Whenever there is a man-made mass casualty event, to use the term of art, there are a finite number of narratives. There is political terrorism, lone crazy guy, disaffected youth, political crazies, religious crazies and finally, the conspiracy. The 9/11 attacks were well planned political terrorism, while the Orlando gay club shootings was just a religious crazy. Columbine and the black church shooting were the work of disaffected youth. The Connecticut school shooting was an example of a nut getting loose with a gun.
One interesting thing about the recent political crazies is the perpetrators have been acting in defense of the establishment.The BLM murders were blacks motivated by President Obama to kill whites and cops. The guy who shot Congressman Scalise was a Bernie Bro. The knife wielding crazy out west was a Bernie Bro too. Even the hoaxes are done by people who are trying to defend the status quo against dissent. The last anti-government act by political crazies was the Federal building in Oklahoma.
The other interesting thing is that the stuff getting called terrorism is almost always done by crackpots and lunatics, using religion or politics as an excuse. The well organized terror attack by competent political actors is rare and increasingly rare. The West suffered more from this sort of terrorism in the 60’s and 70’s than today. The so-called “lone wolf” stuff the authorities worry about is always a lunatic getting into Islam or Progressive politics, then deciding to start killing people for the cause.
Another thing worth noting is that after Columbine, we were told by experts that this was the coming trend. Disaffected white youth would be going nuts and shooting up public places. That never happened. Shootings at schools tend to be adults and those adults tend to be known lunatics. The Columbine style event never became a trend. The closest we got was Dylan Roof. It’s an example of how the people running the media have a ready supply of ways to blame white men for everything.
The thing about all of our recent massacres is the narrative was quickly revealed, even with the media trying hard to lie about it. A Muslim nutter goes crazy and the media will write endlessly about how the motive is unknown, but the truth gets out pretty quick. The same is true of the random lunatic. In all of these cases, we quickly learn that the perp was under medical care and had a long history of serious mental illness. The political crazies like the BLM guys make their reasons known on Facebook and Twitter.
That’s what makes the Vegas shooting interesting. This is an outlier case in many ways, but the fact that no one seems to know why he did it is the biggest clue. This is a guy with no social media presence. In this age, that’s very rare for anyone his age. For political or religious nuts, it is an impossibility. That’s the thing about these events. They are almost always the denouement to a cycle of madness. The shooter becomes increasingly deranged and then finally moves to do something big.
Similarly, political terrorism is salient only when the reason is made public. The IRA took credit for every single bombing, even some they may not have committed, in order to get their message attached to the news of the bombing. It’s why ISIS, and before them Al-Qaeda, took credit for every death on earth. One of the truths about most of the stuff reported as Islamic terrorism, is that it is just random lunatics who know Arabic. They find a reason to go crazy and attack the infidel on-line and then act on it.
What we have here is a guy who was financially successful, old and boring. The weirdest thing about him, beside the fact he is a mass murderer, is that his brother appears to be nutty as a fruitcake. Otherwise, the guy is a semi-retired boomer, spending his days playing video poker at a local watering hole and tending to his real estate investments. If not for his corpse at the scene, this guy would be on no one’s list of suspects. Maybe there is much more to the story, but for now, this guy is the extremist of extreme outliers.
The one thing we know so far is the guy was a careful planner. He apparently had his wits together enough to spend months planning his work and working his plan. He studied up on firearms, learned about shooting from an elevated position at a distance. The police found notes he made calculating drop and distance so he could increase is killing rate while shooting into the crowd. This is a guy who spent a long time thinking about this and planning for the right event on which to unleash his attack.
The other thing we do know is he decided to kill white people. Even taking what the media reports at face value, this guy spent all of his planning time in order to kill white people. If he had shot up a hip-hop show, one that did not shoot itself up, everyone would have made the connection right away. There are few places as white and middle American as an outdoor country show. White people go to these things to celebrate being a honky with fellow honkies. They are one of the few black-free zones in America.
The conspiracy theorists will run wild with this, but the real story behind this thing may simply be that it is another disaffected Prog Boomer. James Thomas Hodgkinson, the guy who shot Congressman Scalise, was a 66-year old Bernie Bro. Stephen Paddock was a 64-year old, who ticks many of the same boxes. His brother looks like the sort of guy who spends his days listening to NPR and ranting about the Republicans. Given the way the media tried to hide the motive of Hodgkinson, it’s not unreasonable to think this is similar.
The news was full of cranks and quacks after Columbine, telling us that disaffected young white males were going violently crazy. That never happened because young people are very rarely so cynical about their future that they become suicidal. Old people, on the other hand, have lots of reason to fear the future. They not only face the grim reality of the actuarial tables, but the grim reality of present failures. For old Bernie Bros, these are the worst of times. Maybe the future of mass shootings is the suicidal Prog Boomers.