On Sunday, a terrorist opened fire on a Las Vegas music festival, leaving at least 59 dead and 527 wounded. Politicians and pundits have already started pointing fingers while bodies remain strewn across the concert venue.
What they’re calling the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history comes about a year and a half after the previous deadliest mass shooting in modern American history in Orlando, Florida where 49 people lost their lives.
“Here we are again in the aftermath of another terrible, inexplicable, shocking and painful tragedy,” Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel said Monday night.
The Las Vegas shooting comes on the heels of Hurricane Maria, which made landfall nearly two weeks ago on the United States territory of Puerto Rico, where 95 percent of the island still has no electricity and police officers can’t patrol their neighborhoods because their cars have no gas, cancer patients and diabetics need their medicine but hospitals can’t restock, and families can’t bury their loved ones because even the morgues have been destroyed.
The nation is in flux. Just in the last month, President Donald Trump moved to end DACA, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan and protests in the National Football League have successfully publicized America’s white supremacy.
In times like these, being optimistic can seem artificial. Forced, even. With that in mind, I’d like to give you a quote from an old friend that you might remember, Mr. Rogers:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.”
After the massacre in Las Vegas, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and Hurricane Harvey in southern Texas, thousands of people showed up and donated time, blood and money to help in the aftermath. When Trump announced the end of DACA, thousands took to the streets in protest. When football players refused to stand for the national anthem, many joined them. All across the nation, Americans are fighting the good fight, but in many cases they remain outnumbered and overpowered.
Fall Quarter has just begun and we’re off to a running start. To some of you, I say, welcome back. To others I say welcome to Seattle University, an institution of higher education that talks a big game about social justice, leadership and making the world a better place. It’s easy to shrug those ideals off and act like it’s just part of a marketing scheme that sounds inspiring to high school seniors. The thing is, as long as your degree reads “Seattle University,” it’s going to follow you in some small way for the rest of your life. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of college life. New city, difficult classes, making friends, party after party after party—it’s a lot to digest. It’s a lot of fun, too. Just keep in mind that not everyone has the leisure to enjoy those things. Once in a while, ask yourself: who are you helping?
– Nick Turner
Editor in Chief