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Love to Vegas

An Abnormal Monday With Abnormal Feelings…

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My chrome lighting roundup post that we had scheduled to go live earlier wasn’t exactly matching my emotions today. We are incredibly devastated for the families of the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas. It feels totally surreal and unimaginable. My usual level of escapism has been heightened. I don’t mean I want to deny this situation or pretend it didn’t happen, I literally mean I want to pack up my family, and move to a remote ranch in the middle of a state where the population is 33 and never let my kids go in public. Obviously I know this isn’t the answer nor is it guaranteed that they won’t suffer, but the days where fear runs our lives are the days where I just want to escape. We can make our own food, grow our own livestock, with no tech, TV or access to anything negative. They will never get hurt and nothing bad will ever happen to them. RIGHT?

But you can’t protect your loved ones from everything (can you protect them from anything?) nor can you let fear run your life. But days like today I just want to and that totally unrealistic fantasy plays through my head over and over. The randomness and unpredictability of this tragedy is paralyzing, although knowing that it wasn’t a part of a larger plan (as far as we know right now) is I guess ….. I don’t know … it’s just a different act that creates a different fear.

I’m just so sorry for the families and loved ones who were affected by this and please know that our hearts go out to you and will continue to regardless of how normal my life feels/looks on this blog or social media. Sending all the love from my family to yours and know that while sometimes there doesn’t feel like a cause or fight to get behind (like in this case) I guess I’ll just keep trying to be the nicest person I can possibly be all day long to everyone I encounter and teach that to my kids as well. Geez. Doesn’t really feel like much of an action, but hurt people, hurt people so on days like today it seems like while there isn’t any solution or answer to a problem, trying to be nice and not cause any hurt is what I’ll do.

If you are local to Las Vegas and are looking to help, local law enforcement is asking people to donate blood “United Blood Services will start taking donations at 7 a.m. at two locations: 6930 W. Charleston in Las Vegas or 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson.”

Any other suggestions?

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  1. Yes, gun control. Bring back “well-regulated.”

  2. I think it is kind and thoughtful of you to acknowledge the tragedy. Postponing your original post seems like the blogging world equivalent of flying the flag at half mast. And I appreciate your personal and community responses. Yes, let’s all be kind.💚

  3. Em, you’ve captured my sentiments exactly. I basically had this post in conversation form with my husband earlier. He reminded me that this is an extreme and rare act even though it feels like it’s happening regularly in my mind. I’m welling up randomly and I want to cuddle my babies forever. My heart is broken for these families and for the general cloud of fear this will leave behind. The only solace I can offer is that it’s the cracks that let the light in — I’m dry on any other suggestions.

    Maybe we can be your neighbors in the 33 people state?? It’ll help our kids be less weird in our sanctuary.

    Xoxoxo

  4. I really appreciate it that you deviated from regular programming to acknowledge this dark day in our nation. I’m finding it very hard to carry on today. THIS IS NOT TOLERABLE.

  5. Thank you. That’s all. 🙁

  6. Call! Your! Reps! Gun control policy is how this will change.

  7. Speechless. So sad. So sad for everyone who lost someone. Lives lost. Lives ruined. It’s completely senseless and it seems to just be the norm these days. It’s hard knowing there is little we can do. Your post was very well-written and captured a lot of what I find myself thinking – the desire to hide. Hopefully those who can do something take note and work to fix our future, as our present is so so broken.

  8. Please take action. Prayers are not enough.
    Call your senator and representative in congress now.
    They need to hear from us.
    There is a bill pending to allow people from conceal and carry states to carry in states that do NOT allow conceal and carry.
    It’s called conceal and carry reciprocity. Tell them to vote no on this bill.
    Join/ donate to these organizations:
    Brady center to prevent gun violence
    Moms demand action
    Everytown for gun safety

    We must stop this senseless violence.
    When Australia enacted stricter gun laws, they eliminated mass shootings. We can do the same if we all act together.

    1. YES. I send money and call all the time but it doesn’t feel like enough. The NRA owns them all. 🙁

      1. You say that, but do you think there will come a day when the NRA folks are outnumbered? When the NRA is just a vocal minority and can’t afford to “own” anyone? Is that day at hand?

    2. Thank you, Kathryn! It’s time that this insanity is curtailed.

  9. I’m pretty seriously considering moving to Canada. It feels so weird to say that, but I don’t think my values line up with “our” values in the US anymore. I want to send my kids to school without worrying about guns. I want them to go to their first concert without worrying about guns. The trump administration horrifies me, but isn’t a good reason to leave- resist!- but guns might be the reason for us to hit the road. Ugh.

    1. Yes! As a Canadian (expat living here in the US) I’ve always wanted to move home, still want to move home, but it’s moments like these that move us one step closer to actually looking for a house/job/immigration status for my husband and doing it. Like you said, it’s not Trump (but yes, it is him too) but GUNS. I’ve lived here for 19 years and for the life of me I cannot understand Americans and their guns. It’s always in the back of my mind – are we going to get shot here? Is my daughter going to get shot at school? etc. I know the chances are still tiny, but it doesn’t FEEL that way. It’s not OK. I want to eliminate this fear from my life. Of course Canada isn’t perfect and has problems of its own (coming up short on examples at the moment 🙂 but guns are not one of them.

      1. Do it! Come home!

    2. I’m a 36 year old Canadian who has lived in multiple cities in Canada. I have never met anyone who owned a gun other than the occasional hunter who has 1 or 2 rifles. We’re not perfect, there are rare shootings where usually 1 or 2 people are shot, but nothing like I see in the American news where it seems like there is a mass shooting weekly. I agree with the comments about stopping the NRA and their supporters who are getting away with murder (literally). It’s frightening and depressing how these events happen over and over and the NRA stick their fingers further and further in their ears. I was in disbelief over Sandy Hook a few years ago. If absolutely nothing happened after innocent kindergarteners were killed, I unfortunately have a hard time believing anything will ever be enough to change the gun laws.

    3. Hi,
      I am a Canadian and blessed to live here where i do not fear my kids being shot at school, the theatre at a nightclub or concert. Gun violence in America seems to be so commonplace as to be “normal” I read a statistic today that said mass shootings happen EVERY day in America! Not on the scale of LV but still, prayers and thoughts will not solve your problems. My heart does go out to everyone there. Stay safe and vote to curb guns!!!

      1. I need you to convince my husband! My parents are ready to go…. I just can’t imagine dropping my kiddo off at school if we stay here. Denver is so lovely in so many ways, but there are lots of gun nuts here. Any suggestions of where to look? I was looking at BC, of course, but am concerned about all the fires they’ve been having and Alberta seems so rural. Too far east is so cold! Help! — Julia, a Canadian at heart <3

        1. Southwestern Ontario Julia! We have hot summers, definite springs and autumns, but winter is a little long….

        2. British Columbia is paradise. I live in Victoria BC and it is both beautiful and very safe. The water is crystal clear, the air is fresh and the city is clean and vibrant. We welcome our American neighbors. I’ve never seen or thought about guns in my community once in my life. My children will never worry about violence and I hope your don’t either.

  10. I think there is a cause and a fight to get behind, and I encourage everyone to do so. The NRA is partially responsible for this event and they should be held accountable for America’s gun violence problem.

    To begin, here is some data on gun violence:
    https://www.nap.edu/read/10881/

    If we all agree that gun violence is a problem in the United States, then here is how I would argue that the NRA becomes responsible for that problem:
    – Opposes expanding background checks in order to purchase firearms
    – Works to prevent bans on semi-automatic weapons and large magazine capacities
    – Works to prevent the collection of data on gun violence

    Those facts are supported by myriad articles and are stated on the NRA website.

    Some people may disagree that those three things have any bearing on the prevention of gun deaths, however data on gun control methods in other countries shows otherwise. Australia implemented tougher gun control laws in 1996 and it has had a positive impact:
    http://andrewleigh.org/pdf/GunBuyback_Panel.pdf

    In fact, most other high-income countries have stricter gun control laws than here, and unsurprisingly, far lower rates of gun homicide. In addition to supporting gun control legislation, we can also talk to our friends and family members who support the NRA. We can encourage people to stop funding the NRA, and we can make it socially unacceptable for our politicians to associate with the NRA. If they don’t have money or political support they will lose the power they have over our country.

    1. Thank you for this education, Leanna! I feel so powerless and angry at “the system,” but I wasn’t actually informed on who plays what role and what the actual grassroots strategies could be. At the moment I still feel too numb and shell-shocked to move (also, fearful as my family and I were planning to attend the RISE festival near Vegas this coming weekend … not sure how to proceed with that and with daily life). But I am copying this down and pasting it on my calendar. Thank you.

  11. I donate now to so many things and it doesn’t feel like it’s making an impact. It’s so senseless and heart wrenching. The commenter put it best that it really doesn’t feel like my values line up with the U.S., which is tough to say. This really shouldn’t be such a controversial issue and it’s impossible to think about how little has been done over the years. Thanks for speaking out.

  12. I heard the lines to donate blood are massive. So that’s giving me an iota of happiness today.

    A mom from a FB group I’m part of commented about how maddening it is that our phones require fingerprint ID to unlock and can be disabled (and found) remotely, but there have been virtually zero advances in gun technology. Because the NRA prevents it. Prevents it from even being an OPTION. And I’d like to think there are a lot of responsible gun owners out there who would embrace added layers of protection (whether so their kids can’t accidentally utilize a gun that is kept in the house or so that guns can’t be stolen and used). How much money do these people (read: NRA) have??? It feels like this unmovable giant that can’t be taken down. As Dan Hodges tweeted this morning: In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.

    Please let it not be over.

    1. You are so right. I’ve often said, “If it didn’t change after Sandy Hook, it is never going to change.” I am so saddened by this.

  13. I know that feeling of wanting to escape to protect my children all too well ❤️

  14. I just don’t understand. This is horrific. I too sometimes just want to run and hide. We limit people’s alcohol intake and drunk driving because drunk driving kills. Why can’t we limit high round guns and ammunition that are designed to kill dozens in seconds? Guns kill more people every year in US than drunk driving but we’re told we shouldn’t do anything about it. I am praying. But I need to act too with my Christian faith. My heart just aches for the victims and their families.

  15. The universe entitled me a uterus that the government wants to control, yet gun ownership is a “right” created by men who believe that it is a universal entitlement. Hypocrites.

    1. BAM!

  16. Thank you for this post, and I appreciate the action suggestions in the comments. We must respond with supporting gun control.

  17. Gun control. Gun control. Gun control. Mental health care. Mental health care. Mental health care. Being kind is certainly needed, but these are 2 clear causes to get behind. It’s not your imagination…this IS happening more frequently.

    1. I think you are right about needing more mental health care.

  18. My daughter in law’s brother is in Las Vegas on business, we all breathed a sigh of relief when we found out he
    was OK. I agree that the USA should try to bring in gun laws like we have here in Australia. Not saying a mass shooting couldn’t occur here but chances are certainly more remote. I cannot see gun laws changing in the United States for some time. I know Aussies who will not travel to the USA on vacation due to so many people having guns. My husband and I travel to California (usually taking in another state as well) every year and love the US. So very sad for all the families who have been affected by this tragedy.

  19. Too much attention paid to these things; it just encourages mentally unhinged or evil people to “top” the last one that happened and go out in a blaze of “glory”. Everyone should stop talking about the people who do these sorts of things; they need to become an empty outline with no name, face, facts or statistics to remember. Do not read even ONE word or ONE sentence about any of these types of killers; do not give them that. You can start doing that today. Don’t learn their names, where they lived, what they did, etc…; they do not deserve that sort of attention. We remember the killers more than the victims, and that needs to stop. And never forget: there are over 7 billion people living in the world today. Do 7 billion bad things happen every day? No, not even close; so fundamentally most people are good and the world is amazing.

    1. I have a better idea: stop giving them semi-automatic guns.

      It feels huge and difficult, but you can do it! Dont vote for representatives unless they advocate for safer gun controls!

    2. Good point.

  20. I can relate to your feelings, Emily. But: If nothing changed after Sandy Hook, it will never change.

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  23. This is not comprehensive or in order, but gives some insight into our gun violence problem. I literally googled all of this for this specific comment:

    Exhibit A.
    February 28, 2017: “President Donald Trump quietly signed a bill into law Tuesday rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun.

    The rule, which was finalized in December, added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs to the national background check database.

    Had the rule fully taken effect, the Obama administration predicted it would have added about 75,000 names to that database.” – via NBC News

    Exhibit B., via Shaun King, The Intercept
    ““Lone wolf” is how Americans designate many white suspects in mass shootings. James Holmes was called a “lone wolf” when he shot and killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. And Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and shot and killed the pastor and eight other parishioners, was quickly declared a “lone wolf.”

    For people of color, and especially for Muslims, the treatment is often different. Muslims often get labeled as “terrorists” before all the facts have come out.

    …What we are witnessing is the blatant fact that white privilege protects even Stephen Paddock, an alleged mass murderer, not just from being called a terrorist, but from the anger, rage, hellfire, and fury that would surely rain down if he were almost anyone other than a white man. His skin protects him. It also prevents our nation from having an honest conversation about why so many white men do what he did, and why this nation seems absolutely determined to do next to nothing about it.”

    Exhibit C.
    The NRA spent $30 Million to elect Donald Trump. He spoke at the NRA convention and praised them at his rallies.

    Exhibit D.
    This week the House GOP could pass legislation to repeal restrictions on gun silencers and allow “concealed carry” across state lines.

    Exhibit E.
    Our serving politicians have accepted millions in contributions (a.k.a. Bribes) from the NRA.
    Look up the hashtag #sendbackthebloodmoney on Twitter
    Examples:
    Mitch McConnell —> $922,000 during 2014 election
    Senator Joni Ernst —> $3,124,273 to date

    And some interesting maps and charts explaining gun violence in America: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts

    This is so ingrained into our political system, we need a multi-pronged approach. A good place to start is at the ballot box. This goes beyond our constitutional right to carry, but to the fact that our politicians are being bought and gun manufacturers profit from gun sales. Look at the fact that stock prices for gun manufacturers went up after the shooting in Las Vegas. Disgusting.

    1. Thank you for this, Vanessa. Important info!!

      1. You’re very welcome. I think we need to empower each other with facts so that we feel less helpless. I don’t have all the answers, but seeing many people’s frustration is bringing me down. We’ll get through this x

    2. Vanessa, excellent post. I am voraciously consuming information about gun violence and gun legislation these days, but did not know about your first point. Thank you.

      1. You’re welcome Lucy. I think most of us don’t have time or haven’t made the time to connect the dots. I’m still finding out absurd facts daily. It’s exhausting keeping up, but at the end of the day so much of this comes back to our elections, gerrymandering, voter suppression, First Past the Post, and having good candidates to represent the people, not their donors.
        You’re paying attention which is extremely valuable! We must never give in or give up.

  24. I have a thought to share (I don’t intend to offend) and I’m curious as to what everyone thinks. I think we have unintentionally culture of violence in our country. Art reflects what a society values and our music, television shows, movies and video games are filled with murder, mass murder, rape and incest. I don’t believe this reflects our society’s true values but I can see how a profoundly mental ill individual would come to believe any of these violent acts are normal because these images surround them. I have volunteered in a domestic violence shelter and I know children are unintentionally taught that abuse cycles are “normal” by watching one parent assault the other parent. These innocent children often grow up to be abusers or victims themselves. I have stopped watching any shows that show rape, incest or murder. I’m much happier and at peace for it. I don’t want violence of any kind to be a part of my life or our society. What do ya’ll think?

    1. Agree. Just as “we are what we eat,” we are also what we consume, media included. The more desensitised we become to violence, the more we accept it or even participate in it.
      I’m not saying every kid who plays violent video games will become a murderer, but I also don’t think violent entertainment is helping people become more empathetic and selfless. There is enough good, edifying entertainment out there – let’s enjoy it instead!

    2. 100% my thoughts on this. I stopped watching all that you’ve mentioned after my child was born 9 years ago because I couldn’t bear it anymore. Best decision.

  25. This is why I love your beautiful blog, Emily. While you provide your readers so much inspiration in one area of life (all things home-related), you acknowledge that there is far more going on in the world at large, and do not shy from it. Thank you for this post.

    1. Agree, well said, thank you Emily.

  26. I’m always jealous of you Americans who have such lovely affordable sources for home and fashion. But in Canada guns aren’t really part of our culture; I should be more grateful to be so privileged.
    Much love to you all at this tragic time.

  27. Just so happy to read the comments and not see anyone trolling the blog to talk about second amendmant rights. I’m done with thoughts and prayers and I think we should demand that our representatives explain either their plans to prevent mass murders or articulate why the second amendment is more important than any other citizen’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which I assume for all of us would involve not getting shot at a concert, school, movie theatre, place of business, etc. Glad this small corner of the web has some sense so thanks Emily for creating this dialogue.

  28. Nice write up.

  29. Emily, I appreciate your open, honest feelings and can totally relate. I am also very relieved that you didn’t mention gun control. We need to come together as a country and allow time for grieving and healing. Yes, let’s be extra kind to others. There will be another time to bring up a political hot button issue that will only divide us.

    1. Thank you, Jan…for this comment.
      Emily’s post is a reminder of the evils that face us every day and the need to be kind to one another…always.
      Gun control can be brought up at a different place on a different day. Today, we mourn for those lives lost and for those who have been forever changed.

      I enjoy Emily’s blog and have read every one of her posts. However, I don’t normally read the comments nor comment myself. I learned a long time ago I have different political views from most of the people who comment here…my opinion would not be welcomed and I would be considered one of the “trolls” Sarah referenced earlier. Remember, we are all in this life together and we each want the same things…to live in peace and to enjoy the same freedoms and rights as our neighbors. Be kind to one another, even if they have opinions and political views that are different from your own.

    2. I truly don’t understand this point of view. People like you said “there will be another time” to bring up gun control after the last mass shooting. And now 59 more people are dead. This rhetoric is enabling further domestic terrorism. Perhaps if we weren’t so obsessed with delaying action for our own comfort the kindergarteners at Sandy Hook wouldn’t have been gunned down. Do you think the poor victims and their families would WANT us to not act immediately to prevent this from happening again? That would make them pretty selfish people. Acting in their name is the best thing we can do to honor their lives.

    3. On average, there is a mass shooting in America every day. A mass shooting is defined as four or more people shot by a gun as part of the same incident. With that, when would be a “good” time to discuss gun control?

    4. Let me know when it is more comfortable for you that gun control get discussed. I’m going to take a guess that time is never.

      I have friends in Vegas. My cousin was in lockdown in a conference room while this was going on. I know people who were shot while attending the concert.

      Gun control. Now.

      1. It’s not that Jan or I (or the majority of America) are uncomfortable discussing gun control. Each time there is a tragedy involving guns, people scream for gun control…but there are many controls already on the books in the United States. What additional controls would you like to see implemented?

        A very small percentage (approximately 3%) of murders in the United States are committed by someone who obtained the weapon legally…including Sandy Hook. How are we to stop criminals from committing crimes?

        There is no simple answer when it comes to stopping a person intent on committing murder. Can you imagine how much more devastation would have occurred if the Vegas murderers explosives would have detonated? Murder statistics are not going to go down with additional gun regulation…murderers are not law-abiding citizens. Focusing on mental health and education would be an avenue for better results.

        Each life lost at the hands of a murderer (regardless of the method) is tragic. I pray for a time when we can come together, support one another and live in peace. I think Emily’s suggestion of being kind to one another is a great place to start.

        1. You’re right there—kindness is a great place to start, and mental-health treatment and education are imperative. But the argument that we can’t stop murderers because they’re not law-abiding citizens does not pan out. Prior to 1996, Australia had had 13 fatal mass shootings. When a shooter killed 35 people and injured 23 in a cafe shooting in ’96, the Australian government came together and banned automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. In the 20 years since, Australia has had no fatal mass shootings. They have plenty of non-law-abiding murderers. Yet putting a dam on the weapons that can fall into their hands has clearly made a huge difference. It sure would be nice for the US to have no fatal mass shootings. The answer to chaos is not “oh well.”

  30. Do everything we can for gun control is the answer to getting fewer guns into the hands of people who are that detached from normal life and normal care for others.
    It is also important to realize that each time we smile at someone, treat even people who call to annoy us on the telephone at night like people, we are potentially keeping this kind of disconnection from occurring.

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  33. Being nice to people is not the solution (though important to being a decent human). The solution is gun control and there is plenty you can do, especially with your platform, to influence that.
    You’re right that hurt people, hurt people. However, if he hadn’t had access to the weapons he had, he would have killed SO MANY LESS PEOPLE if he had been forced to use a knife, a car, another item that he would have had to fashion into a killing machine. Not an ACTUAL killing machine that’s sole purpose is destruction.
    It literally blows my mind that so much of America can look at that situation and consider that man’s RIGHT to own a killing machine, but all the healthcare needed for the hundreds injured is a PRIVILEGE. Pure nonsense.

  34. In Australia, farmers still own rifles. Mass murders don’t occur with single round rifles. Please America, make automatic and semi automatic weapons illegal. Having access to automatic weapons just makes it so easy for the crazies to mow down a ton of people in a short amount of time.

    1. The point that occurs to me is the comparison between the right to have a musket in your home that was used for hunting and protection when the right to bear arms was granted with today’s weapons.
      To equal the killing power of present day weaponry would have required a large Cannon loaded with hundreds of cannon balls and capable of firing with lightening speed. Oh- and the strength to carry such a weapon concealed or out in broad daylight to show how brave the bearer?

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