We’ll never know

What really happened in Las Vegas

By Mark Luedtke

My condolences to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and their families.

The narrative about that shooting was built almost immediately. A lone, white gunman with no apparent motive opened fire on a country music concert from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, killing 59 and wounding hundreds.

This narrative began falling apart just as fast as it had started. According to the U.K.’s Express, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo says: “At face value, [the shooter] had to have some help at some point and we want to ensure that that’s the answer. Maybe he was a superhuman who figured this out all on his own, but it would be hard for me to believe that.”

It didn’t take long to find out the shooter, whose name I won’t use, shared a common thread with pretty much all recent mass shooters: he was taking government-approved antidepressants. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, “[The shooter], who killed at least 58 people and wounded hundreds more in Las Vegas on Sunday with high-powered rifles, was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug in June that can lead to aggressive behavior, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned. Records from the Nevada Prescription Monitoring Program obtained Tuesday show [the shooter] was prescribed 50, 10-milligram diazepam tablets by Henderson physician Dr. Steven Winkler on June 21.”

That’s Valium. Big Pharma strikes again. Gun control bullies would be better off focusing on Big Pharma and its killer drugs than on firearms.

Many claims, including reports of multiple shooters, cast doubt on the narrative, but there are two points that stick out to me. The first is this shooting, if it happened as reported, seems designed to counter arguments made by gun rights supporters.

Paul Craig Roberts wonders, “Why 23 guns? The number is beyond superfluous. The large number almost suggests that the entire event is concocted as a gun control incident. The huge number of guns, the huge number of casualties. Finally, at last, enough ‘gun violence’ to get gun control.”

Mass shootings at a Colorado theater, Sandy Hook elementary school, a Charleston church, and an Orlando nightclub, failed to produce additional national gun control laws, but maybe the greater number of guns and victims in Las Vegas will succeed.

Furthermore, one of the tenants of gun rights advocates is armed individuals can and often do return fire to stop mass shootings, saving many lives. Nobody armed with a handgun at this concert could have stopped a shooter on the 32 floor of the Mandalay by returning fire from nearly 400 yards away.

Gun control bullies couldn’t have asked for a better designed massacre to boost their agenda. Even the National Rifle Association supports banning bump stocks, supposedly used by the shooter, in the wake of this shooting.

My second major problem about the narrative involves the time it took police to respond. As always, the police are portrayed as selfless heroes charging into danger while non-government people cower in fear.

Hardly. The first person to engage the shooter was a heroic, unarmed, private security officer. He was shot for his efforts. Even though wounded, he informed police of the shooter’s exact location. The tales of the victims, whom I prefer to call first defenders, are also filled with acts of heroism.

NBC News writes, “[The shooter] fired hundreds of rounds for a full 10 minutes from his Las Vegas hotel room on Sunday night as thousands of music fans ran for their lives outside, authorities said Wednesday evening.”

We know police stormed the room to stop the shooter. This tale creates the impression police stopped him after ten minutes, but that’s not accurate. The Daily Mail reports, “An Iraq war veteran who was staying in the same hotel as the Las Vegas gunman is demanding to know why it took more than an hour for the cops to take him down. Police received their first report of gunfire at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas at 10:08 p.m. on Sunday. But it was another 72 minutes before SWAT teams finally burst into [the shooter’s] room at the Mandalay Bay to find the suspect had shot himself dead moments earlier.”

The official timeline shows the shooting stopped an hour before cops breached the room and found the shooter conveniently dead, supposedly by suicide. Why the delay? Why didn’t the shooter keep shooting or escape before they got there? He only fired one-third of his ammunition.

Hopefully, Americans will reject the bogus narrative being pushed on us and demand a real investigation.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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