While I slept peacefully, thanks the Seroquel I take for my insomnia, hundreds of people were running for their lives. As a deadly massacre took place in the city I once lived in for more than 10 years, where I went to high school. The city of sin and lights…Las Vegas.
This is a city where my mom, sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews still live. While I am not a big country music fan, my sister and her family are. Luckily, they were not at the concert that night, but many others were. But what if they had made the Route 91 concert a family event? What if they all had gone that night?
On October 1, a man with no criminal record, no parking tickets and no reported history of mental illness opened fire into a massive crowd of music fans from his suite on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old, apparently “normal” and rather affluent retiree turned gambler, was armed with 23 weapons and thousands or rounds of ammunition. Many of the semi-automatic rifles were outfitted with bump stocks that effectively turned them into automatic weapons.
That is what makes the law enforcement response so unbelievable. Amid over 10 minutes of automatic gunfire spraying down on the Las Vegas Strip, which ultimately killed at least 58 and wounded 500, local police officers ushered tens of thousands of other people to safety. I say this out of respect, especially since my uncle Nicholas Estavillo was the highest-ranking Hispanic police officer in New York Police Department history.
Yes, in 2002 Nicholas Estavillo became the first Puerto Rican and first Hispanic to be named Chief of Patrol. When I spoke to him years ago he said that he recalled 9/11 and every bit of the horrific event.
Still, I admit I can often feel uncomfortable around police officers. I’m like anyone else who hates to get pulled over, hates parking tickets, and hates to feel harassed for something they didn’t do. I don’t want to say that I “hate” cops, but let’s just say they’re not my favorite folks to hang around with on a day to day basis. Perhaps that is an unfair statement as I don’t personally know many other cops. I do not have family picnics with my NYPD family members. I have yet to even meet most of them. We have an unsaid “you do your thing and I’ll do mine” arrangement. In other words, we’re not “tight.”
Regardless of my personal feelings, I have to be frank when I say that it takes a real tragedy to really feel the brunt of what first responders go through. It takes death, even a massacre to realize that, my God, our men and women in blue ought to be praised and fucking thanked each and every day! While police brutality exists, there many more incidents like the Vegas massacre that show how police officers are the first to run towards the bullets rather than away from them. I’m not here to debate police brutality or police in general. I’m just here to say that there are bad apples in every bunch. But we can’t let them spoil the entire orchard.
While I realize that this is a sensitive topic for many, I’m going to lay it all out there. I thank police officers all around our country for the jobs they do day in and day out. I thank all the first responders who risked their lives during 9/11 and I thank the police officers that saved lives in Las Vegas. I am saddened by the police officers that were killed or wounded that day, and I’m devastated by so much carnage and death on October 1st, 2017 the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
I am not going to argue with you over gun control. I am not going to argue with you over whether or not you like the police or think they are all brutal racists. What I will say is that my uncle is a Hispanic and he is not a racist, and he has lived his entire life defending people. He was a U.S. Marine in Vietnam, too. There are so many more good cops out there than bad. They are heroes who often aren’t recognized for the right reasons.
I thank all of the men and women in blue for their service.
Please Read The Participating Bloggers On The Subject Of Thanking A Profession:
- Addison D’Marko: Thank You: Neuro-Science
- Barb Caffrey: Thank a Teacher Today, via Collaboration with a Purpose
- Tajwar Fatma: Journey of a lifetime- A tribute to my profession
- Ipuna Black: Thank you, Police Officers
- Sadaf Siddiqi: Thank you, Profession
- Nicolle K.: Collaboration with a Purpose: Thank You, Profession – Unsung Heroes!
- Jothish Joseph: Thank you, Profession
- Sonyo Estavillo: The Las Vegas Massacre: Honoring Our Heroes In Blue
- Mylene Orillo: Thank You, Soldiers!
- Divyang Shah: Thank You Profession