Monday, October 3, 2022

Five Year Later Looking Back on What Doesn’t Stay in Vegas—Murfin Verse

Five years ago, on October 1, 2017 Wikipedia reminds us:

Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old man from Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire upon the crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. Between 10:05 and 10:15 p.m. PDT, he fired more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition from his 32nd floor suites in the Mandalay Bay Hotel, killing 60 people[a] and wounding 411, with the ensuing panic bringing the injury total to 867. About an hour later, Paddock was found dead in his room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His motive remains officially undetermined.

The incident is the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in modern United States history. It focused attention on firearms laws in the U.S., particularly with regard to bump stocks, which Paddock used to fire shots in rapid succession, at a rate of fire similar to automatic weapons.[3] As a result, bump stocks were banned by the U.S. Justice Department in December 2018, with the regulation in effect as of March 2019.

Within a couple of days, the identities of the victims became, one by one, known.  They were a cross section of Americans out to have a good time in the city that brags about keeping secrets, maybe Whiter than some concert throngs.  On October 3rd I took notice of them.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, other than that blip reform on bump stocks, no other action was taken to confront rampant gun violence.  In fact, the massacre caused a rush to stock up on more, and more deadly firearms, ammo, and those soon to be banned bump stocks.  The NRA fundraised over the hysterical threat of gun grabbers.  And for most of us, numbed by way too many shootings, the event has faded into the recesses of our memories.

What Doesn’t Stay In Vegas

October 3, 2017


What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay there.


It oozes under the front door

of that little house in Tennessee

leaving a nasty stain in the carpet

that will last generations.


It drips from the empty desk

            in the high school office

            where the phone rings unattended

            next to a famed family photo

            and a jar of M & Ms.


It is tangled in the nets

            of that Alaska trawler

            spilling on the deck

            and splattering those rubber boots.


It has to be wiped from the table

            of that Disneyland café

            by some other harried waitress

            before it spoils some child’s

            special day

            or gets on Snow White’s costume.


It pools by the council’s table

            in a San Diego courtroom

            the empty chair

            unable to represent

            the mother of three.


It cannot be washed from

            the filthy hands

            of every politico

            who took gun pushers’ cash

            and kissed the ass of every

            fetishist wanking himself off

            to violence porn and hero fantasies.


—Patrick Murfin


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