The shooter in Las Vegas 64-year old Stephen Paddock is said to be a well-to-do retired accountant who liked to gamble for high stakes. But his motives remain obscure. Had he lost his money due to gambling and was lashing out at the world? Paddock’s live-in girl friend who is currently in Japan at the time is likely the person who can shed most light on the motives. The reports emerging about him have some surprising twists.
Authorities found 23 guns, including a handgun, in the hotel room of the gunman, identified earlier by police as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. At least some were equipped with scopes, devices that help the shooter identify targets at a range, police said.
They also recovered 19 firearms plus explosives and several thousand rounds of ammunition from Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nevada, a town near the border with Arizona, Joe Lombardo, the Las Vegas metropolitan police department Sheriff, told reporters. He also said police found “electronic devices” but would not describe them.
A brother of the suspect living in central Florida, Eric Paddock, told CBS he was “dumbfounded”. He was “not an avid gun guy at all”, the brother said. “The fact that he had those kind of weapons is just … he has no military background or anything like that.”
That’s a lot of guns. No one acquires that many guns casually. The fact that he managed to transport so many into his hotel room and set up what was essentially a mini-fortress suggests that this was a carefully planned operation. I find it hard to credit his brother’s impression that Paddock was not an “avid gun guy” but the brother lived far away and may not have been aware of recent developments. I have no knowledge of guns myself but the efficient way that he fired those guns and killed and injured so many suggests someone who knew what he was doing.
Seth Meyers says that it is time for politicians to stop the phony talk after the latest of a long line of such tragedies.
One thing that I am glad to see is that when used by politicians, the trite phrase of “thoughts and prayers” is coming in for some ridicule, being seen as utterly useless and a substitute for taking action. It is one thing when friends use that phrase because there is little concrete that they can do. But politicians can do things and I doubt that it provides any comfort for the injured and the loved ones of the dead to have politicians merely send them their ‘thoughts and prayers’ without any follow up. I hope that phrase is mocked out of existence as a precursor to demanding that something be done to prevent these things occurring so frequently. Whenever a politician says that they are sending their ‘thoughts and prayers’, the follow up question should be, “What are you going to do after that?”