Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What Happens in Vegas Should Never Have Happened

Gun Lobby Down To Its Last Unconvincing Excuse:

As of this writing, the death toll in Las Vegas is 59, with over 527 injured, making it easily the deadliest gun massacre in modern U.S. history. (Characteristically, there have been some deadlier ones in the distant past, including in St. Louis in 1917 and Colfax, Louisiana, in 1873, but they're often left out of coverage because the victims were all black.)

According to some sources, this is the 338th mass shooting in 273 days of 2017, meaning America is now a place where at least once a day, someone shoots four or more people. After incidents like this, electing Donald Trump looks like a relatively minor symptom of our clearly worsening national insanity.
This latest window into our blood-sick culture may mark the end of an era. Las Vegas should push the gun lobby down to its last excuse, when it comes to justifying the marketing of military-grade weapons.
It should be noted that the old cuck, Stephen Paddock, methodically went about packing 23 assault rifles to take to his room at Mandalay Bay, and had another 24 stored at home (one assumes he just plain-ass couldn't get all the damn things in one carload) for a grand total of 47 assault rifles and other guns. Forty-seven, and yet none of that kind of hoarding got the attention of the ATF, let alone an invitation on "Hoarders."

BTW, people are blaming Mandalay Bay for this, but that's absurd. You check in and put a "do not disturb" sign on your door,  and staff won't enter there until you check out. Casino security is concerned with one thing and one thing only: preventing theft. Mass shootings aren't even on their radar. 
Before he mowed down concertgoers from a perch high in a hotel tower, Stephen C. Paddock created a ring of surveillance around him, with video cameras in his suite and in the hallway, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday. But investigators were still at a loss to offer a motive for the massacre.
The cameras — apparently intended to warn of approaching threats — along with the 23 guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and other equipment found in the gunman’s hotel suite, suggested a thought-out plan to have plenty of time to wreak carnage while holding the police at bay.
The police have found a total of 47 firearms in his two houses and his hotel suite. Jill A. Snyder, the special agent in charge of the San Francisco office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said that almost all had been traced, and that they had been bought in Nevada, Utah, California and Texas.
Another funny aside: I love how the media insinuates, because he didn't leave behind a trail of online "manifestos" or other digital footprints, that somehow he "snapped." And that there is "no clear motive" as of yet.

Jesus. Two things: one, a guy who methodically carried out this act of terrorism to this level of detail, with hidden surveillance cameras and altered guns on tripods, etc., sure as hell didn't "snap."

And two, the motive is crystal clear: BECAUSE HE COULD.
Gun stocks always bounce in advance of surges in gun sales, which are driven by fears in prepper country of hardcore gun control legislation that, of course, never actually comes.
Such fears similarly always inspire periods of intense fundraising for pro-gun politicians and groups like the NRA. After the Sandy Hook massacre of 20 children, for instance, donations for the NRA went up 350 percent over the previous year. We'll surely see a similar surge after Las Vegas.
Of course. Because only in America is a mass shooting of innocent people (or school children) used as evidence that clearly we need more guns.
Las Vegas is going to provide a major rhetorical challenge on that front. After all, the gun lobby's consistent response has been to argue that such killings would be avoided, or at least reduced, if more people were armed.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," NRA chief Wayne LaPierre infamously said after Newtown.
But the shooter in Las Vegas, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was on the 32nd floor of a casino building, a quarter-mile away from the bulk of his victims down in a concert venue on the ground. Unless the NRA plans on advocating for carry licenses for F-16s or surface-to-surface missile systems, it's hard to see how the "good guy with a gun" argument is going to fly this time.
Great writing, but please don't encourage an open-carry license for surface-to-surface missiles. The crazies and other preppers might actually try and go there.
When the industry isn't letting its guard down and marketing AR-15s to morons gearing up for the coming zombie apocalypse (this is a real thing in the gun sales world), this is the narrative gun manufacturers use to sell to ardent collectors.
Just like cigarette companies told smokers they were hunky Marlboro Men, gun manufacturers sell a thrilling image to gun owners, telling them they're bulwarks against new-world-order tyranny. The NRA even once ran an ad using Tianamen Square images. Gun activists have even been sued for using stills from schlock resistance movies like The Patriot and Braveheart.
And why not? Absent some incipient end-of-democracy apocalypse scenario, assault weapons collectors would just be a bunch of yahoos wasting their disposable incomes on products that, like the Dinty Moore beef stew cans gathering dust in their bunkers, will never be used. Unless you're collecting all those guns for a reason, it's just weird.
Or, gasp, you're planning an act of terrorism. 
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, rebuffed questions about potential legislative action during his regular news conference Tuesday afternoon, saying that the massacre was being politicized.
“Look, the investigation’s not even been completed,” Mr. McConnell said. “And I think it’s premature to be discussing legislative solutions, if there are any.”
LOL. Guns are political. You can't "politicize" something that's already political.

I can bet you this, however: if Paddock had been a guy named Al-Hamid, and was yelling "allahu akbar" as he mowed down 60 people, we'd be at Defcon 1 right now, invading several countries. But because it was some dumb, old, white geezer, clearly he was a "lone wolf"  who we need to take our time with to understand.

In fact, he's been described as a multi-millionaire real estate investor. I wonder if Trump will issue a "total and complete ban on multi-millionaire real estate investors until we can figure out what the hell is going on."

Sadly, Taibbi is right in his conclusions. This is about money and nothing else. And 60 dead concert goers, or 50 dead club attendees, or 20 dead first graders wiped out at their desks, or 10 people going to church, or a mass shooting every day...well, that's just the "price of freedom," right?

Ain't that America.

UPDATE: This NYT multi-media feature shows how old dude carried out the attacks from his suite with several pictures posted together.

Funny, they show his dead dumbass from the waist down, but won't show you any pictures of the MF with his head blown off. Frankly, we should all see that. We've seen bleeding and bloodied victims the past 72 hours non-stop. Showing the old cuck who carried out this attack, with his brains splattered on the floor and ceiling, might actually serve as a form of deterrent.

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