Grief After Tragedy

On Sunday night, a lone gunman killed 58 people and injured 515 more, during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. I woke up Monday morning, checked my Snapchat stories, and saw the news of this story on every major website. In English class, we talked about the shooting, as it related to our weekend reading of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.

A husband and wife were enjoying the country music festival, when they heard gunshots from up above. The husband got shot in the back while protecting his wife, as they ran out of the concert. His life’s work as a nurse culminates, as he saves one more life: his wife’s.

That story isn’t made up, a fabrication put in this post to add even more tragedy to the United States’ deadliest shooting to date. That is the story of Sonny Melton, a West Tennessean. His wife, Doctor Heather Melton, has spoken out about her husband’s final moments in a heartbreaking testimony.

“He saved my life,” she told WSMV, a CNN affiliate. “I want everyone to know what a kindhearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.”

This breathlessness can be felt in every victim’s family as they find out about the massacre from articles, workplace conversations, or a lack of a call back. Just like how one finds out about their dad’s car crash from the police knocking at their door at 3 am. Just like I found out about my mother’s death when I woke up on Labor Day six years ago from my uncle, who had to brave a face of me, even though he just found out his sister died.

Whenever a massacre happens, I feel that initial stab in the heart for the 58 families who won’t get to celebrate another birthday, will never get another phone call, or will never see their loved one again. I feel for the 58 funerals filled with tearful eulogies and scratchy black dresses.

I feel for the daughter who has to finish her math homework with dry eyes, as she’s told to “move on with her life.” I feel for the wife who has to go to work, while she budgets for how her husband can have an open casket with a bullet hole through his left eye. I feel for the weeks of articles pinning this shooting on ISIS or a bad father, when all the families want is to bury their loved ones in peace.

Whenever we talk about death, we ignore grief and sadness. As a society, we focus on moving on and waiting for the next tragedy. I hope that those in Las Vegas take the time to mourn and that this time it sparks conversation about gun control or mental health. I hope that no more people have to die to learn how to fix our mistakes, but until then, I hope whoever reads this knows that it is okay to feel bad, to mourn.

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Violence

So, as I’m writing this, I’m finishing watching the excruciatingly long “Django Unchained“. Before this movie, I’ve been somewhat okay with Quentin Tarantino’s overly violent films, but this one is just absolutely ridiculous. However, the reason I didn’t like it wasn’t because the script was written by a five year old or because the acting was probably the worst I have ever seen, it was because of the unfathomably ultra-violent content.

Just watch this scene from Django Unchained and tell me if it doesn’t make you a little uneasy.

Viewers Discretion is Advised

I can’t begin to imagine why anyone would be into movies like Django, Saw or any of the other modern movies that rely on violence to draw a crowd. Movies like Django are only memorable because you see gunfights where the blood rains down in the scene and makes it impossible to see what’s happening, or scenes where naked hillbillies get their junk blown off.

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American Guns

The White House just came out with this dashing photo of Obama shooting clay pigeons at Camp David.

I really love the way the White House is trying to look “pro-gun” by releasing this photo. There really shouldn’t have to be so much of an effort by the White House to try to convince so many gun-advocate dunderheads that their president isn’t going to come to their house and steal their guns when they sleep.

America has a weird fascination with guns. About 40% of Americans have guns in their house. This is one of the only developed countries on the planet where the citizens feel the need to own assault weapons and as many magazines as they can handle. There really is no reason for people to own these types of weapons. The only benefit of an assault weapons is that they don’t leave time for people to think in between shots.

Take Australia for example. My cousin, a police officer in Tasmania, came over to California just after the Sandy Hook shootings. He and his entire family really could not understand the gun laws here in the States. In Australia, no one is allowed assault weapons, guns must be kept in locked containers and police officers check to see if your house is suitable for guns. I asked him if there are many shootings in Australia, and he replied, “Um, no. Of course not.”

What a luxury it must be to live in a country where shootings aren’t something common. It really is not hard  to make that dream become a reality. America could take a page from Australia’s law book. This is something that can happen, it’s just a matter of how much people care about saftey.

F.I.N.A.L.S.

It is that dreaded time of year again, finals. 

After a full semester of work all I have to show for it is a bunch of pieces of crumpled papers in the bottom of my backpack and the ink my teacher puts on my test telling me how I did in their class this semester.

This time is stressful for all, and I try to not get caught up in the stress, but there is just no way around it.

Honestly, most finals for me aren’t too hard.

Math? Easy.

Science? Easy.

English? Easy

History? No sir.

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Top Shot-Finally a show for the gunman in YOU!!!

A lot of people ask me what I’m interested in other than football and ranting about football. I like to follow literally everything about that sport. But there are other things that I love as well.

I also love firearms. I love weaponry, hunting, sniping, archery, anything that involves loading up a projectile and shooting it away.

My favorite type of weapons are pistols. I enjoy shooting for recreation on ranches outdoors, as well as going to indoor ranges and firing off a few clips.

A few times, my family and I have taken some friends and gone down to Waco, Texas where a friend of my father’s has a ranch full of animals and trap shooters, which fire clay pigeons into the air to practice shotgun aim. While I enjoy firing a long gun, I particularly have a certain fondness of the handguns.

I feel that a handgun allows you to become more personal with yourself and your firearm. A bond can be built between a man and his best gun.

I have not shot enough to build that kind of bond with any guy. However, I have shot a 45 magnum pistol, a colt 22 revolver and a 9mm “cop” gun. All are great guns, but I love the 45. That’s my favorite firearm to date.

Another thing similar to myself and these guns is the connection to the History channel show, “Top Shot”, which is a reality contest show where the contestants compete to be the best marksmen.

I love the show because I can learn about new guns, shooting techniques and get to watch some wild shooting talent such as trick shooting and sharp shooting. It’s an adrenaline rush. As I write this, I’m watching a guy try to shoot a bullet to make contact with the blade of an axe. Axe blades are VERY skinny.

The weirdest part about that shot is that one guy actually was able to split the bullet. He split a bullet in half by shooting onto an axe blade.

It’s completely wild. I love this stuff. Watching things explode and watching guys load up and fire away is just a rush.

Arizona Shootout

It’s weird hearing about something big happening in a quiet town you know very well.

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After reading several articles about the tragic incident last week, it makes me look at Tuscon in a whole new light. No longer is it the quiet city in Arizona in which my grandpa lives and I spent months visiting. It is now the scene of one of the most wide-spread topics in the news now.

As most of the United States now knows, there was a shooting in Tuscon, Arizona ultimately ending with several wounded and dead. It is that site that I remember visiting with my father several times on our way from the airport and that city that holds some of my fondest memories. It’s strange looking at a location after something dramatic happens. It’s like the light of it shifts, and it seems gloomy.

I don’t know what exactly the shooter had intended, or what he knows that he has done; but now when thousands of people now grocery shop at that Safeway they will be reminded of his fatal attack.

Is it fair? No, not really. But there’s nothing to do about it now.

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