While the evil massacre of 59 people in Las Vegas was immediately politicized by those wanting more gun control legislation — despite the reality that everything the killer did was already illegal — average Americans continued to shine in the crisis.
Just as Americans did in killer hurricanes in Texas and Florida. Just as we always do.
As the psychopath continued to fire on the defenseless crowd from the nearby Mandalay Hotel high rise, dozens and dozens of stories have emerged about ordinary people turned heroes in the midst of the deadly chaos.
Repeatedly, concert-goers stopped to help others, went back into the field of fire from safety to aid the wounded — consistently risking their own lives to save others, often strangers.
“There were so many people out there that you wouldn’t think they would be helping others at a time like that, but it wasn’t an ‘every man for himself’ kind of situation,” said Tiffany Michelle, who witnessed the massacre. “Everybody just sort of grabbed somebody around them and tried to do everything they could to get others out.”
Off-duty California firefighter Steve Keys was bent over a shooting victim and performing CPR when he was shot in the back. He is expected to survive.
Retired teacher Mike Cronk told ABC 13 that many concert-goers with and without first-aid training, worked together to help victims get to first-responders — often carrying them. Cronk said he used his shirt to stop the bleeding after his friend was shot three times. He and another woman helped him push his friend under the stage to safety. “I’m no hero,” he said. “But there’s a lot of heroes out there.”
A 29-year-old nurse from Tennessee, Sunny Melton, was at the concert with his wife. When the shots began, Melton stood behind his wife, sheltering her as he guided her toward safety away from the gunfire. He was fatally shot in the back as they neared safety. His wife survived.
Off-duty firefighter Kurt Fowler from Arizona was also protecting his wife by using his body as a shield and was shot, but is expected to recover.
Los Angeles firefighter Mark McCurdy was at the concert with his wife and her sister when the sister was shot. McCurdy carried his sister-in-law to the safety of their hotel room, and once his wife was also safe, he turned around and went back out into the killing field to help others.
In the middle of the night, just a few hours before the politicians climbed out of bed to begin tweeting and issuing statements dividing Americans, regular Nevadans began flooding blood donation centers because of the critical need for blood with more than 500 people wounded.
Blood centers were jammed full by 4 a.m. Through the night, throughout the next day and the following, Nevadans kept giving blood.
A GoFundMe account was quickly established for the victims and within a day had gained more than $2 million. More than 30,000 people contributed, including the Oakland Raiders professional football team, which will be moving to Vegas.
And states jumped in to help, just as they did during the hurricanes.
Drawing on the hard lessons learned after the Pulse nightclub massacre last year in Orlando, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and members of her office are heading to Las Vegas at the request of the Nevada Attorney General to practically help victims of the nation’s latest mass killing.
“Sadly, (in) Florida we know what we’re doing after the Pulse nightclub,” Bondi said. “So many of the victims who died don’t live in Nevada, so help with burial and helping them get back to their respective states…We need to help them work through the legal process, connecting with their families and by getting them services.”
This is America. Not the sleazy, grandstanding politicians. Not the divisive National Anthem protests. Not Antifa or white supremacists. Not the rancor and division that is so prevalent now for political gain.
White, black, Hispanic, male, female were all at the concert, were all helping others and were all lined up at blood banks to help others. Let’s remember this America.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.
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