Las Vegas: Our Spilled Blood – Lack of Compassion Leads to Violence
Originally published in The Compass, newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was written by Patricia Kasten, associate editor
Once again, violence has struck. More than 500 people were wounded and at least 59 died in an Oct. 1 shooting during a country music concert in Las Vegas.
Once again, people ask, “Why?” How can this sort of random violence happen? Why do people shoot other people? Why so much bloodshed?
Some will blame guns – and the question about why automatic and semiautomatic weapons are so readily available in this county does need to be addressed.
However, we have seen that people who choose to kill will use guns, knives, bombs, machetes and even vehicles to bring about death and mayhem.
Some will say evil. And we cannot dismiss that there is evil loose in our world.
Others will say mental illness. Others point to our culture of violence. Still more will blame drugs or alienation from society – especially the alienation of men.
While all of these factor in and need to be addressed, the answer may lie in a deeper question, one that touches our psyche, that which makes us tick.
Could it be that people lack true compassion? Do some of us – or many of us at certain times – lack the ability to feel anything for another person?
When the first killing of one human by another took place, the first question was, “Where is your brother?”
It wasn’t “Where is that other guy who lives here?” Or “Weren’t there two of you?” Or even, “Where is Abel?”
No, God asked, “Where is your brother?” Where is your blood relative? Where is the man who grew up with you, who ate with you, who played with you, who laughed with you? Where is the man whose death will make your mother cry?
We Are All Related
We need to see – and help others see – that we are all brothers and sisters. We are all related to each other. We share our human blood. And we should all care for each other as we do for our family, for the ones we love most.
This past week, another victim of senseless violence returned to work. Back on June 14, Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise was shot, along with four others, as they practiced for a congressional baseball game. Scalise suffered broken bones, damaged internal organs and severe bleeding that required multiple surgeries. After more than three months, he returned to Congress – and was met by a standing ovation, applause and many hugs.
For once, our normally divided Congress united to welcome their brother back home. For once, antagonists from both sides shared in joy-filled union. Democrats welcomed a Republican back and Republicans happily shook hands with Democrats. For one moment, everyone was united. Everyone saw each other as family.
That’s what Cain forgot when he answered, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The answer to that, of course, was, “Yes, you are.”
We are Responsible For Each Other
Whatever the reason for the senseless violence that plagues not only the United States, but France, Britain, Canada, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and so many other parts of the world, a lot of it reflects a lack of feeling that we are all family. This lack of family feeling is seen in other ways as well: in bullying, human trafficking, racism, nuclear threats and anti-immigrant sentiment.
We are all responsible for, and to, each other – everyone, not just the chosen few whom we know personally. E-VER-Y-ONE.
We must fully realise that we are family, we all share one blood. Until we do, there will only be more blood spilled. Senselessly. Violently. And even if, the next time, it isn’t my blood spilled or your blood spilled – it will still be our blood spilled. -CNS