By Kal K Korff
It was like a nightmare scene out of countless, often mindless Hollywood action movies. A lone shooter, armed with high powered military grade weaponry, perches himself up high in the window of a building, just like the assassin he is. He then starts shooting people, eventually the police kill him in his lair. Only this wasnÔÇÖt a Hollywood movie, it was the real, deadly deal, the greatest mass shooting in the United States to date. Las Vegas, Nevada, will never be the same again, neither will the rest of America.
ÔÇ£What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas,ÔÇØ so says a globally popular adage that is part of Las VegasÔÇÖ legacy. ÔÇ£Sin CityÔÇØ as it is also often called, is located in a state whose existence and economy are geared towards empowering the public to ÔÇ£do thingsÔÇØ there that they cannot legally partake in elsewhere in the United States of America.
Built on vice, food and entertainment, in certain counties in Nevada, prostitution is legal. It is also strictly regulated, and of course taxed at the county level. Not surprisingly, Nevada has no state sales tax, neither does nearby Oregon. This ÔÇÿsex taxÔÇÖ earns the state of Nevada at least countless millions of dollars.
Of course, paying a woman or man for sex isnÔÇÖt the only vice you can now legally do in Nevada. The state just recently approved the sale of marijuana for recreational uses. Ever since then, Nevada has been making so much money that it has had to import supplies of marijuana from nearby Colorado, where it is also legal to smoke.
Then there are the key economic enterprises that ÔÇÿdrivesÔÇÖ especially Las Vegas, its open 24 hours a day casinos, which have evolved and morphed into complete over the top, bring the entire family venues. Yes, if Daddy wants to gamble while heÔÇÖs busy seeing Magicians Penn and Teller, or in the past every singer from Elvis to whomever is ÔÇÿhotÔÇÖ today, Vegas has it all. As a rule, many people donÔÇÖt ask deep, probing questions in ÔÇÿVegas,ÔÇÖ the ability to wander around freely as one pleases at all hours of the night is a given in this city, an inherent right.
Ideally, Las Vegas is supposed to be the ultimate entertainment experience, a ÔÇ£DisneylandÔÇØ for everyone, complete with sex and drugs now, regardless of whether one likes to take a chance on Lady Luck or not.
Sins of ÔÇÿInnocenceÔÇÖ
After any terrorist attack or crime, one must analyze and dissect it, try to understand not only what happened; but just as important, what went wrong and what went right.
Unfortunately for Las Vegas, its ÔÇ£safe and secureÔÇØ mask has now been ripped off. In fact one can argue that the chief focus of casinos where it concerns ÔÇÿsecurityÔÇÖ at their establishments, is focused internally to catch potential cheaters. In catching cheaters, VegasÔÇÖ gambling entities are very good at doing it.
Does this automagically mean that they are also good at either catching or (even better) preventing a terrorist attack? Unfortunately, the answer is no, or put another way, when it is too little, too late.
In the case of the shooter, he was holed up in the 32nd floor of a hotel he had rented two rooms in which overlooked some fairgrounds. Some 22,000 innocent people were busy below him enjoying the Harvest Country Music Festival.
Using a hammer like device, Stephen Paddock, the sniper terrorist, broke the window of his hotel room and started opening fire on innocent people below, murdering 58 of them and injuring as many as 527 others.
It took police some 72 minutes to locate the sniper. By the time the SWAT squad breeched the door where he was holed up, Paddock had killed himself. Inside, police found 23 weapons. The terrorist had fired so many bullets, smoke from the ammunition he used chocked the room and set off the ceiling fire alarms, which is one key reason police were able to finally locate him.
Unfortunately, most people cannot explain correctly what the word ÔÇ£terrorismÔÇØ really means. Its definition is simple, terrorism is the deliberate, systematic targeting of innocent civilians for the purposes of political or social change. This is the universally accepted definition of this word, it was formally adopted by the United Nations after the attacks in the United States by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in September, 2001.
Contrary to the la la leftwing liberal boast that ÔÇ£One manÔÇÖs terrorist is another manÔÇÖs freedom fighter,ÔÇØ this has never been true! Terrorists are not ÔÇ£freedom fighters,ÔÇØ nor are they ÔÇ£resistance.ÔÇØ Instead, they are terrorists, period, murderers of innocent civilians. This fact is their key distinguisher, the ÔÇ£causeÔÇØ they kill for is irrelevant, for it can never be morally ÔÇ£rightÔÇØ to murder the innocent.
Real ÔÇ£freedom fightersÔÇØ target only official local, state or national institutions or facilities. They target official personnel, or the military. They do not make a point to murder innocent civilians. That is what terrorists do.
This makes the shooting in Las Vegas, a terrorist attack. Yet what political purpose or ÔÇÿcauseÔÇÖ was this psycho killer murdering innocent people for?
As of this reporting, it is still too early to say with certainty, but investigators have quickly put together a rough skeleton of details which if it continues to pan out the way it has been thus far, the picture unfolding has huge ramifications for not only the United States, but the rest of the world, especially Europe.
According to the FBI, Paddock he was everything from a former Internal Revenue Service agent to an avid and addicted gambler who lost countless thousands and racked up enormous debts.
Days before he killed 58 people, he had wired some $100,000 to the Philippines and was allegedly romantically involved with a woman from that nation since 2013.
Police have now questioned her and believe she knew nothing in advance about the terrorist attack and played no role in it. In fact she was in the country of Japan with friends when the shooting started. With rumors of a possible accomplice, police are still uncertain as to motive and whether Paddock acted alone, although there is no concrete evidence yet that he did have help.
If you believe the Islamofascist terrorist group the Islamic State, Paddock was one of their killers. Their online web site describes Paddock this way, ÔÇ£A soldier of the caliphate attacked a gathering of 22,000 Americans at a concert in the city of Las Vegas, resulting in nearly 60 killed and 600 injured. Brother Abu Abdul Bar stationed himself in a room on the 32nd floor of a hotel overlooking the concert and opened fire continuously on the crowds using 23 firearms and more than 2,000 bullets and died, may God accept him, after running out of ammunition.ÔÇØ
Is it possible that Paddock could have converted or have been turned to convert to radical militant Islam? FBI authorities are skeptical that this indeed happened with Paddock. Instead, their prevalent view is that Stephen Paddock was a ÔÇÿticking time bombÔÇÖ who slowly went nuts, and over time carefully crafted his deadly killing spree plans, with no intention of surviving. Paddock took his own life which ended the siege.
According to officials, Paddock spent the last few days of his life while his girlfriend was overseas, heavily gambling, placing and losing anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 bets. His financial status and various assets have still to be pieced together. What is known is that he owned at least four properties in different states, and when police raided his home they found thousands of more bullets and several more guns.
Predictably and inexcusably, whenever there is a mass shooting in the USA, politicians who are calculating opportunists always rise up and deliberately politicize the issue of gun control.
Their tired schtick is grossly predictable and works like this: A shooting takes place, X steps forward ÔÇÿdemandingÔÇÖ stricter gun control laws; the National Rifle Association (NRA) responds by condemning such proposals, both Republicans and especially Democrats ÔÇ£condemnÔÇØ the killings, but at the end of the day, especially the Democrats, will ultimately do nothing of substance to improve gun laws.
At least the Republicans are consistent, they donÔÇÖt agree with tightening firearms laws and donÔÇÖt pretend otherwise, yet it is the Democrats who always bend over backwards to claim that they support making it harder for people to buy guns and want to restrict what kinds of firearms individuals can buy. Banning assault rifles is often talked about, yet the Democrats when they have had their chances to cast their votes unanimously to change gun laws, have cowered and refused to do so.
This makes them hypocrites, pure and simple, Machiavelli would be proud.
One of the stupidest is ÔÇÿargumentsÔÇÖ for gun control is the myth that ÔÇ£guns kill people.ÔÇØ No, guns do not kill people, instead the truth has always been that people use guns to kill people, both legally and illegally.
In the United States, in states like Texas and many others, you have the right not only to own a gun, but to use it in self defense. If someone breaks into your home, you have the legal right to shoot and kill them.
The argument that ÔÇ£guns kill peopleÔÇØ is not credible, yet it is unique to this subject of gun control. Do you ÔÇ£blameÔÇØ a bank when it gets robbed? Do you ÔÇ£blame the carÔÇØ when a person is drunk and kills another human being by crashing into them? People are directly and wholly responsible for their own actions, period. Even when they use guns to kill people, they are still guilty, the weapon is not. Without humans to operate it, a gun cannot ÔÇ£doÔÇØ anything!
Yet gun control advocates, especially politicians, are hypocrites also because while theyÔÇÖre busy pushing for universal background checks (which is the right way to help improve things) and trying to restrict the kinds of weapons a person can buy, because none of these proposals will make a difference in stopping the numbers of gun related deaths in the USA.
Notice that gun control pushing Democrats and other opportunists largely avoid talking about or working on solving a far more serious threat to the public than a lone shooter, which is rare. The city of Chicago is a perfect example, one which exposes their hypocrisy.
Chicago is the murder capital of the United States of America. For the past several years more people have been murdered on the streets of Chicago than anywhere else in the nation. In 2015, there were 468 people shot and killed. In 2016 there were 762 people shot and killed.
Most of these killings are blacks murdering their fellow blacks, they are not white on black nor black on white racial killings.
Most of the guns used in these crimes were purchased illegally on the streets, the issue of conducting background checks is irrelevant since criminals donÔÇÖt obey laws.
Even if criminals like those in Chicago who are busy murdering hundreds of people each year bothered to legally buy guns and they passed a background check, none of this would have made a difference in the case of Stephen Paddock. Paddock bought his guns legally. He passed background checks. No one had any information he would later take his weapons and stockpiles of ammunition and go on the killing spree that he did.
In reality, an inconvenient truth for those who support banning assault weapons is that doing so makes no statistical significance. When certain types of weapons were banned under the Brady Bill during the presidency of Bill Clinton, even the U.S. Justice Department admits it made no difference. This is because most people are not killed via assault weapons, but with pistols.
In countries like the United Kingdom, where they have very strict gun control laws, police donÔÇÖt have enough weapons to defend themselves with. Even at Heathrow Airport, as busy as it is, as frequently targeted by terrorists that it is, many police officers carry no firearms.
So what have terrorists been doing to attack and kill people in Great Britain as of late? They have been using knives, cars to mow down victims with, and home made bombs. This is because if a person really wants to murder the innocent, they can unfortunately do it all too easy.
If Paddock is connected to the Islamic State, the USA will have to step up its security measures. If he is not, then the IS is simply being blowhards again. Security already needed to be vastly improved in Nevada, which prior to this incident, was always too lax.
For preserving freedom and liberty always comes at a price, at the minimum it is eternal vigilance.