I thought Sunday night was going to be a night of eating food and watching Netflix to prepare for the school week. As I checked my phone one last time before turning off the lights to go to bed, I started to notice headlines report a shooting happening in Las Vegas. Being a journalism major, I’ve been following several American and Irish news sources since I got to Ireland. I stayed up a little longer to try and follow the story, but decided to sleep and see what happens in the morning. After a few hours of learning more, I decided to share my observations of being an aspiring American journalist, but mainly an American, outside of The United States.
What may surprise you is I didn’t learn about the awful massacre from an American source. Although I have yet to learn which Irish news source is best, I first saw tweets from The Irish Times and The Journal.ie reporting of the situation in Las Vegas.
I know some of you reading this may shake your head at the thought of Twitter being my main news channel, but it’s easier to follow when I don’t have easy access to television like I do back home. I’ve been able to learn more about what’s going on locally in Ireland since following Irish news accounts, and it has already helped me keep up in my media classes.
One of the reasons I wanted to study abroad was because of my interest in international media. I wanted to learn firsthand how other news companies report on what’s happening and how they communicate it to their readers. I’ve noticed while they do report on what’s going on in the White House, it obviously hasn’t been as in depth as other American companies.
I woke up that next morning with a heavy heart. I kept refreshing different websites and seeing the death toll go up. It’s strange to be in a foreign country when such events happen back home, and it created a large feeling of distance. At my home university in the States, a class discussion or a university wide announcement would occur to make sure everyone was alright and prayers were made for all victims. Since I’m in Ireland, there isn’t as much coverage in class or within the walls of the apartments of the incident. I’ve had a few tiny conversations with other American students about it. It’s been little comments like, “Did you see what happened?” and “It’s so sad to read.”
Turning to the subject of gun control, I have already been asked multiple times by Irish people and other international students why Americans are so obsessed with guns. I really didn’t know how to answer the question the first time I was asked, for I’ve never really been around guns during my short nineteen years of life. While I agree it’s a right in the constitution and every free American has the right to bear arms, I feel there should be something in place to prevent any large firearms from getting into the wrong hands. From Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook and now Las Vegas, some action needs to take place to prevent any more tragedies from happening.
I chose the quote by Jimi Hendrix above because while I love his music, I love his words even more. This lust for power has broken so many parts of society, but I can already see love putting the pieces back together. People were lining up to donate blood in Las Vegas, and many people came together online to encourage others to donate. Reading about these moments shows how the power of love can help bring those hurting together, so I’m hoping enough love can spark a change to prevent these tragedies altogether.
I am deeply saddened by the events that occurred and my thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by what happened. I hope change will come from this, but until then I want to spread peace & love.