Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Las Vegas Shooting: Curiouser and Curiouser

To cut through the media hysteria with some basic facts:

Fully-automatic firearms (a.k.a. machine-guns) have been banned from civilian purchase (except for a very few supremely regulated exceptions) since 1934.  Those rare exceptions include:
             a) Federally-licensed firearms dealers who sell exclusively (and provably) to police and military buyers.
             b) People who go through a very extensive, expensive, and time-consuming process of obtaining a special federal license, which must be regularly renewed;  even these are not allowed to own a functional machine-gun made after 1986.

Converting a common semi-automatic to fully-automatic fire is likewise a federal crime.  The “bump-stock”, which makes it possible for a semi-auto to fire repeatedly almost as fast as a regular machine-gun, is a recent invention which just barely managed to slip around the wording of the law.  This is the only aspect of the shooting which a legal ban might have prevented.

Despite the sensational claims, this massacre was not “the largest mass shooting in American history”.  Wounded Knee was.  Go look that up.  While you’re at it, also look up the Sand Creek Massacre, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Pancho Villa’s Raid, and the Bath, Michigan School Massacre.  Note the similarities.

Other peculiarities revolve around Paddock himself, according to what the police have uncovered so far – at least what they’ve told to the media, and what the media have broadcast.  First, aside from his father being a notorious bank-robber who died in prison, there was absolutely nothing remarkable about him.  He began working as a mail-carrier, made himself into an accountant, finally got into real-estate and made himself a tidy fortune.  He was White, successful, one year short of retirement age, in not any sort of athletic shape, had never been in the military, nor police, nor been a member of any gun-club, and – according to his brother – had no particular political or religious affiliation, nor musical preferences either.  He’d been married and divorced and currently had an Asian girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who came from the Philippines, and that was all the “foreign” connections he had.  Neighbors described him as “reserved”, and otherwise boringly ordinary.       

Now consider the facts that don’t match.  In recent weeks he began doing a lot of gambling in Las Vegas, actually won a surprising amount of money, and gave most of it to his girlfriend – after buying her a plane ticket to Asia.  He’d also spent the last few months buying an amazing number – more than 40 of them – of assorted firearms, mostly rifles.  He also bought 12 Bump-stocks, several pounds of ammunition, some unnamed “explosives”, at least half-a-dozen video-cameras and at least one camera tripod.  His recent financial and email history show that, since January, Paddock – or someone using his financial and electronic identity -- booked rooms in hotels (though he didn’t always go there) in other cities – including Chicago and Baltimore – that likewise overlooked open music-concert venues.  Marilou Danley, now returned and talking to the police, mentioned that before he sent her off to Asia Paddock was taking Valium, and often lay on his sofa for hours muttering “Omigod, omigod…”

According to the sound-tracks from civilian videos of the incident, two full-auto rifles began firing at the same time into the music-festival crowd.  There are local witnesses who swear that they heard gunshots from two hotel windows: one “high up” and one on the fourth floor.  No witnesses saw muzzle-flashes from the 32nd floor.  The muzzle-flashes on the lower floor ended quickly – after emptying perhaps one extended clip – while the gunshots from the higher floor continued for a total of ten minutes.  According to early reports from local police, the reason they were able to target a room on the 32nd floor was that the amount of gun-smoke in that room was enough to set off the fire-alarm.  There was also a report, broadcast once and then cut, about a hotel security-guard who happened to be on the floor, ran toward the noise, and was shot through the hotel-room door.  When the police arrived, they found Paddock dead of a gunshot, his Bump-stock altered rifle beside him, several more altered rifles, pounds of ammunition, cameras set up to cover the room and the approaching hallways, and nobody else in the room.   

Now let’s pause here and consider some physical facts.  A fully-automatic rifle – designed or reconfigured – is not an easy weapon to use. According to firearms writer Mike Adams, (

“Even highly trained Navy Seals would have a difficult time running a full auto weapon for 10 minutes straight. Such weapon systems are brutal on the operator. They require tremendous strength, stamina and expert troubleshooting to keep running. Full-auto weapons overheat and jam. They demand incredible strength to keep aimed on target. They require expert reloading and weapons clearing in the case of jams, and the hotel room would have been so full of smoke and powder residue that it would be almost impossible to keep breathing from that enclosed space.
Far from what the firearms-illiterate media claims, these are not systems that any Joe off the street can just pick up and use to effortlessly mow down 500 people. Running these systems requires extensive training, experience and stamina. It is physically impossible for a guy like Stephen Paddock to operate such a system in the sustained, effective manner that we witnessed, especially when shooting from an elevated position which throws off all the ranging of the weapon system.”
More, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo publicly affirmed his belief that Stephen Paddock did not act alone. "…[H]e had to have some help at some point," Sheriff Lombardo is now quoted as saying by the UK Express:

And then there’s the question of why on Earth did Paddock target a country-western music festival, of all things.  There are some disturbing reports from witnesses at the concert who saw a woman push her way to the front row and utter death-threats, more than half an hour before the shooting started: “…there was a lady who pushed her way forward into the front row, and she started messing with another lady.  She told us we were all going to die tonight – it was about 45 minutes before the shots were fired.”  The woman was identifiably not Marilou Danley, who was in Asia at the time. 
And then there are the statements from two Australian guests in the hotel, reported to the Australian Courier Mail: 
“An Australian man who was staying in the room next to the shooter in the Mandalay Bay has confirmed he witnessed multiple gunmen involved in the Las Vegas attack.

“‘There were multiple people dead and multiple shooters. I was just hiding waiting for police to come get us. I got outside safely and was hiding in bushes,Brian Hodge told Australia's Courier-Mail.
“Mr. Hodge, who was staying in room 32134, next door to Stephen Paddock in room 32135, also provided important information when he revealed that a security guard was killed by police.
“’My floor is a crime scene. They killed a security guard on my floor.’”

“Wendy Miller from Cooroy, on the Sunshine Coast – another Australian caught up in the Las Vegas shooting – said she was at a bar in the nearby Luxor Hotel with her husband when she saw what she described as a "man of interest" run by.

“Ms Miller said the man sprinted through her hotel after coming off an escalator from the Mandalay Bay. The man that they [security] were chasing was wearing a security jacket like them,’ she said.”

…And there are plenty of other mysteries as well (such as, why do none of the crime-scene photos of Paddock’s “sniper’s nest” show any of the necessarily thousands of rounds of expended brass? --, but what these all add up to is that Paddock did not act alone; he had considerable help – and this massacre was planned months in advance.  But why?  Who would want to shoot up a country-western music festival?

The usual suspect, ISIL, took credit for the shooting – but the FBI cleared Paddock from any connection with them, in less than 24 hours.  A TV news pundit, who shall remain nameless, sneered that Paddock was an obviously insane “gun-nut” who hit the wrong target, because country-western fans are usually gun-nuts too – but this theory doesn’t jibe with the prolonged and meticulous planning that went into this slaughter.  Some psychologists have compared Paddock’s rampage with the Texas Clocktower Shooting of over 30 years ago -- and guessed that Paddock, like that shooter, had a brain tumor;  again, this doesn’t synch with the long and meticulous planning, or with his use of equally clever associates.  Blaming it on blackmail or gambling debts only begs the question;  who would have blackmailed Paddock into playing the patsy for a mass-murder, and why?  What was the motive?

Call it my old-time-radical practical paranoia, but I insist on asking: who benefits?

Well…  Aside from Hillary, whose political career has been revitalized by her riding the gun-control hobby-horse, and the gun-control lobby itself, which has gotten a marvelous crisis to exploit and is eagerly galloping to Congress with it, gee, I can’t think of anyone.  Can you?

Now, do I really think that Hillary and her wealthier supporters -- like George Soros, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and their ilk -- would really orchestrate a mass murder of American citizens in order to push their political agendas?

Having known Ayers and Dohrn back in the day, I have to say, well...  Yes.  They really are like that.  What I've seen and heard of Hillary and Soros leads me to think that they're exactly the same sort of Parlor Pinks, with the exact same attitudes.  I've no doubt there are others.  No solid proof, of course, but if this is the same crowd who manipulated and inflated the Charlottesville protests, then they're escalating the intensity of their tactics;  they've gone from Wagging The Dog to outright Reichstagging.  Knowing the nature of the Parlor Pink beast, I don't think they'll stop there.  Totally crazy?  Well, so was the Las Vegas shooting itself.

As we used to say back in the day, "The worst day of your life is the day you wake up and realize you're not paranoid."   

--Leslie <;)))>< 


Paradoctor said...

Who gains from America's recurrent massacres? Certainly not the gun-control advocates, whose record of legislative failure is unbroken. But gun sales always spike after these slaughters, and so do donations to the gun-runner's lobby, the NRA. So if you want a paranoid conspiracy theory, then why not point to them?

I don't know the NRA's CEO well enough to say that he'd be willing to kill masses of Americans to boost his donor's profits, but neither do I know him well enough to say that he wouldn't. And he's one of the few clear beneficiaries. Qui bono?

Leslie Fish said...

Hmmm, look at their history. The NRA *supported* that machine-gun ban back in 1934, and has loudly supported a ban on the "Bump-stock", which is just a sneaky way to evade that law.

Also look at their finances (which they publish in their magazine). Gun manufacturers do *not* contribute more to the NRA than its own members (over 5 million of them now) do. Considering how much $$ they have to spend on fighting hysterically-stupid post-crisis gun-control laws, they really wouldn't welcome the expenditure. Also, a lot of post-shooting-hysteria money and membership these days goes to other -- more aggressive -- gun-rights groups, such as Gun Owners of America and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, so that bump in income isn't guaranteed.

Finally, a little-noticed item that appeared on the Internet just a few days before the shooting announced a technological development that will seriously bite into the income of gun-manufacturers. That is the improvement of a metal-sintering 3-D printer that can create reliable firearms in your garage. This has the potential to make *all* gun-control laws useless -- except for those that allow ferocious punishments for anybody *caught* with a gun in their possession. The information on how to make and use this system is already out on the Internet, so there's no stopping it now. This, understandably, is what the anti-gun crowd is most afraid of, so it would make sense that they'd want to get those draconian laws passed *now*.

Technomad said...

The thing is, Leslie, that someone who really wanted to kill lots of people wouldn't be likely to use guns. Bombs, OTOH, are quite a bit more deadly, and so are fires. If the LV shooter(s) had really wanted some slaughter, they could have likely got on top of that hotel, rigged up a bunch of easy-to-make black-powder mortars, set some time fuses, and been safely down in their hotel room (or over the hills and far away) when the carnage began.

And the War Nerd (an online columnist whose work I recommend; he's currently not writing much but his stuff is available at various sites) has a very good article about how if ISIS or al-Qaeda or any of our other ill-wishers really wanted to do some damage, they'd have a deep-cover mole waiting in Southern California for a dry summer and a good Santa Ana wind---and then light a bunch of sstrategeically placed wildfires. SoCal has come closer than it likes to being burnt to the ground before.

Leslie Fish said...

Exactly! So killing a lot of Americans wasn't the point; reviving the gun-control movement -- and Hillary's political career -- was. Can you think of anything, or anyone, else who benefited from this long-planned, well-funded, elaborately designed *shooting*?

Spearcarrier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spearcarrier said...

I hesitate to write off ISIL because they're not known to lay claim unless they truly are involved. Another thing: although ISIL is more known to use bombs in their attacks it's not because they have some special preference. It's an economical choice.

But if you have a radicalized AMERICAN, you get mixed results. Sometimes they use bombs, but more often they use guns. Because that's our culture. We're a gun culture.

Take for example the Orlando shooting: guns were used there. The shooter swore allegiance to Allah repeatedly there. (As I recall ISIL didn't claim that one, but it doesn't matter because the shooter's motives were clear.) He was a lone wolf, so they say, but that's actually a large part of ISIL's strength is their frequent use of lone wolves and morons willing to die for 50 virgins. (But I mean seriously, if they're virgins in heaven then they're eternal and that probably means eternally virgins... I also often wonder if all those martyrs are having to share the same 50 virgins.)

One tragic thing I learned when the husband was deployed was ISIL's use of people in a lone wolf capacity... a lot. It's their favorite ploy.

But either way, it's obvious he had help. For example, he didn't have that room long enough to move all of those guns without being noticed on camera in some strange manner. Either he would have been filmed going down and up from his room excessively, or someone would have been shown moving things. Big baggage... something. Instead we're told there's nothing on camera. So if he didn't have help moving the guns, he's got help in a cover-up sort of way.

The push to ban bumper stocks should be expected. His body wasn't even cold and the first thing I saw were reports stating he had weapons, but only identifying the ones they want banned (i.e. rifles). So of course instead of banning all guns outright they would instead chip away at the core of American culture by blaming yet another item to take away after a string of things have been taken away.

But all that aside, what can be gained from this attack no matter who is behind it?

The first thing I thought was that conservative Americans are, indeed, the ones more likely to be gun holders. This means they're the ones more likely to be an American militia - a defense against attack. That's one way to flush them out and get rid of some. Chipping away at that foundation block is a tactic we as Americans have been dealing with from all sides.

It's also fashionable to attack White people right now. If that had been a Black concert, we wouldn't have the controlled outrage that's going on right now. There would probably be rioting in the streets, and that would put the agenda wildly out of control.

Gun control? Yeah, sure, Hillary and all of those for that.

But more: it keeps us divided. No matter who is behind this man's behavior: ISIL, certain government factions, ANTIFA, you name it... keeping America divided is the best tactic of all. It keeps us from being able to group together to defend ourselves. It distracts us, and when that happens laws tend to get passed without anyone noticing. And passed quickly where our lawmakers are worse than frozen molasses on other days.

Not that we weren't already divided.

I've lost the rest of my train of thought, so I'm gonna... go back to bed.

Technomad said...

Another odd thing---Ann Coulter points out, perfectly correctly, that the reports that this shooter was making good money playing video poker can't be true. Video poker is computer-controlled, and the computers are programmed so that the house always wins in the end.

It's possible to make a living gambling, but doing it at the big casinos is Not On. If they so much as suspect you of counting cards while playing blackjack, you get kicked out and blackballed from every casino in Vegas.

Leslie Fish said...

I wondered about that myself. The only way I can see it happening is *if the casinos were somehow talked into siphoning the money to him*. Now who would have the clout to pull *that* off? No, it wouldn't be "the Russians". So... Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

--Leslie <;)))><