by: the Common Constitutionalist
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It’s now been three days after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. And still we seem to know little about the shooter, Stephen Paddock. Frankly the only thing we do know is that the people who seemed to know him best, like his family, were shocked at his obvious turn to the dark side. He has been described as standoffish, but that doesn’t make him a lunatic.
We know he was a real estate investor – appeared to be well-off financially. According to relatives he was worth about $2 million. Paddock owned houses in four states and was evidently not known by law enforcement in any of them.
His brother Eric said he was not political, nor religious. He owned guns, but according to Eric, he saw nothing like the one’s used during the massacre. He also said that despite his brother’s four homes, Stephen, the gambler, would stay at Casino hotels for up to four months at a time.
“In the final years of his life, Stephen Paddock was living out his retirement in quiet obscurity. He liked country music, relatives said, and went to concerts like the Route 91 Harvest festival where he killed so many Sunday night,” writes the Washington Post.
This one is a real head-scratcher. From what any of us have learned thus far, there appears to be literally no motivation for him to do what he did.
But there was obviously something – because he didn’t just snap. This heinous act took time to plan and execute. And heaven only knows what else he may have had planned, should he somehow have been able to escape.
In addition to the 23 firearms found in the hotel, police found 19 guns in his house in Mesquite, Nevada, thousands of rounds of ammo and tannerite. They also found the bomb making chemical ammonium nitrate in his vehicle.
I suppose one could see him shooting up a country festival if he hated country music and what it stands for. But he apparently enjoyed it himself and attended concerts.
Again – Paddock didn’t just snap. Something must have gone wrong in this man’s head, and it must have occurred a while ago. I understand that due to the festival, the Mandalay and other hotels were booked solid way ahead of time. Yet he was able to book not one, but two adjoining rooms. In other words, he had been planning this for a while.
Paddock was well prepared, as police found video surveillance cameras both inside an outside his hotel room. They found a camera mounted to food cart in the hallway outside his room, linked to a laptop, presumably to alert him when SWAT was closing in. He was certainly prepared to inflict mass casualties.
In every other mass-shooting, the motivation, as warped as it may be, has been relatively obvious. But, as I said – this one is frankly baffling, at least to us outsiders. There simply appears to be nothing there. No obvious anti-social or asocial behavior – no obvious hatreds – no religious or political motivation – no suspicious behavior of any kind. It’s bizarre.
However it may very be that authorities have discovered something on the laptop or somewhere else and have been able to keep it under wraps. It’s hard to believe that Paddock could have done all this logistical planning without another soul being aware.
The only wild card appears to Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley. She just happened to be out of the country. She arrived at LAX last evening in a wheelchair, and is a person of interest. Maybe she knows something of this whack-jobs motivation.