighting death, needing anything to save them, and people thought that yelling at the opposing party was what we needed.

Not everyone took this opportunity to be selfish. The Valley flocked to blood drives and stood there for hours. People were being turned away. Those that couldn’t donate  went to those blood drive lines and were handing out water bottles and food to those waiting in line. The selflessness of the Las Vegas population showed everyone here and across the country that Las Vegas isn’t just a place to go for gambling or March Madness, it is a place to go if you want to see what a real community of friends looks like.

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Tragedy Isn’t for Personal Gain