A Reflection on the 2017 Route 91 Vegas Shooting

Initially posted to Facebook in October 2017:

What’s on your mind, Kiona?

I woke up this morning thinking, what a fucking awful dream — another one of those can’t-run-fast-enough-to-save-my-family-wake-up-with-a-tear-stained-face dreams.

But this wasn’t a dream. It was very much real. And I want you all to understand exactly how I feel. So let me tell you, Facebook, what is on my mind.

All my life — as much as they’ve hated it — I’ve prioritized protecting my baby sisters. God forbid some kid on the playground called them a name — they would definitely be getting a strongly worded piece of my little PG-mind. WHAT did that little misogynistic P.O.S. say to you? Ima fly down and kick his ass. Just say when.

I am in so much pain knowing that I could not be there this weekend to protect my sister, that there is nothing I can do to take that experience away.

I have been trying to stifle my feelings, keep myself distracted. This is silly. She is “fine”. It could have been worse, but it wasn’t.

But the fact of the matter is that she isn’t “fine”. She was literally running for her life, watching people fall all around her. Others, *they* aren’t fine. They’ve lost their lives, their loved ones. *We* aren’t fine. We live in a world where people will not think twice before taking the lives of others and they have free access to insane mechanisms by which to do so.

I feel so guilty for sitting back and staying silent. I am done trying to distract myself. And you should be too.

This is not a debate of mental health vs. gun control. We need both. We, America, suck at both. There is no reason why someone can’t get decent support for their well-being. There is no reason why every Joe Schmo should have access to a mechanism that could so swiftly and stealthily take the lives of 60, injure 500, alter the lives of thousands forever and for worse.

Earlier in the day on Sunday, in a separate incident, a man in another car on the freeway got mad, pulled up, and pointed a gun directly at Nate. Lexi was in the car. Tell me, why does that man — why SHOULD that man — have had a gun in the first place?

And why should this Vegas man have had a full artillery?

Get your head up. Look this shit straight in the eye.

We need change.

This could be you.

This — 59 / 525 / 22,000 — could easily be you.

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