Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Las Vegas Shooting

On our second day in San Diego – October 1st -  we were tired, slightly sunburnt and a tad hungover from the night before, so we decided to get an early night. We probably headed to bed around 10.30pm. At that exact moment in Las Vegas, happy festival-goers were running for their lives.

We didn’t hear about the shooting immediately. In the UK, it was 9am in the morning, and as my family and friends started to hear the news, they began to worry. We’d been pretty vague about our route and due to lack of internet/signal in America we hadn’t been the greatest at keeping in touch. My phone started to flood with messages and the light flashing so often eventually woke me up.

I checked the BBC, horrified. I reassured my family that, no, we weren’t heading to Vegas for a couple of days – that we were fine, tucked up in our hotel room, Ian breathing softly beside me. Then I just sat and looked at him. People thought it could’ve been us precisely because it could’ve been us. We go to festivals all the time. We were due to be in Vegas in two days’ time. All I could think was that somebody just like my sister texted their sister on that day and didn’t get a reply. Thinking about it makes my blood run cold.

I don’t have the vocabulary to describe the anger and hatred I feel towards people who commit these sort of actions. I find it difficult to define how although I understand America’s complex relationship with guns, incidents like these make things so crystal clear to me and many others that it seems impossible to imagine how they remain murky for anybody. I don’t want to define my trip to Vegas by the actions of a mass murderer. It’s difficult not to. When I returned home it was the first thing anybody asked me about. But he does not deserve that. I won’t name him. He does not deserve that either.

Equally, I didn’t want to write a frivolous post about Las Vegas – what I wore, saw, drank, did – without paying my respects to the 58 people who died and the 546 people who were injured on that day. Please know that I think about you and your families often, that the event touched us all.

My next post won’t mention it at all, but I thought the response in Las Vegas was perfect and I have included the signs they posted around the city. Ian’s friend said it seemed quiet to her – having nothing to compare it to, it still seemed like a madhouse to me. You can find out how to help here.

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