Good prevails in the aftermath of evil
A grieving nation is still reeling from Sunday night's attack on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, with few answers to provide any closure.
Why did Stephen Paddock do this? How could he do this? What was the motive? How was he able to plan such a meticulous and well-thought-out assault?
How could this happen? Why?
The debate over gun control is raging, with the usual suspects openly accusing everyday Americans who support the Second Amendment of complicity and culpability. The NRA is again being pinned as the number-one target for accountability and blame — even more so than the killer who pulled the trigger.
GQ radio host Keith Olbermann, formerly of MSNBC, classified the NRA as a “terrorist organization.” Democrat Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton reportedly boycotted a moment of silence for the victims on the House floor. Hillary Clinton demanded Americans do something and “stand up to the NRA.” Hollywood celebrities took to Twitter and blasted out messages such as “(expletive) you, NRA” to tens of millions of followers.
The anger is potent and understandable. But again, it's being misdirected in a time of deep sadness, fear and sorrow.
Why is this situation so difficult to understand?
Comprehending Sunday's ambush is unfathomable because we aren't like the shooter. And despite what the left wants to believe, the NRA isn't like him, either. How can we ever understand why this happened or why this murderer decided to do what he did? Justifications don't compute for everyday citizens who can't comprehend such evil. And evil is exactly what this was.
Paddock is an anomaly to the heart of America. This was clear in the aftermath of the attack as civilians immediately ran to help each other escape. Strangers, under a fusillade of bullets from above, escorted victims to civilian vehicles and took them to local hospitals. Upon daybreak, thousands of people heeded the call for blood and stood in lines for as long as eight hours to help those in the most need. Good prevailed.
Paddock, who was no doubt met by the devil himself at the gates of hell, was a coward and a thief. He took the easy way out by committing suicide, knowing he'd never have to explain anything, when police arrived at his hotel room. He stole the lives of 59 innocent people and forever changed the lives of the hundreds he injured.
Fifty-nine families have a void that can never be filled, although the nation prays that somehow they will find peace. The thousands who ran for cover that night, knowing they were in the cross hairs of a madman, will never be the same.
Paddock's actions were depraved, inhumane, vile, horrific and heinous. There's no explanation or rationalization for what he did. But there is one thing we do know — he alone is the one responsible for his actions.
The American spirit may be tired, but it is not broken. It will prevail, even in the most difficult of times.
Katie Pavlich is news editor of TownHall.com. Her exclusive column appears on the first and third Fridays of the month.