Monday, October 2, 2017

Long Awaited Terrorism Comes Home

UPDATED This is not the time to talk about gun control. This was the terrorist attack we have long feared coming to Las Vegas. As the investigation progresses, we will learn more.

This was a diabolical, nightmare attack and not just because of the number of dead. The nature, scale, and plan of attack was unthinkable except in the mind of a monster or thriller writer. Thank God such events of this magnitude are so rare. For sixteen years now, we have been blessed that we have not seen such wholesale killing in our state. No dirty bomb, no suicide bombs, no car bombs, no European style truck attacks. But now it has come home.

Millions of people upon learning that Nevada is an open carry state probably assumed that the killer carried his rifles through the casino floor and up to his room slung over his shoulder. Being America or out west (depending on where the person is), this seems totally normal. Casino and hotel guests probably just shrugged off the guy with twenty-odd rifles in the elevator as normal. Not so. Open carry is not to blame.

The shooter carried the guns up to his suite in several suitcases. Casino security will ask anyone they know is carrying to leave or disarm and store their weapon. Walking through a casino with a rifle on your shoulder, on the Strip, or in any heavily trafficked area in Las Vegas will cause alarm and a police response. No one legitimately carries a rifle in public here, despite what hysteria and anti-gun memes try to say.

In the past two days, many open carriers have said that others remarked to them that the sight of a holstered pistol made them feel safer for being around. Imagine that. Open carriers making unarmed folks feel safe instead of afraid. That is not something that these editorial writers and so-called journalists quoting our website for filler material will report. Not in this case, but in many others, one armed and brave citizen can and has stopped mass shootings. 

Banning this or that gun would not have prevented this. Even carrying for self-defense would not make a difference. Those poor people were sitting ducks. Only the quick work of the SWAT team forced the killer to do the same think most mass murderers do when confronted by cops or armed citizens; kill themselves.

Sunday’s killings were eerily forecasted in Matt Bracken’s novel Enemies Foreign and Domestic where a killer fired into a stadium crowd from a distance (I am not implying some sort of government plot here. The Titanic disaster was foretold in fiction years before). A single depraved mind could indeed have come up with this on his own.

The security theater from hotels on the Strip, checking for CCWs and examining luggage, will not help avert a future crisis and is more likely to alienate casino guests than anything else. At this moment, it is only for the appearance of "doing something." Next time, terrorists will target the lines or other soft targets, just like how the killer chose to bypass concert security and shoot from above and far away.

Expect more anti-gun legislation (magazine bans and assault weapons) coming out of the legislature in a special session or in 2019. Politicians are already calling for banning "bump fire" stocks, even though bump fire can be done by hand. This will be used as an excuse to get more gun control, something the leftist killer probably would have liked. Don't give him what he wanted.

Take as an example the thoughtful folks who came to the Strip in the middle of the night with water for the victims and responders. All Nevadans’ thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families in this tragic time.