On Friday morning I started the day on the curvy couch with "Fox & Friends" to discuss the latest developments in the Las Vegas attack and the Democrats' push for "gun control". The perpetrator of the deadliest single-shooter massacre in US history is so unlike his predecessors that it seems to me that nothing in his history is coincidental: there is a reason for everything, even if we will never know it - all the way down to, for example, such peripheral details as the fact that he owned property in both Mesquite, Nevada and Mesquite, Texas.
It is also interesting to note that Stephen Paddock apparently cased the "Life is Beautiful" concert in Las Vegas, headlined by the rapper Chance. The victims at that event would have been very different from those at the country music festival, and the press coverage would have been, too: Democrats would have stampeded down the "white supremacy" track rather than "gun control". One senses that the killer, in his cold calculations, was aware, for whatever reason, of all these factors.
Click below to watch me with Steve, Abby and Brian:
Among the many emails I've received is this one, from a gentleman at a London think tank whose job is to focus on "the analysis of economic and political issues and outcomes". Make of this what you will, but he writes:
Today we turned our collective minds to the the shooting in Las Vegas as a test case since the event is extraordinary in that thus far no one appears to have identified a cause behind the carnage. This is our reasoning:
The fact pattern in this event is striking for not fitting any known profile. In particular:
The gentleman concerned had no known political or religious affiliations.
The level of premeditation is unusual and crystal clear from his mass buying of guns and the cautious systematic smuggling operation to ferry them to his room together with the illegal modifications and the position of the room he chose and occupied for several days beforehand.
This denotes a deeply serious commitment to his act. And one which leaves no doubt that act was conceived to generate the maximum possible publicity.
The question then is: 'publicity' for what exactly?
And the answer would appear to be 'nothing that can be identified'.
But consider the moral behind the following joke (I assure you it has a point beyond humour):
A known smuggler crosses the border every day at a particular crossing. Every day his suitcase is searched and nothing is found. After 20 years he crosses for a last time and confides to the policeman who has been searching him all that while that he is retiring.
The policeman asks him 'Ok - since you're clean today and will never cross the border again tell me this - you've been smuggling - right?'
The man says 'Right.'.The policeman says 'Smuggling what?'
The man says 'Suitcases.'
Hold that 'hiding in plain sight' concept as we return to the shooting. This man amassed (rough figures) 24 guns in the hotel and another 19 at his home - 42 guns in total. He spent some $100,000 on buying them. The guns at his home are one thing but he also spent days filling his hotel room with more weapons and ammunition than he could ever conceivably use along with an array of advanced modifications and accessories.
Everything brand new. And very expensive. And mostly entirely redundant. Representing in effect an enormous waste of money and time and risk.
Except that is in the realm of generating massive publicity. Guaranteed massive publicity.
Yet despite having gone to enormous lengths to achieve that goal we are asked to believe this same man never troubled - never took the most elementary steps - to speak to that publicity. Indeed left behind no trace of anything that might demonstrate indicate or even hint at his motive or motives.
That would appear to make very little sense.
We would argue the opposite - that it makes absolute sense.
Because this gentleman did not simply fail to leave behind a motive; He took substantial trouble to ensure that no motive could be found - or attributed to him. All of which can lead us to only one conclusion:
It has been said that 'the medium is the message'.
In this case that is the literal truth. There is only one plausible motive for what this man did. And here it is:
This man wished to telegraph to America in graphic form the hard irrefutable evidence that guns and gun ownership and the ease of gun purchase in America are an evil and must be controlled. On that hypothesis everything now makes sense. And it must be said his concept has a certain demented genius.
Because even if the public learns and believes that his motive was all about 'guns' the horror of the act itself - an act to protest such acts -
is in some ways even worse for being plain evidence that there is no limit to the insanity to which guns can be put.
Here then is our argument:
1. His long planned and carefully executed purchase of a virtual armoury of unprecedented scope and scale guaranteed that very armoury would inevitably become the central focus of the media.
2. His assiduous removal of evidence of any tangible motive also removed the possibility that the news cycle might move on from guns - simply the means of the killing - to considering the more interesting issues of motive and message - be it political or economic or environmental or anything else.
3. This man was a highly methodical and systematic thinker. Nothing in the scenario that unfolded was left to chance - even down to positioning cameras to surveil the corridor. It is therefore inconceivable that this was all done in this precise manner for no reason. That there is no message.
But of course there is indeed a message. It only happens to be implicit instead of explicit. That message is 'guns'. And that message is being trawled over every minute of every day on every network in America. Given the nature of the man and the facts this is not a chance outcome. On the contrary given the known facts it is indeed the only possible outcome. An outcome so obvious that anyone given the full story beforehand would have predicted as inevitable.
4. The people he chose to kill supports the hypothesis on 'guns'. Country and Western fans are virtually guaranteed to own or at least to defend the ownership of guns. By a certain logic this provides the gunman with two sound moral positions (because it is not beyond possibility he has a conscience):
First - While killing a very large number of innocent people is an horrendous crime it is nonetheless entirely justifiable - in moral terms - if it causes a restriction on guns. Because such a restriction would - it is widely held - save innumerable lives in the long run. There is no evidence for this but it is still a widely and passionately held belief.
Second - Since the people he is shooting are actively or passively defenders of guns and an obstacle to gun control they are by definition responsible in part for all the people who have been and continue to be killed by guns.
So our London analyst is arguing that this was an act of mass murder to protest the ease with which Americans can commit mass murder. I'm reminded of the entirely idiotic Liam Neeson movie from a year or two back, Non-Stop, in which he battles terrorists who've hijacked a plane to protest the ease with which terrorists can hijack a plane. At the key moment in the bad-guy monologue, my kids and I burst out laughing. But presumably Universal Pictures found it credible enough to greenlight the project - and, as I recall, most people in the movie theater seemed to be taking it seriously.
At one level, it's a ludicrous explanation - and yet it has the ruthless logic of a psychopath, of a man who, like a good screenwriter, subordinates all other considerations to the internal logic of an absurd proposition. It's also a rare explanation that explains everything: the guns in the hotel, the explosive material in the car, the guns in his house, and in his other house, and doubtless in his other other house. To reprise my reader's joke: He was smuggling suitcases.
And, as our analyst notes, in the void of any motive, the Democrats and media are now talking about the armory - should we restrict the number of guns? the types of guns? the modifications to guns?
~Tomorrow, Saturday, I'll be back on air for a full hour with Greg and the gang on "The Greg Gutfeld Show", coast to coast on Fox News at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific. Hope you'll tune in. And I'll return on Sunday with a Mark Steyn Club video bonus of me reading poetry - before all the poems are banned.
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