As I write this, people in Las Vegas -- and around the nation -- are reacting to a horrific act: an outdoor country music festival was sprayed with what appears to be automatic weapon fire from high up in a nearby hotel. Over a hundred were injured and around fifty people are dead. How many were hurt by bullets and how many by the ensuing panic is unknown.
Police located the source of the shooting and report one man,* who they describe as a "lone wolf" killer, is dead. They're seeking his "female companion," who may be anything from willing accomplice to first victim.
And that is exactly as much as anyone knows. Hours of television and page after page on the Web are filled with "more information" that amounts to trivia, lurid photographs and cellphone videos of the shooting and aftermath, speculation and empty blather. Bear in mind that early information past the most basic facts is frequently wrong.
We can count on the usual sources trying to exploit this heinous act to push their own causes.
Facebook, where I first saw mention of this when a friend reported himself safe, is filled with offers to help, many from people quite close by -- offers of food, water and shelter. Those are the sorts of people you are surrounded by: decent people. Caring people, who want to help. Killers -- and those who exploit their crimes -- are a tiny minority of humanity. Don't let 'em win. Don't be hypnotized by the horrible aftermath of a dreadful crime.
* They've released his name. This blog, as a matter of policy, does not name mass killers.
5 weeks ago