A searing question arises once more after the Las Vegas massacre last night: How much longer are our legislators going to allow the rogues in the NRA to keep their balls under lock and key? Preventing them from passing effective laws to halt the string of mass shootings piling up dead bodies?
The same ritualized responses are heard once again to "offer thoughts and prayers" to the victims when this has never worked before. Thoughts and prayers, even offered a million times, don't make a dime's worth of difference until gun laws are changed. What will it take? Will it take a mass shooter armed with automatic weapons going into a nursery and slaughtering 100 infants? According to wifey, not even that will alter the laws because too many people are brainwashed by the NRA and puppet politicos into believing "guns don't kill people, people kill people".
The problem as I've written before is that guns (especially automatic and semi-automatic weapons) make it too easy to slaughter, as the 22,000 gathered for a country music festival learned not far from the Mandalay Bay Sunday night. No guy armed only with ten bags of knives could have killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 using only knives. It would have been too difficult to do and he'd have been brought down long before he could finish the job.
Compare that to the case of 64 year old Steven Paddock on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel - with the full benefit of altitude, hundreds of feet from the scene- firing at will into a mass of people below and using automatic weapons. Oh, and doing it from two open windows in his double-room suite (which he had to smash out beforehand).
What set this lunatic off we may never know. But let us first dismiss two fake news stories that have been circulating on Facebook, and social media:
1- The guy was an "Isis soldier" who recently converted to Islam and was trained online by the ISIS website.
This is total horse manure, and has already been discounted by FBI terror specialists. The guy doesn't fit any profile for ISIS mind slaves - namely being a young, clueless loser and loner, searching for "meaning" and a "cause". This is merely a ploy by the vermin to claim credit for a slaughter with which they had nothing to do.
2- Paddock was a liberal who "lost it" and sought vengeance on country music -loving Trumpies.
Again, total BS. No "liberal" worth the name would commit such a vile deed, mainly because liberals are not gun nuts. (The guy had a total of 23 weapons he carried in via ten bags in ten separate trips. He also had 19 other weapons found in his Mesquite, NV home.)
My psychologist niece Shayl probably has offered the most logical explanation of what drove Paddock to commit his vile deed. Her summation? He was an "old man psycho".
Granted, at 64 years of age one is generally not considered "old", it is more middle age. After all, to hear some of the ads, "60 is the new 40". But age - as Shayl points out- is not merely measured chronologically. There are actually tests available - many even online - that give your psychological age. You may therefore be forty years old but your attitudes, outlook on life, translate into making you the equivalent of 70 or 80. You have less tolerance, less patience, exhibit less resilience at setbacks, and carry grievances and grudges much longer. To the extent you live an isolated life all the preceding are exacerbated.
We know from all accounts given by his neighbors in Mesquite, NV thus far, that Paddock was described as "standoffish" and "keeping to himself" . This already sends up red flags, according to Shayl, that he has a very limited social group and is almost entirely isolated. These conditions are almost tailor- made to breed an elder psychotic - and that's before even factoring in the genetic aspect that his father (Benjamin Paddock) was on the FBI most wanted list in the 1960s and was diagnosed as "psychotic". (As the authors of 'Nature's Thumbprint' point out, psychological traits are as likely to be inherited as physical ones.)
According to Shayl, the combination of factors made it almost 100 percent certain that Paddock "went psycho". What about piling up gambling debts, as some have conjectured? (We know the guy loved video poker and described himself as a "professional gambler".) Shayl agrees it is conceivable but far more likely that Paddock went all out on a gambling binge before doing the shooting, reasoning that whatever video poker or other debts amassed would never be paid off. Well, it ought to be easy enough to check that hypothesis, given there are hundreds of CCTV cameras at every casino.)
Maybe the sadder aspect, much more than Paddock's psychological issues, is that Vegas is still planning to have a series of gun shows starting on Nov. 25th. Then, nearly one every month thereafter Wouldn't it be better - in the memory of those killed - to call off all these shows at least for a year?
Wouldn't it also be better, in the memory of those 59 murdered Vegas victims, to finally pass gun regulation laws like Australia did a few years ago - after another hideous massacre?
Those behind Sandy Hook Promise are absolutely right, we need rigorous new gun laws not more "thoughts and prayers". The latter are cheap to offer when the NRA forms a powerful lobby that doesn't hesitate to put a pol's name on its "enemies" list. It is time to let the NRA know that laws are not hostage to special interests- especially a group that offers a raft of semi-automatic weapons as part of a "sweepstakes" to join. (See my earlier blog post, last month, on this.)