Finding courage in the wake of tragedy

Dane Kuntz

Opinions Writer

  October 1, 2017 is a date that will forever go down in history. Over 50 are dead and over 500 injured after a shooting occurred at a country music concert in Las Vegas. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

  Gunman Stephan Paddock was an avid gambler. He opened fire from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Resort, injuring and killing many. According to his brother, he was not known to be affiliated with any terrorist groups or organizations. He was wealthy and clear of financial troubles with no criminal history.

  Why did he do this unthinkable act, and how do we stop someone from mimicking this type of behavior in the future?

  That is the question. A question I do not think anyone can clearly answer. Some are calling for stricter gun regulations. Others are fixated on conspiracy theories, claiming there was a second shooter, or that terrorists are responsible.

  This tragedy was methodically planned and executed by a deranged individual. Personally, I have no desire to understand the motivation for such insanity. I cannot help but be stricken with grief and heartache at the thought of what happened, and how those affected have to live with this trauma for the rest of their lives. Even those who were not in attendance are struggling with anxiety after such a horrific event. The expectation of enjoying a country music festival was superseded with anguish and fear.

  How do we find peace amidst this tragedy? We try to live life. This man wished to rid us of our security. He wanted us to lock ourselves in our homes, afraid and spiritless.

  I recently purchased tickets for the Bacon and Craft Beer Festival. I came home excited, telling my wife about the vip tickets. Her response was apprehensive, and she explained that she doesn’t want to ever go anywhere near a crowd again.

  This is what the shooter wanted, but I will not let him win. I will not allow the possibility of another attack alter the course of my life. I hope that everyone will join me in standing up in defiance to terror.

  Let this make us more appreciative of life, not more fearful.