Just as I did previously when registering moral outrage last week, I was tempted to write a short story fictionalizing the horrible events that occurred in Las Vegas less than 24 hours ago (as I write this), but I just couldn’t. Maybe in days to come I will, but it’s too soon for me emotionally.
I grew up in Las Vegas, but it’s hardly the town I remember from my childhood into becoming a young adult. I haven’t been back in decades and there’s no real reason for me to return.
But this could have happened anywhere.
I’m sure we’ll hear all about the investigation in social and news media in the days and weeks to come but the fact that 58 people lost their lives and hundreds were wounded somehow isn’t the worse of it. The worst of it is someone out there is celebrating their injuries and deaths.
I’m not talking about ISIS claiming responsibility which may or may not be true. I’m talking about an American citizen and attorney. Her name is Hayley Geftman-Gold and among other outlets, Variety reported on this person’s reaction to the Las Vegas shootings.
Actually, I first heard about her at Fox News and up until today, she was a Vice President at CBS. They canned her for posting the following to her Facebook account:
“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs [sic] will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic bc [sic] country music fans often are Republican gun toters [sic].”
I am including an image of the screen capture of her post, which has since been removed, below but you should also notice that someone named Erin Fagan Silber replied:
Yeah…I was thinking that since this directly hits the country-music population…maybe they will actually do something now. But after Sandy Hook, Republicans reacted by wanting to arm teachers. So lets see what today’s…
Fagan Silber’s reply is cut off in the image at that point, so I don’t know what else she had to say.
Can you imagine if political and social conservatives made such public comments about the mass injuries and deaths of people they presumed to be liberals? Can you imagine the moral outrage? Only a totally insensitive buffoon would say something like this, regardless of politics or biases. Why did Geftman-Gold and Fagan Silber think it was perfectly acceptable to make such statements, to all but enjoy the victimization of those shot in Las Vegas?
It isn’t acceptable when anyone is gunned down in cold blood, I don’t care who it is. Yes, we all especially feel wounded when children die, whether by gunfire or any other reason, but that doesn’t make it right to think people deserved to die because 1. They enjoy country and western music, 2. because they are presumed to be Republicans, and 3. because of the first fact and the second presumption, they are also assumed to have no concern about people who have died by gun violence.
Ms. Geftman-Gold lost her job in short order as a result of her online behavior, but it’s startling to consider that she felt perfectly free to make such statements as if they would be accepted by everyone, including her (former) employer.
The irony for me here is that I don’t doubt for a second that Geftman-Gold sees herself as a good and moral person. She apparently cares that children were shot and killed at Sandy Hook. As a political and social conservative, so do I, and I’ve prayed, grieved, and memorialized over those poor children and their families.
So I do not believe Geftman-Gold and Fagan Silber hold the corner market on compassion and morality. After reading their comments, in fact, I believe quite the opposite. Here is a bit more information about a seemingly ordinary citizen who is capable of expressing such terrible thoughts.
Regardless of how we disagree with each other the rest of the time, shouldn’t we come together as human beings in the face of such tragedies? What the heck is wrong with people?