Silence Is Not An Option
A/N: I rarely take requests after they close, but this is an exception. After the shooting in Las Vegas, I considered writing something to get out my feelings, and then I had a request to do so with Spencer reacting to the news, considering he is from Las Vegas.
His brain was spinning as the lights and words twisted across the screen.
27 Dead. More Than 300 Injured. And there was still more to come.
The deadliest shooting in U.S. history.
Didn’t this just happen last year?
Even on cases, there were few times where he was rendered speechless, but as Spencer kept his eyes glued to the screen, his mouth couldn’t help but drop open, his tongue washing over his bottom lip as the terror washed across the screen.
Hundreds and hundreds of people went to have a good time and now at least 52 of them would never be able to go home, all because some asshole got his hand on way more guns than was ever necessary for one human being.
Emily flipped through the stations on the TV, nearly ever single one counting off the number of dead, wounded and missing individuals. “Holy fuck.” Sitting back in his chair, Spencer lifted his hand to his cheek, surprised when he pulled his hand away and saw that it was wet.
Then he blinked - and the tears fell.
“Reid?” Emily asked.
There had been shootings before, but something about it being in his hometown made his heart ache even more. “How does this keep happening?” He asked. He wasn’t speaking to anyone in particular, and it was barely audible over the hum of the disaster on the screen. “When will it stop?”
“I don’t know,” Luke replied, sitting down at the table next to Spencer and staring at the television in horror.
Again, he wasn’t used to feeling speechless. Although his job was the kind to take its toll, there were few cases that made his heart feel hollow. Clearing his throat, he stood up from the table, no longer trying to keep the tears at bay. “I need a breather.”
Emily nodded, telling him to take as much time as he needed to compose himself. Everyone else was going to be doing the same. His mother was fine, and he knew it - she was sitting at Bennington back home, but something about this made him feel the need to talk to her, so as he walked out of the building for some fresh air, he dialed his mother’s home. “Yes, this is Dr. Spencer Reid. May I speak to Diana Reid?”
“Of course, Spencer. Hold on one second.”
While he waited for his mother to answer the phone, the chaos and helplessness of the concert-goers plagued his mind. He’d been in the line of fire before, but he’d chosen the risk; he’d decided to put up with the possibility, and probability, because he wanted to help others, but none of those people had chosen this - but apparently that was the world they lived in now. “Hello, Spencer,” Diana said when she answered the phone. “We just spoke two days ago. Did you see the news?”
“Yea, mom. How is everyone over there?”
“Well, the ones that are lucid are distraught. No one is really saying anything. I just can’t believe this keeps happening. Didn’t something happen in Florida recently?”
Spencer sighed heavily. “Yes, at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Just last year. And at that point, that one was considered the deadliest shooting in U.S. history. Now this.”
“What happened?” She asked. “In Vegas. I don’t understand. How did he get so many guns?”
That was the question wasn’t it. “It’s what’s known as the ‘gun show loophole,’” he started, sickened by the fact that it actually had a name because it was so prevalent. “Most states don’t require a background check to buy a gun. They can choose to implement it, but it’s not required. Although we don’t know for sure, because it’s too early to tell, it’s likely he got many of his guns at a gun show.”
“Why do they keep saying that he must’ve been mentally ill?” She asked angrily. “Maybe he was just an asshole!”
Spencer chuckled at his mother’s frankness. Media constantly wanted to find a reason for something like this, but if there was one thing he learned as a profiler above all else, it was that sometimes there was no reason. “He definitely could’ve just been an asshole,” he said. “Frankly, I think that’s likely. Even as a profiler it’s difficult for me to figure out what his motive was. The point is it needs to stop.”
Diana hesitated, seemingly trying to process what Spencer was saying. “The government is never going to get rid of guns, are they?” She asked sadly.
“It’s not about getting rid of them, Mom,” Spencer said, feeling a rant coming on. “It’s about having about having the right restrictions. Hell, I’m in law enforcement. I believe that law enforcement and the military should be allowed guns, with rigorous training of course, but they need them, but there’s no need for a random man on the street to have access to a semi-automatic or automatic weapon. It’s about having the right restrictions, including closing the gun show loophole.” As he continued to rant, the tears were stinging at the corners of his eyes, but he wasn’t sad so much as angry.
And all of those had just been in the last five years. It was absurd. Each and every time, people would try and bring up gun control laws, and it’s never been the time. Well, then when the fuck is the time?! Spencer spun around and hit the wall, hissing at the pain. “What was that?” Diana asked. “Are you okay?”
“I just hit my hand against the wall. I’m okay. I’m just so tired.”
“Oh honey, you need some sleep,” she said. “You should go home and get some rest.”
Not that kind of rest.
Wiping the tears away, Spencer could tell his mother needed to get off the phone. He didn’t want to upset her anymore. “I think I’ll do that. Mom?”
“I love you.”
“I love you, too, sweetheart.”
When he got off the phone, he returned upstairs to his teammates. “You okay?” Rossi asked.
“As much as I can be,” he replied sadly. “I’m just so sick of the hatred. It’s tiring. And we need gun control.”
Rossi rolled his eyes. “We needed gun control 20 years ago, but apparently an amendment made when guns held one bullet still stands today for some reason.”
When would it end?
Later that night, Spencer scanned article after article, trying to decipher a reason for the massacre, but as he’d told his mother, there was none.
He felt so helpless.
There was so little he could do.
He wasn’t back in Vegas, so he couldn’t donate blood. Donating money seemed, although he did to a few different organizations, like too little late. All he could do was do his research, maybe speak out. As a voice in government, he felt it important to continue speaking out.
It might seem small to some, but if enough small voices came together, there was hope for change. What he wouldn’t do was stay silent.