On Sunday, October 1, a country music festival was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The festival was attended by more than 20,000 people. As the music played, a man opened fire from a 32nd-story hotel window, killing at least 59 people and wounding more than 500 more. The gunman, identified as one Stephen Paddock, is now deceased; it appears that he committed suicide rather than surrendering to police. At this writing, the motive behind the murders is unclear. The attack is being referred to as “the worst mass shooting in modern American history.”
Following the attack, President Donald Trump said, “Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one—a parent, a child, a brother or sister. We cannot fathom their pain. We cannot imagine their loss. To the families of the victims: We are praying for you and we are here for you, and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period.”
As we reflect on the horror and the suffering of the Las Vegas attack, Christian believers should remember to do three things. First, as President Trump said, we should keep those affected by this tragedy in our thoughts and prayers. Second, those of us who may know someone affected by the attack should offer support to them in any way that we can. Third, we must resist the urge to politicize this tragedy, and should instead deepen our resolve to live out and pass on a deep, foundational belief that all human life is sacred.