What officials believe today is that the violence perpetrated upon these innocent, unaware concert-goers was carried out by a single shooter who had strategically placed himself in an interior corner, two-room suite on the 32nd floor, giving him the ability to shoot upon the crowd from two different angles. Looking at the position of the room and the distance between the two windows, one realizes that if indeed he acted alone, he must have rationalized that he could either be more effective shooting from two different angles or that his position would be more difficult to discern by the police.
Early on, theories on the shooter’s motive ranged from mental derangement to having become recently “radicalized.” It was readily apparent, too, that this was not an act that was carried out on the spur of the moment. It was immediately obvious that months had gone into its planning in order to effect mass carnage with a large cache of weapons and ammunition. In addition, based on the extremely rapid shots heard by concert-goers, it was readily apparent that some type of automatic weaponry was used.
Many, including myself, have long considered Las Vegas an ideal spot for possible terrorist activity because of the density of tourists who, diestracted by the glitz and glitter, are unaware of what is going on around them, as well as the nature of the venue itself—it’s too massive and inconvenient to secure in any meaningful way. Las Vegas was ripe for an act of terrorism and likely will remain so in the future. No doubt, many who frequent that town will think twice before planning any trips.
At this point, there is not enough information to determine much of anything concrete. I am troubled by the fact that there is no indication that the perpetrator, 64 year-old Stephen Craig Paddock, did not leave a note of any kind to explain himself. Certainly, something that was planned this long and devastated so many lives deserved explication. It just does not add up at this point—unless not leaving a note was meant to further wound friends and families by failing to give the victims’ deaths any meaning whatsoever, even if it was simply a matter of pure evil. But sometimes little things slip through the cracks in cases like these. As you may recall, Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, failed to repair the taillight on his getaway car or equip it with a license plate—an act of stupidity in light of all the planning he did. Such might be the case here, but it doesn’t seem likely.
One thing is certain in terms of carrying out any malevolent act and getting away with it successfully: One must create confusion and mass chaos. That certainly was the case with the Las Vegas tragedy and it leaves me—and possibly others—wondering who might have easily walked away amid the pandemonium with blood on their hands. Paddock may have been a participant, willing or not. One thing is for sure—if he was not the only participant, he was the one who was the patsy and purposely left behind, likely already dead.
This tragic act will no doubt take on a life of its own over time, and speculation as to how and why will never end. In that sense, I see it very much in the same light as President Kennedy’s 1963 assassination. Both created chaos and confusion. Both were seemingly committed by a lone shooter who was never able to convey his reasons to those anxiously listening for the answer. If indeed the Kennedy assassination was the act of more than one person, it certainly could have provided the blueprint for what happened in Las Vegas. But I doubt we will ever know.
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