In the Face of Evil, Americans Rush to Help Each Other in Las Vegas
Jarrett Stepman /
The mass shooting that took place as Jason Aldean sang during a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night was a demonstration of what evil men can do to fellow human beings.
There were immediate calls to politicize the event, but Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, had a great response that many Americans implicitly understand.
He said: “To all those political opportunists who are seizing on the tragedy in Las Vegas to call for more gun regs … You can’t regulate evil.”
In a fallen world, evil will be committed no matter what we do. The challenge is for good people to respond and use what power they have to counteract it.
This was certainly the case as numerous stories surfaced from Las Vegas of people helping each other and heroically risking their lives for others.
Their stories deserve to be told.
For instance, Jonathan Smith, a 30-year-old copy machine repairman, rushed into action when he heard shots being fired and understood what was happening.
Smith kept shouting, “Active shooter, active shooter, let’s go! We have to run,” while directing about 30 people to safety.
While helping others, Smith took a bullet in the neck, which may stay in his body for the rest of his life.
Sonny Melton, a nurse from Tennessee, saved his wife, Heather, from gunfire. She said he was killed helping her.
“He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back,” she said in an interview with WSMV. “I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.”
During the gunfire, former Marine Taylor Winston found an unattended truck with keys in the ignition. He used it to transport numerous injured victims to the hospital.
Another soldier, Army veteran Rob Ledbetter, used a shirt to apply a tourniquet to a wounded girl and helped other wounded people. He said that his experience on battlefields helped him respond to and cope with what happened.
Lindsay Padgett and her fiance, Mike Jay, used their truck to get numerous people to medical care.
“We were just trying to get people to the hospital. We got halfway there, and as we were getting on the freeway, we saw an ambulance stopped, so we went over and they started taking the most critical people and putting them in the ambulance,” Padgett said, according to ABC News.
It wasn’t just people at the scene of the crime who responded to help.
One GoFundMe page raised over $2 million to help victims of the attack.
And countless people showed up to wait for hours in line at blood banks in Las Vegas.
One of the individuals waiting in line, Hector Salas, said, according to CNN: “This is America. People coming together, helping out.”
Some of these stories and others were recounted by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a briefing on Monday.
“What those people did for each other says far more about Americans than the cowardly acts of a killer ever could,” she told reporters. “The Gospel of John says there’s no greater love to display than love to lay down one’s life for a friend.”
Just this year, we have seen Americans respond heroically to natural disaster and tragedy, such as in Texas, where we saw thousands of Americans rush to help their neighbors as a destructive hurricane barreled through.
Sometimes, in the face of horror, there are no policies or prescriptions that apply besides the voluntary courage and sacrifice of those who are good.
This, among many other things, is what makes America great.