Monday, October 2, 2017 at 8:13 AM

Target Las Vegas: Another Mass Shooting in Gun-Crazy USA

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

America is fighting unwinnable wars, implementing feckless screenings, erecting unsightly bollards, and enacting racist laws – all in a misguided attempt to combat “radical Islamic terrorism.” I’ve been bemoaning, if not warning, for years that none of it will ever protect us against this kind of “home-grown terrorism”:

At least [58] people were killed and [500] wounded after a gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas late Sunday night, police said. It was the deadliest mass shooting in US history. …

The gunfire interrupted singer Jason Aldean’s performance, the final act of this weekend’s Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music event attended by tens of thousands of people.

(Huffington Post, October 2, 2017)

Just months ago, I had cause to write “Gun-Crazy USA: Mass Shooting Targets Congressmen (and Postmen Too),” June 5, 2017, which I ended on this fatalistic note.

___________________

The following from ‘This Gun-Control Debate Is Insane!’ April 5, 2013, sums up the madness that played out yesterday:

The United States is calling North Korea insane for threatening to launch ‘merciless’ nuclear strikes against it.  Well, I suppose it takes an insane country to know one. After all, one can fairly call the United States insane for repeatedly vowing to curb gun violence without making any reference to guns.

In fact, I’m willing to bet my literary legacy (you may laugh) that – looking back 100 years from now – American guns will have killed more Americans than North Korean nukes by a factor of millions.

In the meantime, good luck being safe if you’re caught up in the next mass shooting.

___________________

Sure enough, here we are.

Yet the media are reporting on this latest shooting as if the nation should be “shocked, shocked” by it. They are not providing a public service. Believe me.

The only reason for their hysterical, redundant coverage is that mass shootings do more for ratings than major hurricanes. Hell, this shooting has even preempted the saturation coverage they were planning for O.J. Simpson’s release from a nearby prison – no doubt much to his chagrin.

This is why you’d never know that, just yesterday, they were hyping the way Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico as an apocalyptic tragedy. Never mind that their coverage focused mostly on the petulant, and arguably racist, insults President Trump was tweeting at the mayor of San Juan. This, simply because she refused to blow kisses up his ass for the Katrina-like help his federal agencies are providing: it’s been nearly two weeks and the people of Puerto Rico (all American citizens) are still begging for food, water, medicine, electricity, and gas just to subsist. But I digress …

Alas, as tragic and terrorizing as this one is, it’s only a matter of time before the next “deadliest mass shooting in US history.” After all, the only thing that could prevent them is comprehensive gun-control legislation, which includes a ban on all semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines (i.e., anything more than 6).

I am convinced that keeping and bearing six-cylinder handguns and double-barrel shotguns (for home protection) and single-shot rifles (for hunting) violate the letter of the Second Amendment. But I would concede that the right to keep and bear them could be consistent with its spirit. This is why I would make it illegal for civilians to possess any other type of firearm or munitions. Period!

(“The Second Amendment and Gun Control,” The iPINIONS Journal, December 19, 2012)

But politicians (predominantly Republican) are too beholden to the gun lobby (a.k.a. the NRA) to enact any gun-control legislation. This, despite the unassailable truth of what I asserted in “NRA Cares No More about Gun Violence than Drug Cartels Do,” June 17, 2014. Remarkably, these venal politicians would rather scapegoat Muslim immigrants. What’s more, they think nothing of limiting their civic duty to tweeting feigned shock, outrage, and condolences after these shootings.

And don’t get me started on the manifest absurdity of hailing the willingness of Republican politicians “to have a conversation” about the possibility of banning silencers and “bump stocks” – the latter of which enables semi-automatic weapons to shoot like machine guns. For this is rather like hailing the willingness of drug traffickers to have a conversation about the possibility of banning cigars and cigarettes.

Ironically, Trump could provide a little saving grace by championing such legislation. I know he promised to protect the NRA’s mercenary interest in the Second Amendment. But he has flip-flopped on so many campaign promises (e.g., to withdraw from NAFTA and end DACA), why not on this one? It could be his Nixon-to-China moment. Of course, it follows that this would not preclude his presidency still ending as Nixon’s did.

But I cannot overstate that, without gun control, all else is folly. Foremost is this:

I don’t know why the media always reward these psychopaths by giving them the fame they covet; that is, by plastering their pathetic mugs all over television and reporting pop psychology about why and how they did their dastardly deeds.

You’d think … we would have figured out by now that the best way to discourage them is by focusing our attention on the victims and limiting what we say about the [terrorists] to: May God have mercy on your soul as you all burn in Hell!

(“Massacre in Omaha,” The iPINIONS Journal, December 7, 2007)

It is all too self-evident that a forensic and psychological examination of one mass shooting, especially where the shooter is dead, will do absolutely nothing to prevent the next one.

No less a folly, though, is the way law-enforcement officials hold rolling news conferences to do little more than pat themselves on the back, or the way news organizations feature lucky survivors regaling us with tales of their heroics.

That said, it is noteworthy that a lone, retired, white, 64-year-old man perpetrated this “pure act of evil.” It just so happens that he fits the profile of the prototypical Trump voter, which might explain Trump’s hypnotic and hypocritical reluctance to denounce him as a “deplorable” loser.

But these lone wolves always compel me to fear an inevitable terrorist attack like this:

God help us if [a cell of Islamic Jihadists or just a bunch of crazy white boys a la Columbine] ever decided to emulate this feat by coordinating 10 similar [shootings], at 10 football stadiums, in the 10 biggest cities in America, all on a typical Saturday in the fall, when each is packed with over 100,000 people watching college Football games. Not only would the carnage be 1,000 times more devastating, but based on the reaction to this terrorist attack, law-enforcement authorities would have to lockdown not just the airports as they did on 9/11, but the entire friggin’ country, no?

(“Manhunt for Bombers Turning Boston into Theater of the Absurd,” The iPINIONS Journal, April 19, 2013)

Like the folks enjoying that concert last night, we are all sitting ducks. What should be more frightening, though, is this undeniable truth, which former President Obama decried after the October 2015 mass shooting in Oregon:

Everything about these events ‘has become routine. … We’ve become numb to this.’

But I cannot end without citing this abiding outrage about the white men who perpetrate nearly all of these mass shootings:

I’m still waiting for US politicians to explain why they think occasional massacres by Muslims constitute ‘acts of terrorism,’ but regular massacres by non-Muslims do not.

Why, for example, did they decry the shooting of 12 people by a Muslim in San Bernardino last December as an act of terrorism, but bemoaned the shooting of 9 by a (white) Christian in Charleston last June as just another mass shooting?

(“Orlando Gay Club — Scene of Latest Mass Shooting…,” The iPINIONS Journal, June 16, 2016)

I mean, who in his right mind thinks the victims in Las Vegas were any less terrorized than those in San Bernardino?

Related commentaries:
Gun-Crazy USA
Mass shootings
Manhunt for bombers
The Second Amendment
gun lobby – NRA
DACA
Orlando

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