Evil has visited Las Vegas and in its grasp, thousands of lives have been altered and torn apart. America’s worst mass shooting has shocked a city and a nation and the burning pain will be felt for generations. How one man, one sick minded heartless sociopath could inflict such pain on so many is quite literally beyond belief.
His bullets have pierced the bodies of so many and the souls of so many more. But while the pain and torment from the vicious and cruel attack may have shocked us to our core, one group of men and women have indelibly left their mark on all who have followed the events of that night. the men and women of law enforcement and the military who at the sound of gunfire and amidst the falling of the dead and wounded revealed their incredible courage and commitment to serve.
Stories of the individual acts of bravery, selflessness and courage of off duty cops, firefighters and paramedics who were merely attending the concert that the shooter targeted are surfacing along with those of the skill and bravery shown by on duty police as they braved withering fire to form a team that located the suspect in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and end his terror.
Several of these men became casualties themselves. Some survived, catastrophically injured and others gave their very lives for the ideals that they believed in. They truly revealed themselves to be America’s best.
I cannot help but wonder how the enormity of this event will affect our divided nation. Will it serve to help unite us? Will we see that through this tragedy we might heal ourselves and become better because of it. Or will we learn nothing and continue on our self-destructive path, allowing politics and personal agendas to overpower the possibilities? What will the week bring as life moves on and we search for escape in such distractions as sports?
NFL and other sports figures have taken a stand, well actually a knee, as a symbolic statement disrespecting the flag of the United States and the National Anthem. This has escalated to a point where the president of the United States has dramatically weighed in and Americans across the country are voicing their opinions vocally and emotionally on social media, around water coolers and the kitchen table and even going so far as burning team jerseys, hats and jackets. Interestingly and rather.
But allow me to remind all of those sports figures, celebrities and supporters of this misguided political statement that you have been duped. You’ve been played and in your haste to join in on this popular limousine liberal fad, you have forgotten this disrespectful action of kneeling for our National Anthem was built upon lies. The lies of institutionalized police racism. The lies of law enforcement hunting down and killing innocent unarmed black men.
The great lie of Ferguson, “hands up, don’t shoot.” Lies, lies and more lies perpetuated by agenda driven race exploiters bent on driving a wedge between the people of this nation and a complicit mainstream media together with politicians who gleefully repeat the myths while feathering their own political nests with votes and riches. I wonder if you even care about the facts anymore? Or is the anti-Trump hysteria simply too powerful for you to resist?
When I watch these self entitled millionaire players display their ignorance of the issues and their “follower” mentality, I cannot help but feel not just disappointment but outright disgust. For tens of thousands of men and women of our military and our law enforcement have sacrificed their very lives for what our flag and our anthem symbolize.
It is because of those sacrifices that these players can run around a field tossing a ball around and make millions of dollars doing what is truly nothing more than a form of entertainment. All while American cops actually give their lives while protecting the very communities they are accused of oppressing.
Let me be very clear about my feelings here. When it comes right down to the worth of a human being, the size of your bank account or the amount of fame you have means nothing. Human value is found in service to others, courage in the face of adversity. Compassion shown to those in need and sacrifice for the greater good. In other words, the traits that American law enforcement embody every single day.
The attack on Las Vegas serves as a stark reminder that evil exists. It is a lesson to be well learned as is the realization that once again American law enforcement officers revealed themselves to be special people.
So I’ll say this loud and clear. When you look at the contribution to the people of our nation, when you tally up the displays courage, compassion, integrity and sacrifice of sports figure and Law Enforcement Officers and compare them to each other. One good cop is worth a hundred NFL players.
Randy Sutton is a 23-year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. He is a Law Enforcement Analyst for CBS News and is the author of, “True Blue: Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them.”