The situation is fluid right now (1819 hrs EDT) but here’s the bones. A lone gunman opened up last night from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel with a firearm. He killed 59 and injured more than 520 shooting at the audience of a country concert across the street. Video at the scene certainly sounds like a full-auto weapon. SWAT was called and the suspect killed himself in the room before Las Vegas SWAT could breach the door and take him into custody.
The media has their hands full, as do law enforcement, fire and EMS. It is very fluid and hard facts are being revised every few hours. Many commentators are calling the shooter a nut case, lone wolf, or a domestic terrorist. All colourful terms and terms guaranteed to press the buttons of every political stripe. Even ISIS has claimed responsibility, but the FBI lead investigator has shut that one down as simple bullshit.
What we don’t know is a much longer list. Did he have some grudge, or hidden agenda? Was he another Timmy McVeigh and pissed off about the Waco, TX siege in 1993? Was he broke and crazy to get out of debt, or did his significant other kick him to the curb? Since the gunman is dead, it will take time to sift through his life and find the probable cause. As for the weapons, well, so far the list is ten in his room in Vegas and another 18 at his home in Mesquite, NV, along with, quoting from the Clark Country Sheriff, here, “thousands of rounds of ammunition”.
The problem with the media is they are going wall-to-wall and need either facts or at least interesting quirks to fill the hours. Right now, keep your opinions open, as facts in another hour might drastically change your opinion. Notice we’re not pressing the gun control button here: We don’t know if the gunman was in legal possession of the weapons used, but based on video of the shooting, there is a lot of brass in that hotel room for the police to count. The rest, the big question, “What the hell made him do that?” is unanswerable right now, unless he’s left a video in him home explaining his actions.
This isn’t about gun control or the 2nd Amendment, or even the label of “Domestic Terrorist” being applied a little too soon. It’s a waiting game for the investigation to unfold. Let it happen first, then come to conclusions, but make sure it’s on the basis of facts, not feelings.
Remember too that the media in these situations is usually wrong for the first few hours then starts to do their job properly.
(Edit 1923 hrs correcting number of injured to 520 plus from 550 plus)