Amidst all the natural disasters transpiring over the past month or so, including the treacherous Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the nation’s collective attention has turned to a different sort of disaster.
Earlier this week, in Las Vegas, Nevada, a lone shooter named Stephen Paddock shot at those in attendance at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a country music concert that was nearly at its end. From his perch in one of the upper hotel rooms at the Mandalay Bay, the 64-year-old had a clear view of the 22,000 people at the show below.
In a brief span of time, as shots rained down on the festival, nearly 500 people were non-fatally shot or hurt and almost 60 are dead as of this writing.
Being called “the deadliest mass shooting in country,” Paddock used automatic weapons to inflict much of the damage on the innocents down below.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, every 60 seconds, Paddock was able to shoot more than 100 rounds thanks to the addition of a bump stock. That was just the start of his weapons cache; he had nearly 50 other guns of all kinds.
Paddock killed himself that same evening, leaving millions around the nation questioning why he would do such a thing. Law enforcement is only starting to put the pieces together.
Now, police are zeroing in on Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who is based in the Philippines. Considering that Paddock had sent quite a large sum of money to that country before the shooting, police are wondering if Danley was privy to what would happen.
As it tends to happen with most shootings, the incident in Las Vegas has opened the discussion about gun control laws, with many sharing their opinions. One such notable name that made a bold statement is former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Posting her comments on Twitter, Clinton said: “Las Vegas, we are grieving with you—the victims, those who lost loved ones, the responders, & all affected by this cold-blooded massacre.” That comment was fine, but then Clinton continued: “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.”
While it is true the National Rifle Association is looking to change regulations on suppressors, many who accept the NRA’s direction set Clinton straight. One of those people was NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.
“Suppressors only reduce by a few decibels, still same decibel level as a jackhammer,” she said.
Others followed suit in correcting Clinton. National Review editor Rich Lowry accused her of being a “tone-deaf political hack,” while Daily Caller editor Scott Greer joked how Clinton is a “noted firearm expert.” Former CIA member Buck Sexton said her comments were “appallingly stupid, and entirely irrelevant,” writing how “she knows nothing about firearms, and even worse, she doesn’t care.” The Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro echoed most of the sentiments, stating that Clinton’s comments were “ignorant, irrelevant and exploitative.”
The backlash goes even further. Sarah Sanders, the White House’s Press Secretary, spoke officially on the matter after Clinton’s tweets appeared online.
“I think before we start trying to talk about the preventions of what took place last night, we need to know more facts, and right now we’re simply not at that point,” she said. “It is very easy for Mrs. Clinton to criticize and to come out, but I think we need to remember the only person with blood on their hands is that of the shooter, and this isn’t a time for us to go after individuals or organizations…I think we can have those policy conversations but today is not the day.”
While Democrats have been mostly on Clinton’s side, and some of them have even released official statements themselves pertaining to the Las Vegas shooting, what Press Secretary Sanders says holds water.
At this juncture, the police are still creating a full profile of shooter Paddock, interviewing those around him to try to determine what would have pushed him to end innocent lives. More pertinent information will likely continue to surface in the days, weeks, and months to come, but until then, blaming specific equipment like gun silencers doesn’t help matters.
President Trump did travel to Las Vegas mid-week this week to visit with the surviving victims. He himself has not made a stance on gun control as of this writing.
~ Liberty Planet