by Marla Gagne ’18
On Monday morning, most of us woke up to a long list of CNN messages on our phones recalling the events of a mass shooting in Las Vegas: “At least 50 dead and more than 200 injured.”
Soon we would be informed that 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas Sunday evening, ultimately leaving 58 people dead and over 500 injured before taking his own life. The country was glued to phones and TVs as more was revealed about the worst mass shooting in modern history.
In this week’s Cowl, writers inform readers, analyze, and discuss some of the hotly debated issues, like gun violence and attacks, currently plaguing the United States and World. The News Section examines the events of Sunday night as more information becomes available about the shooter and victims and how this will affect the future of gun laws in America. The front-page features fundraising for Puerto Rico, one of the many islands harmed by a recent series of hurricanes that left buildings crushed, agriculture destroyed, electricity gone, and people in great need of shelter and resources. Along with gun violence and natural disasters, the U.S. is also struggling over the rights of athletic protesters to kneel during the national anthem—are they disrespecting the flag or utilizing their rights of freedom of speech?
Finding answers to these difficult problems is not easy—I certainly do not have solutions to the challenges we are facing. While we try to find these answers, we as individuals today can and should:
· Recognize that we do have problems—from gun laws to the inequality in our country.
· Come together as a community to feel, think, heal, and take action.
· Realize the pen is mightier than the sword—research, write, and talk before making judgments and decisions.
· Show goodwill to others. The mass shooting was an evil, corrupt act, but as individuals we can spread kindness. Take an extra five minutes to check on someone stressed about work. Read a book about someone completely different from you. Give someone an extra hug, prayer, or smile for no reason at all.
These are simple actions that will not solve the problems we face, but will move us one inch closer to a better college, better country, and better world.