Once again, there has been a mass shooting in the United States and the usual script is in play.
Before the blood was dry gun control advocates had trotted out their standard list of remedial measures, none of which would have prevented what had just taken place.
Since the Las Vegas massacre we have been regaled about evil guns by factually ignorant buffoons like Bill Maher, Colin Jost, Michael Che, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, and John Oliver – the last two not even Americans. Anyone who disagrees is just wrong and callous about the loss of innocent life. We now import foreigners to insult us and our institutions and pay them outrageous salaries to do it.
Las Vegas was a bit different from previous mass shooting in at least two glaring respects.
First, the inability of law enforcement to discover a motive remains the biggest mystery. Admittedly, these same authorities in the US – and even worse in Europe – typically find themselves scratching their collective head in puzzlement after a murderer shouting “Allahu Akbar” kills a bunch of people. (What did he mean by that? Maybe that’s Arabic for “Merry Christmas”! We’re still trying to figure out why he did it, but we’re sure it had nothing to do with Islam. And anyone who says it did is a racist.) At this point, the actions of the person identified as the Las Vegas killer (whose name will not be mentioned here to deny whatever immortality he may have sought) are attributed to mental instability. That’s not good enough. Subjectively, even maniacs think they are doing something. Even a total lunatic who believes he is, say, fighting Martians or chopping potatoes, intends that outcome. But here, supposedly, someone stockpiles weapons for months, meticulously plans a murderous onslaught – and maybe had contingencies for attacks elsewhere – and there’s not a hint of what he thought he was up to. That’s simply not plausible. (Repeated claims by Daesh that the Las Vegas killer was one of their “soldiers” have not yet been substantiated but authorities were lightning-quick to dismiss the possibility. Meanwhile, despite a total lack of evidence, multiple “RussiaGate” investigations of the Trump Administration roll on and on. Let’s not be hasty, some connection to the Kremlin might eventually turn up . . . )
Second, there’s the money. The individual in question, as confirmed by his girlfriend as well as by his brother and other family members, was quite rich. Supposedly his initial wealth was made via savvy real estate deals (possible) but later was sustained by being really, really good at video poker at Las Vegas casinos, where he was a welcome regular “comped” by the House with food, drinks, hotel rooms, and other goodies. That’s not just implausible, it’s virtually impossible. As Ann Coulter points out, the fact that he was “was treated like royalty by the casinos . . . means he was losing... Anyone who plays video poker over an extended period of time will absolutely, 100 percent, by basic logic, end up a net loser.” If anyone would know this, it’s police in Los Vegas, where casino operators are pillars of the community and gambling is the major industry. It’s clear to anyone with half a brain that the killer was laundering money – from somewhere yet to be disclosed. In our age of digital financial surveillance, casinos are among the last places someone can anonymously churn large amounts of unsourced cash, no questions asked. Maybe the police and FBI haven’t figured out where the money was coming from, or maybe they have and are protecting someone.
In any case, the inability to get a straight answer to the questions, or even to ascertain simple facts like whether a hotel security guard was shot before or after the mass killing began, or when the first call was made to police, feeds public distrust and speculation as to what the hell is really is going on. That is turn prompts establishment gatekeepers like Snopes to denounce as “conspiracy theorists” (mainly of the “far right” variety, because the existence of a far left is itself a conspiracy theory) folks trying to make sense of the nonsense we’re being force-fed.
At least Las Vegas has shined a light on one deception that has long been standard in the American media: the notion – no doubt believed by many outside the US – that Americans routinely run around with machine guns shooting each other. This impression is fed by false claims of gun-control advocates that “assault rifles” – semiautomatic guns (where one trigger-pull equals one round fired) – are “weapons of war.” What makes them not like contemporary weapons of war is that they are not fully automatic (hold the trigger down for multiple, rapid rounds), which is why gun control advocates abuse the trick designation “military style” – they look scarier than semiautomatic hunting rifles because of cosmetic features like pistol grips and folding stocks. Fully automatic weapons (i.e., machine guns) have been virtually impossible acquire legally in the US for decades. The evident use in Las Vegas of a so-called “bump stock” to allow a semiautomatic to fire in a manner similar to a machine gun has forced even our fake news outlets to note the distinction. It’s a rare breakout of actual facts.
Ironically, when the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which protects Americans’ fundamental right to keep and bear arms, was adopted, ordinary civilian guns really were equal to weapons of war. In fact, they were sometimes better. Think of how the standard British “Brown Bess” smoothbore was outclassed by the far more accurate Pennsylvania Rifle – perfect for picking off Redcoat officers at long range.
Advocates in gun control in America are always saying they just want “common-sense gun control” laws, like “closing the gun show loophole,” having stricter background checks, limiting the size of magazines, restricting the number of weapons or amount of ammunition someone can buy, and other seemingly innocuous measures. Each is a fraud.
For example, closing the so-called gun show loophole would be basically a ban on private transfers from one citizen to another – such as a man selling, or giving, a pistol or rifle to his cousin – without all the reporting and red tape federally licensed arms dealers must deal with. This is despite the fact that none the notable killings that supposedly justify more controls was carried out with a weapon from such a sale or would have been prevented if the demanded reform had been in place.
Meanwhile, the real American slaughter continues in cities where gun laws are as strict as those in any country in Europe, and it is virtually impossible for an honest citizen to acquire and carry a legal weapon.
For example, last month Chicago reached its 500th homicide so far this year, and by New Year’s Day 2018 is on track to rack up a total exceeding ten times that of the Las Vegas massacre.
What’s the solution? Evidently to infringe on the constitutional rights of honest, peaceful, law-abiding citizens who are armed and increasingly distrustful of what they are being told by their supposed betters.