On Monday morning we awoke to reports that the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history had unfolded overnight nearly 2,000 miles away in Las Vegas.
That distance does not make the horror of Sunday evening's cold-blooded murders any less tragic or disturbing.
A gunman opened fire Sunday night on a crowd of more than 20,000 concertgoers from a Mandalay Bay hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip. By mid-afternoon Monday, casualties reported totaled at 58 dead, more than 500 wounded and several more lives hanging in the balance in Las Vegas-area hospitals.
Many headlines have read "lone wolf" and some outlets have used the words "isolated incident." What happened Sunday night is neither. The murder of these people simply enjoying a country music concert is not the result of one man snapping, a mental disorder or even a series of unfortunate events. Sunday evening's tragedy was a premeditated and terroristic attack on innocent lives.
During a televised address to the nation on Monday morning, President Donald Trump referred to the atrocity as "an act of pure evil."
Undoubtedly, this type of violence requires a special kind of evil, one that is learned and developed through an asinine way of thinking.
Set aside the gun law conversation for now, we can debate that until we're red or blue in the face depending on our political orientations. What we need to be talking
about right now is human decency. We need to be discussing the notion that there is no room for such a primitive and ignorant evil in a civilized society such as the one we claim to live in.
Why then, have we become numb to such violence? Why then, will this event fade in
the coming days as we move back to NFL anthem protests, Major League Baseball playoffs, Halloween and the next big national conversation? The pain and the heartbreak will still burn deeply in the lives of our friends in Las Vegas, but as a nation many will begin to forget about this rampant evil until the next tragedy occurs.
What will we as a nation do about this?
Today, our community and nation mourns, as each of these men and women leave behind a legacy, a family and friends that loved them dearly. Covering bad news is never something that we desire to do, but we strive to appropriately present the details in hopes that future tragedies can be avoided.
Today, The Sentinel in Scottsboro hurts alongside our fellow Americans in Las Vegas.