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“They that would trade essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Benjamin Franklin

There is virtually no one that has not heard: at least 50 dead and more than 200 wounded in an attack on the Las Vegas Strip. 

The venue was an outdoor concert. The shooter, a 64 year-old man, fired down on the tightly packed crowd from the 3nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, hundreds of yards distant from the venue. It is never a good idea to rely on early news reports—it’s actually not a good idea to rely on most news reports at all—but the shooter is said to have committed suicide as officers breached the door of his room. An unconfirmed report suggests the shooter fired so many rounds the smoke detector in his room went off, fortunately focusing the police search there.

Note: The usual Tuesday firearms related article will be posted on Wednesday of this week.

I’ll have more to say about this when more reliable information becomes available. For now, a few initial observations:

*This is the worst mass shooting in American history. However, temper this with the remembrance of the nearly 3000 killed on 9-11.

*The shooter’s choice of location, and targets, was deviously effective. The high angle provided plunging fire, ensuring that virtually very bullet would hit multiple people as it descended.

*The shooter apparently used at least one automatic weapon. Judging from audio of the attack, he simply emptied magazines in one long burst, which suggests not aimed, but random fire. It was the large, closely packed crowd that made such a tactic effective. Lengthy pauses, apparently for reloading, are also evident, which suggests either the shooter was not highly proficient with his gun(s), or was taking his time, enjoying the terror he was inflicting.

*The Las Vegas Metro Police—arguably the most corrupt and dangerous—to honest citizens–law enforcement agency in America–apparently acted with courage, speed and professionalism.

*The usual suspects will use this attack to argue all guns must be banned. If so, all trucks, common household chemicals and pressure cookers, must likewise be banned. They’re been quite effective in causing mass casualties in terrorist attacks, and a truck careening through this crowd could easily have killed as many. Go here to see just how deranged such Leftists are. Even CBS could not abide their hatred.

*The use of a suppressor—there is no such thing as a silencer—would have made no difference in this incident at all. Rifles are particularly difficult to suppress. A suppressor does nothing but moderate and change the timbre of a gunshot. Such sounds are still easily identifiable as gunfire, just slightly less damaging to the ears of the shooter.

*We still know nothing about the weapon or weapons—he is said to have had as in “excess of ten rifles” in his hotel room–the shooter—who would like his name to be mentioned here—used. However, automatic weapons are among the most restricted firearms available. It’s unlikely a lawfully registered weapon was used in this attack.

*It will likely be revealed that any fully automatic weapons were illegally possessed. If not, this will be only the second time in American history a lawfully registered automatic weapon was used in a crime. People contemplating mass murder tend not to be much concerned with lesser crimes, particularly those regulating guns.

*The shooter’s motive remains unknown. ISIS has claimed the shooter was one of theirs.  The FBI claims he was not. How they would know that so soon remains unknown. One of the great tragedies of our time is ISIS may be more reliable in this than the FBI. The FBI probably can’t be trusted to tell the truth about the matter. At the least, there will be reasonable doubt about whatever they say.

*There is evil abroad in the world. We’ve just seen a manifestation of it. No law, no metal detector, no new governmental agency, no rhetoric, no rightthink or rightspeech, no destruction of the rights of the law abiding will stop it. Ever.

*This will not be the last such outbreak of evil. There have always been the domestic deranged and evil, but there remain abroad in the world millions willing to die to kill as many of us—Americans—as possible.

*There is every indication President Trump wishes to restore the abilities and integrity of our military, intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, they are all so shot full of Obamite saboteurs, we can’t trust his orders will be carried out.

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