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Guns and Crime

The peculiar case of Stephen Paddock

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Stephen Paddock

Conspiracy theories are floating around the internet as they always do after terrorist acts like last night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, but the web is in overdrive this time. I won’t be adding to the list, but one thing is certain: there hasn’t been a case like suspected shooter Stephen Paddock.

Mainstream media and alternative media alike are reporting the same basic conclusions after hearing what acquaintances are saying about him. Other than being quiet and standoffish, there were no indicators that he was going to snap at any point and murder scores of people. Here’s what we know so far about him that stands out as different from just about any other mass shooter:

  • Paddock was 64-years-old. The cast majority of mass shooting terrorists range in age from late teens to early 40s.
  • He had plenty of material possessions including two homes and two planes, though as a high-stakes gambler there’s no telling what his current financial state is until police release that information.
  • Neighbors and acquaintances generally felt he was unexceptional with his interactions. He was private and “aggressively unfriendly,” but still spent time going to concerts, golfing, and working out in public.
  • Police have no investigative history about him.
  • The last communication Paddock had with his brother was a inquiring about their mother who lost power during Hurricane Irma.
  • Authorities seized over 30 firearms between his hotel room and home.

It’s unwise to attempt to “profile” a shooter in situations like Paddock’s because he doesn’t fit the mold. The FBI has stated that there were no connections between Paddock and any international terrorist organizations. The Islamic State claims otherwise, even releasing his name as “Abu Abd Abdulbar al-Ameriki.” If it turns out Paddock was converted and radicalized, then the peculiarities cease immediately. However, friends and family have given no indications he expressed any religious or political beliefs. If he really is an Islamic State terrorist, he’d be unlike any other they’ve had in the United States.

Gambling debt seems to be the most likely scenario at this point, though it’s still unknown if he had any. It’s just the safest speculation. We don’t know how deep the rest of his debt was, either. Still, if this was just about owing more money than he had, one would think if he had any equity in his planes, homes, or other possessions he would start selling them off. Even the most likely scenario seems peculiar at face value.

There’s one detail that cannot be ignored. His father was a convicted bank robber who escaped prison and tried to run down FBI agents with his car. Despite having no known criminal record in over four decades as an adult, family history runs deep. Perhaps he’s held off his genetic demons until now. Maybe he’s committed crimes in the past and was simply never caught nor suspected. Either way, it’s an interesting wrinkle in his background.

Here’s what’s being reported about Paddock so far. As more emerges, we’ll update this post:

Vegas Shooter’s Dad, Patrick Benjamin Paddock, Was a Convicted Bank Robber Who Escaped Federal Prison, Tried to Run Down FBI Agents With His Car – Hit & Run : Reason.com

http://reason.com/blog/2017/10/02/patrick-benjamin-paddock-vegas-shootersHis first run-ins with the law occurred in Illinois, where he went to state prison in 1946 and again in 1953 for stealing cars, writing bad checks, and running con games. “Paddock has been described as a glib, smooth-talking ‘confidence man’ who is egotistical and arrogant,” the Daily Standard of Missouri would later report.

Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock Had Recent Large Gambling Transactions – NBC News

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/las-vegas-shooting/stephen-paddock-las-vegas-shooting-suspect-identified-n806471On multiple occasions, Stephen Paddock gambled more than $10,000 per day — and in some cases amounts greater than $20,000 and $30,000 — at Las Vegas casinos, according to an NBC News source who read the suspect’s Multiple Currency Transaction Reports (CTR) and a casino gaming executive.

Who is Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock – The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/10/02/las-vegas-gunman-liked-to-gamble-listened-to-country-music-lived-quiet-retired-life-before-massacre/?utm_term=.678c51fd22b1“We know nothing. If you told me an asteroid fell it would mean the same to me. There’s absolutely no sense, no reason he did this,” he said, earlier. “He’s just a guy who played video poker and took cruises and ate burritos at Taco Bell. There’s no political affiliation that we know of. There’s no religious affiliation that we know of.”

Stephen Paddock Doesn’t Fit Mass Shooter Profile | TMZ.com

http://www.tmz.com/2017/10/02/stephen-paddock-shooter-gunman-photo-las-vegas-massacre/We found Paddock has a hunting license in Alaska. He got a pilot’s license in 2003, which means he’s undergone some physical and mental evaluation.

Las Vegas Shooting Suspect Stephen Paddock’s Brother Speaks Out | Time.com

http://time.com/4964995/las-vegas-shooting-stephen-paddock-eric-brother/Sixty-four-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire during the outdoor Route 91 Harvest country music festival Sunday from his 32nd-floor hotel room at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, located across the street from the festival venue. More than 58 people were killed and at least 515 people were taken to area hospitals, in the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history. Paddock was found dead in the hotel room with at least 10 guns, authorities said Monday.

Who Is Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas Shooting Suspect?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/02/us/stephen-paddock-vegas-shooter.htmlMore than 50 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded in a shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas on Sunday. The police have identified the gunman as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64.

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jan

    October 2, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    His dad’s criminal history has nothing to do with the son. It’s not “in his genes”. Good grief!

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Guns and Crime

Intellectual ammunition, part 3: Armed with logic and a mistake by SCOTUS

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Intellectual ammunition part 3 Armed with logic and a mistake by SCOTUS

Is nuclear annihilation less of a threat than purchasing a lower parts kit?

In the third part of a multipart series, Gardner Goldsmith @gardgoldsmith of MRCTV addresses the issues surrounding Liberty Control, destroying some of the prevalent mythologies in the process.

Which is more intimidating: purchasing an inanimate object or the threat of gun confiscation?

In the beginning of the video, he asks the very pertinent question:

“Who engages in threats of gun violence, the civilian who owns, or attempts to own, a firearm, or the civilian or politician intent on passing ‘gun control’ statutes?”

Which is quite an interesting point in light of the comments from Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) who wants the government to make gun owners an offer they can’t refuse on their freedom. Rejecting said offer could see them and millions of other die in a thermonuclear style gun confiscation.

That threat being just the latest of the long list of over 70 instances of Leftists demanding gun confiscation. Note that number could easily be doubled or tripled if one were to account for the number of times those demands were syndicated or excerpted in other publications.

The video details the point that it is the people wanting to impose controls on freedom that are threatening violence – up to and including nuclear genocide. But perhaps if one if of the Liberty grabber set on the Left it’s possible that someone having a scary looking rifle is far more of an issue than the wiping out of an area via nuclear incineration with fallout contaminating everything down wind.

The illogic of so-called ‘Gun-free’ zones.

Further on he addresses question of whether the passage of more and more restrictions on freedom and setting up ‘gun-free’ zones keep people safe? Consider the scenario he proposes in how a mass murderer might select is his target:

And what of the idea that, practically, passing gun statutes will make areas safer? In Part One of this series, we looked at the real-world numbers on that question, but here is a logical argument to pose to gun-grabbers.

Suppose you are in a paintball game. You have a paintball gun, and you will win $10,000 if you enter one of three houses and, in five minutes, hit ten people with pellets. If you get hit by a pellet, you will have to pay $200,000… There are forty people in each house. In House One, you know that there is no one with a paintball gun. In House Two, you know that there are a few people with paintball guns, and in House Three, you know that there are many, many people with paintball guns.

Which house would you choose?

The answer is obvious. Let’s not be foolish about pretending that we would choose anything other than House One.

The logic of self-protection through firearm possession and use is irrefutable. The statistics of it are clear. The history of despots disarming citizens prior to destroying their lives is also clear, as is the history of what the Founders thought when they wrote the Second Amendment.

 

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Guns and Crime

When gungrabbers like Eric Swalwell say they respect the 2nd Amendment, don’t believe them

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When gungrabbers like Eric Swalwell say they respect the 2nd Amendment, don't believe them

It’s a lie. Every time, it’s a lie. Most leftist gungrabbers will add a note at the end of their gungrabbing rhetoric by pretending to respect the 2nd Amendment. They want you to think they’re pushing “common sense” gun control, because who doesn’t like common sense?

There isn’t a lick of common sense in any gun control measure. Anything that could have been considered common sense gun control, such as the Gun Control Act of 1968 that kept regulated interstate commerce to hamper mail-order gun purchases, have already been put in place. Anything going forward that appeals to common sense is unnecessary and damaging to the 2nd Amendment.

Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) once said he respects the 2nd Amendment.

“I support gun safety measures, and I’ll tell you, I grew up in a family of gun owners and hunters, and I went hunting with my dad as a kid, and you know, I have deep respect for the Second Amendment and the culture of our country.”

His statements on Twitter yesterday said all we need to know.

 

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Guns and Crime

Gun rights activists: Stop acting like we don’t hold every high ground

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Gun rights activists Stop acting like we don't hold every high ground

Forgive me if I offend any of my fellow gun rights activists. It’s my intention to educate, not irritate. But I’ve become increasingly annoyed by arguments that play into the leftist agenda. We have the high ground. When you have the high ground, you don’t go down to the enemy’s level. We hold the high ground.

We hold the moral high ground. For every mass shooting incident that takes lives, there are dozens of stories that don’t get nearly the same attention but demonstrate how gun owners prevent crimes. They’re out there defending themselves and others from people who would do them harm.

We hold the intellectual high ground. Where do most gun crimes occur? Where gun laws are obtuse. Chicago is the shining example of how obtuse gun laws prevent citizens from defending themselves. How often do we see gun violence in gun free zones?

We hold the historical high ground. The first thing a government does before turning against its people is take away the people’s ability to defend their rights. One of the most common leftist arguments is that Americans have no reason to fear oppression from the government. This is a backwards argument as it has been shown on multiple occasions that the government was hampered from oppressing American citizens because of the presence of weapons. It’s naive to think the government would never try to oppress us. History shows they already have at times and certainly will again in the future.

We hold the constitutional high ground. This needs no explanation.

We hold the emotional high ground. This is hard for most to understand since it’s emotional responses to mass shooting that usually prompt calls for gun control. That’s exactly why we hold the emotional high ground. As long as we remain consistent and stop operating in the leftists’ emotional echo chambers, we can maintain control of the emotional argument. It’s easy for people to be affected by senseless violence, but that’s no reason to ignore common sense or logical discipline.

What gets to me is when gun rights activists start making arguments such as logistics. I cringe every time I see stats about how many AR rifles are owned. The argument that there are so many out there it would be impractical to take them away is ludicrous. It’s like saying, “You may be right to want to take away guns but it would be too hard.”

The push for gun control is gaining momentum. We cannot give the gungrabbers an inch. We don’t need to. Our arguments are righteous. The only way they’ll win is if we let them distract us and bring us down to fighting on their level.

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