New York, October 2, 2017 — Sunday’s tragedy in Las Vegas is deeply disturbing. As the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, it is heartbreaking. We are deeply saddened and our condolences go out to the victims and their families.
As information is slowly disseminating, and more details are surfacing, two major thoughts come to our mind. First, the apparent problems the United States has with guns and the gun industry. Although we still do not have all the details, The New York Times reports that recordings taken from the shooting suggests the use of one automatic weapon. The fact that the shooter was able to obtain such gun, or any gun, is disturbing and should alert all of us to the power of the NRA and the problems with our laws regarding guns.
Secondly, this event is about violence, it is about aggression and fear. We live in a culture that glorifies power and violence as exemplified by president Trump.
Years ago Marshall Rosenberg claimed that the use of violence (psychological and physical) is learned though culture. Now more than even we need to learn the practice of nonviolent communication, and be reminded that all human beings have capacity for compassion. Rosenberg believed that humans resort to violence or behavior that harms others only when they don’t recognize more effective strategies for meeting their needs. Or, when those strategies are not practiced or exemplified in their world. Are we teaching our kids those strategies? Do we practice them every day with one another? Do we interrogate our own power with Others?