Las Vegas


You have to be quick in the ranting game. Here I was strolling to the weekend collecting my thoughts while an astute troika already summed it up.

Pat Buchanan points out Stephen Paddock had no soul.

Steve Sailer suggests the ex-Christians no longer fear Hell.

Vox Day observes we can no longer answer sentient Man's oldest question, "Why not?"

Healthy society has three fundamental elements: hierarchy, aesthetics, and transcendence. We are distorting and deconstructing all three: everybody is equal, the aesthetics suck, and secular progressivism has replaced religious faith as the moral center.

The big mystery is the shooter's motive. He was not completely delusional and actually quite functional. He planned the massacre rigorously over a period of months. Recall anti-hero Anders Breivik transformed himself into a successful small farmer to get the licensing he needed to nearly take out Norway's governing class. By contrast, nobody knows (or nobody will yet reveal) Stephen Paddock's manifesto but that's beside the point. It could have been anything: holy war, bolshevism, environmentalism. Lots of people have agendas; I have an agenda. Most people have outlets that keep them from going into full berserker mode. Something is removing those outlets but I imagine the questions will peter out before we get too far down that path.

I love a good conspiracy theory but operationally I think we're going to be disappointed. Paddock may have had knowing assistance but that just gets us back where we started--his enablers were as broken as he was. Paddock had a hypotenuse of around 300 meters. The effective range of a decent AR-15 is 500 meters, and Paddock had a big, fat target of around 40,000 feet by area. Lots of people can do it. A middling Muslim couple could do it. Sixty-four year old white guy real estate investors can do it. For around $3,000 a rig (rifle, bump stock, bipod, scope, magazine, ammo--all commonly available), Stephen Paddock was able to project the killing force of an infantry fire team. Combine atomized society and normalcy bias with a not-uncommon amount of income and you too can go full berserker mode, and this gets me to my final point.

In the old days when somebody went off the rails all they had was a sword or muzzleloader. Capitalism and The Industrial Revolution have not only democratized luxury goods but the tools and technology of war, and delivered them to an atomized people. In the inevitable gun control debate to follow, Second Amendment advocates will ignore the technology, and liberals will ignore the atomization.

Comments

Paul Rain said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sorry. That comment doesn't pass muster.
Jeffrey S. said…
Now I'm nervous -- seeing that you deleted one comment already. But I just come to praise. I haven't read much about the shooting (too depressing) but in a few short paragraphs you just nailed it. And since I'm an old-fashioned Constitutional conservative (of sorts -- I have to be a little off to hang around here!) I'm a big believer in the Second Amendment. But this is spot on:

"In the old days when somebody went off the rails all they had was a sword or muzzleloader. Capitalism and The Industrial Revolution have not only democratized luxury goods but the tools and technology of war, and delivered them to an atomized people. In the inevitable gun control debate to follow, Second Amendment advocates will ignore the technology, and liberals will ignore the atomization."

I think that's why even the NRA's initial statement was open to regulating bump stocks. Even they know there has to be some limits on what technology civilians are allowed to have (like automatic weapons being heavily regulated/banned if made after 1986.)

Great post. Brilliant.
Thank you for reading and the kind words. I rarely delete comments; that one made a morally repugnant endorsement. Fatuous word salads that don't actually address the point also won't be published (again, rare). Otherwise, please say what's on your mind.
Very good post. I echoed some of the themes at mansizedtarget.com, namely, that the goal of the Second Amendment is to create parity between groups and individuals. Machineguns, particularly in an age of atomization, angst, and anger, may upset the balance far too much for comfort.
Bert said…
That Corvinus is a crazy stalker.
AB.Prosper said…
Going berserk is common in many cultures and in many historical periods .Sometimes people just have enough and lash out against society.

In the Philippines it was called Running Amok and there are versions in a dozens of other cultures and languages.

The only surprise is that with the level of anger out there and the number of people who live in a collapsing society and are highly alienated they don't lash out a lot more. I suppose the same tools that lead to alienation, TV and Internet also dampen it down too.

As far as numbers. There were thousands of people in that area, A basic deer rifle which this guy could have acquired in the UK along with some ammo carefully horded a few rounds at a time wouldn't have attracted any attention and while it would not have been showy or provided the emotional high that rapid fires these crazies like, would have killed a lot of people and its been done before many many times.

Also non US readers sometimes assume some kind of legislation might work, it won't. There are at least 325 million maybe as many as 500 million modern firearms in the US and no one knows how much ammo or how many semi auto or illegal weapons are out there

There isn't a big demand for illegal machine guns in the US but if semi autos were outlawed? The US can't stop drugs , illegal immigration or anything else. We'd be awash in even more guns in months

My state California which unconstitutionally effectively bans most semi auto rifles just had a mass shooting with what was a homemade illegal semi auto rifle . Guns are everywhere

You maybe could reduce the circulation maybe but good luck with that compliance is less than 10% and real confiscation might be resisted with violence since many gun owners assume the next stage is concentration camps.

And note there is no form of persuasion that will work under any circumstances. After registration in Australia and the UK which gun control advocates claimed would only help public safety and wouldn't lead to confiscation , guess what Australia and the UK had confiscation.

US gun owners took notes and decided gun control advocates are all liars. In that it seems the gun control lobby is a victim of its own success