we need more than prayers

Hi friends. As you know, the deadliest shooting in the history of the USA took place in Las Vegas last night, leaving 58 families grieving loved ones and over 500 people injured.

I know that I’m Canadian. But the reality is that this problem transcends borders, much as friendships and loved ones do. This ripples out and impacts the world.

I wish more than anything that this was the first time this happened, or even the first time I had heard ‘deadliest shooting’. But these homegrown terrorists keep outdoing themselves and taking more innocent people with them. And every time something like this happens, I see the same thing over and over: sending love and prayers to ____.

Please don’t get me wrong – these people need love and prayers more than ever. But they also need immediate, tangible help. It’s all well and good to send love and prayers, but please consider doing some of the following things as well:

Donate blood at your local blood donation clinic – the need is always there, and even more critical in an emergency.

Donate money to GoFundMe’s and on the ground organizations like family unification centre and crisis lines.

Donate your time if you’re in the area and its safe to do so – like Mr. Rogers said, ‘always look for the helpers’.

And perhaps most importantly, be a loud and active voice for change. Gun control is an immediate and critical need in the USA. The reality is this: these things would not happen if there was no access to semi-automatic and automatic weapons in the United States. That’s not up for debate – it’s just a fact. And before you say you need a weapon to defend yourselves against any perceived threats (ie. muslims and people of colour according to far too many), it was a middle aged white male that perpetrated this act.

And yeah, that’s the profile of most terrorists in the USA.

If your right to bear arms is more important than the 58 lives that were lost in Las Vegas tonight, or the lives of the children who were murdered at Sandy Hook, or the theatre patrons that were killed in Aurora, or the students killed at Columbine… then there’s something deeply, horrendously wrong with you and you need to take a good hard look in the mirror. Because don’t forget this: it could’ve been any of us. It could’ve been your family, or mine. Your daughter or son, mother or father, best friends.

All we have in this world is each other, so please please stand up for what is right. Call your representatives, protest, be outraged. Fight back against this unbelievable injustice. And above everything, please be kind to each other. Hug your loved ones tonight, and wake up ready to protect and fight like hell for all that’s good in the world.

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