What followed the Vegas massacre

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I am writing this on Oct. 2, and my television has shown constant broadcasts about the shooting and mass murder during a concert in Las Vegas. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, committed suicide as police attempted to stop the shooting that left 59 people dead and more than 527 injured at the concert venue. Officials say it will take days to identify all the bodies and notify next of kin.

The support and assistance provided to victims has been extraordinary, and it continues today. First responders, emergency medical personnel and private citizens, including military combat veterans, all stepped up to save lives. Some private citizens stayed at the concert venue while the shooting continued to assist the wounded. The Clark County, Nevada, sheriff started an internet “GoFundMe” account, and it received donations of more than $1 million for the victims in one day. People offering blood donations exceeded the capability to quickly accept them. Included in the lines of ambulances arriving at hospitals were private vehicles driven by civilians who dropped off wounded, then returned to pick up and bring more victims for medical care.

As horrible as the shootings committed by one man were, the generosity, courage and empathy shown by people in Las Vegas are all inspiring acts. One witness on CNN told of a police officer who told a crowd where an exit was, then ran toward where the shots were being fired. There are endless anecdotes of bravery during this chaos.

I suggest that players, coaches and owners in the NFL cancel any protest demonstrations during games this week in a show of respect for those first responders who put themselves in the line of fire to save others.

Jack Dragoni attended Boston College and served in the U.S. Army in Berlin and Vietnam. He lives in Chaffee, Missouri.

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