(ANTIMEDIA) Las Vegas — As chaos continues to envelop the country in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, it’s easy to get caught up in the negativity.
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A CBS executive was promptly fired after proclaiming she didn’t care about the victims because country music enthusiasts are often Republicans who like guns. Others were quick to cite unsubstantiated claims that ISIS was behind the attack, implicating Islam and, interestingly, Antifa.
But on the ground and around the country, the overwhelming response to the tragedy has been proactive, a reassuring indicator that despite the horrific actions of some individuals, people are decent.
Within seven hours of the shooting, over 10,000 concerned humans had donated over a million dollars to support the victims in Las Vegas. The GoFundMe effort, launched by Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission Chair from Las Vegas, is intended to “provide relief and financial support to the victims and families of the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting.” The campaign seeks to raise $2 million, and it is undoubtedly on track to meet — and likely surpass — that goal.
But people are providing more than just financial support. Hundreds are signing up to give blood to help victims in the hospital, with the line to donate at one location reportedly stretching for blocks. Today reports that people have been filling donation centers since 4 am Monday morning.
— Bridget Bennett (@bridgetkbennett) October 2, 2017
WATCH: Hundreds of people are waiting in line to donate blood in Las Vegas pic.twitter.com/Ad6DEoaq9U
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 2, 2017
Further, despite claims that Islamic terror is behind the incident — assertions authorities are currently rejecting — CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), the country’s largest Muslim advocacy group, is urging Muslims to donate blood and financial support to victims.
Perhaps most touching is the reaction from strangers who were on the ground as the attack unfolded. One survivor took to Instagram to express her gratitude, thanking everyone from God and fellow concert-goers to first responders and doctors and nurses.
“Thank you for the brave men and women who stayed behind to help when everyone was running terrified for their lives,” she wrote. “Thank you to the man who pulled me over the fence when my boot was stuck. Thank you to the girls who grabbed me and ran with me when they saw I’d been separated from my husband and friends. Thank you to the friends that came and got me from my place of refuge even when the shooter was still active.”
“Thank you for the man who was willing to pile us in his car and drive us to safety. Thank you for all the brave officers who responded to the scene after the terror took place, and for the paramedics who saved lives tonight. Thank you for the nurses and doctors currently still working on the victims.”
She thanked officers for taking down the shooter, though police have confirmed that Scott Paddock, 64, killed himself. Regardless, the survivor added that her husband helped shield others from bullets and put pressure on their wounds:
“Above all thank you for my brave husband who used his own body to shield me and others from bullets as those next to us were shot. When we were separated and he realized he could no longer protect me he stayed behind to hold pressure on gunshot wounds and carry people to trucks for departure to hospitals. He and all the other off duty officers, military personal[sic], and anyone else in the venue and out who helped save a life tonight are the true heroes.”
There are many other examples of humans helping each other during the attack.
Though prevailing sentiments during incidents like these are negativity, fear, and outrage, it is heartening and humbling to see people coming together in times of tragedy. Humans displayed the same caring behavior in the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes over the last month, organizing search and rescues, donating supplies, and traveling to Puerto Rico to provide direct relief.
Though the actions of a severely disturbed killer may shake us this week, the overwhelming response says far more about our humanity.