As a third generation native from Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s hard to describe how devastating it was to see this morning’s events unfold. I had to rely solely on mainstream outlets and local Twitter accounts to inform me of the tragedy that was taking place in my city, and the more I watched and read, the more my stomach churned. It wasn’t a freak accident that killed 60 people and injured 500 more this morning, just as it wasn’t a foreign invader or a radical fundamentalist. The perpetrator of the deadliest mass shooting in American history was a White American, who pre-meditated his actions and planned out his gruesome slaughter. Renting a hotel room well in advance that would give him a vantage point over a country music festival and arming himself with guns purchased both legally and illegally, he indiscriminately murdered dozens and injured hundreds, all of whom came to that concert last night to enjoy an amazing line-up of American-made music. As horrible as this event was, as always, it’s important to analyze the event after the fact, both to heal, and to see how we can avoid situations like this in the future.
“It’s Not Part and Parcel When the Shooter’s White”
Something that every American citizen should take note of is exactly how every politician and media figure responded to today’s events. Notice how when there are bombers in London and Manchester or stabbings in Paris and Munich, politicians claim it’s part of urban life that we need to get used to. Never once do the political establishment blame unchecked immigration and radicalized religious nuts with incompatible culture. In Tennessee just last week, a black man shot up a white church in a blatant act of domestic terror, and the story barely broke national news or raised questions over gun control and race relations.
Look at the events of today though, and almost every major figure in the mainstream added their voice to the conversation. Every social media outlet and journalistic publication became a platform for lies and political grandstanding, where irrelevant looneys like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders cried for the removal of American liberties, despite these same liberties having nothing to do with the shooting itself. Take note that every single person or outlet that is claiming we need to regulate gun ownership and curb the Second Amendment is deliberately lying to you in order to take away personal liberties. The fact of the matter is that the weapons that did the most harm weren’t purchased legally, nor are they legal to own in the U.S. In no way are defenders of the Second Amendment claiming that citizens need fully automatic machine guns, and the fact that supposed lawyers and political savvy experts like Clinton have the audacity to lie and say that they are after such a tragic event shows their true colors. Just as politicians did nothing after the shooting at Pulse Night Club in Orlando, or after the Fort Hood shooting, or after Sandy Hook, they’ll do nothing now then spin lies and threaten ridiculous punishments until one day the populace finally caves to the madness.
The Shooter Was Human Too
As simple as it is to reduce the shooter to absolute scum in our minds, I feel like doing so shades the unfortunate truth, and possible solution, to problems like this. Yes, the shooter, Stephen Paddock is possibly one of the worst Americans to ever live, who’s name will forever be associated with one of our most tragic days and events, but to pretend like he got to such a dark place by accident is a massive injustice, and ignores the problem. This shooter didn’t grow up in a cheery family home in a clean suburban neighborhood, his father, Benjamin Paddock was on the FBI’s most wanted list and was a horrible human being in his own right. His mother was somebody who stayed and raised children with a such a man. Benjamin robbed a bank, used lethal force on police, and was a diagnosed psychopath that was a havoc on American society. Is it any wonder that the spawn of such a man would then go on to commit such an act?
To act as if this shooter just walked into a Walmart or a Dick’s Sporting Goods and purchased the weapons necessary to commit such a heinous act is also disingenuous. At the same time, to ignore that an unhinged American was able to get access to black market weapons and set up such a horrible massacre right in front of our faces would also be a mistake. By labeling this psycho as anything but, removes the very real threat that people like him pose to our society. He represents that no matter how much we pretend to care about regulations, how much we post about safe spaces and mental health counseling, and no matter how much people virtue signal over removing our gun rights and personal freedoms, there will always be a miscreant like Stephen Paddock to take advantage of our systems and selfishly destroy lives.
A Plan of Action
In our moral free society, it feels as if acts like these are inevitabilities. I can almost understand the logic of those who would run to government protection in exchange for liberty in a time where nobody feels safe. In this upcoming weekend Austin will be having their major musical festival, ACL, and I’ve already seen public and private cries for a large security presence at the event after what happened today in Vegas. The fact that hundreds of innocent people were gunned down trying to enjoy and fulfill their most basic instincts, food and music, it really damages the psychology of our culture. If we can’t enjoy such a universally good and nurturing event, what can we enjoy? Realize it or not, but it being a country music concert adds another layer of trauma, knowing that America’s music itself led average people to becoming targets.
There is a way to move forward through all of this though, and none of it involves taking away rights or lying to the public. Events like today are prevented at the personal level, not the national one. Right at this moment, there are scores of children without fathers, and scores more with abusive parents, guardians, and toxic adult relationships. Our media idolizes single motherhood and a genuine disdain for American culture, capitalism, religion, and moral good. Young children have more access than ever to entertainment, and an overwhelming amount of it has a negative and violent spin. If we want senseless crimes to stop and to decrease the amount of psychopaths and miscreants running around murdering our fellow citizens, we first have to stop glorifying, abiding, and creating such people and behavior. We cannot disdain acts of domestic terror, and then go on to beat children, glorify violent and perverse media, and continually vote and act to lower our moral bar. In the current day, we’re less free than ever, but all of this artificial security has done nothing in terms of raising our morale and feeling of safety. We should look at Vegas as a tipping point, an act that we all agree is so heinous, we all have to agree to do better as people to ensure it never happens again. To say that there will always be unhinged people who skirt around the law is just as disingenuous as blaming guns and the Second Amendment. We have a serious ailment in this nation, and it will never be cured until we correctly diagnose it and realize that each of us has done our part in poisoning the well. Only then can we begin to fix our society, and begin to truly heal after such an absolute tragedy.