The Mandalay Bay shooting has left more questions unanswered than answered. And yes, it matters.
It matter because numerous — and gross — violations of Constitutionally “protected” rights are being proposed to “fix” the problems that let that happen.
1. “‘Silencers’ must not be deregulated; they must be banned because what if the Mandalay Bay asshole had used them and nobody knew they were being shot?
2. “More preemptivly-prove-your-innocence prior restraint “background checks” because they were good enough to catch this guy when he passed them.”
3. “Ban bump-fire stocks because they turn any gun into a machine gun.”
4. “Ban all semiautomatic firearms because ‘military grade weapons of war’!”
5. “Stop reciprocal carry because that guy might’ve gotten a carry license.”
6. “Register all gun owners and all their guns because… we don’t know, but do it for Vegas.”
7. “Ban all guns because no murderer will ever figure out how to kill without a gun.”
And the list goes on. Mandalay Bay has become the rationalization for human civil rights violations on a scale not seen in this country since slavery was outlawed. Hyperbole?
Consider that anti-gunners are screaming that gun owners have no right to speak on the subject. Bans and confiscations deprive people of property. Finding the owners and guns will involve mass warrantless searches. Privacy will be invaded as authorities scour email and social media for ownership indications. Bank records will be searched for firearms (and accessories) purchases and sales. Failure to comply fast enough will get you dead or jailed.
Or somebody dead.
It isn’t just the Second Amendment violations; it’s everything else they have to violate just to accomplish them. That’s some serious stuff to be doing based on near total ignorance of the facts of the incident.
And, since the authorities claim the shooter acted alone, and they aren’t searching for anyone else in the matter, there’s no reason for the ignorance; there’s supposedly no real ongoing investigation to compromise unless they’ve lied about looking for accomplices.
So before any more rights violations advance, let’s get answers.
1. Several media outlets reported early on that, in addition to bump-fire stock-equipped weapons, the shooter had AR-pattern rifles converted to full auto. Fox reported that the full auto conversions were chambered in both .223 and .308.
Those reports were never walked backed or corrected. They just stopped talking about the weapons, leaving the anti-gunners free to whine about bump stocks.
I’m not a mass murderer, so I could be missing something. But if he had fully automatic weapons, why bother using bump-fire while the automatic weapons were available? C’mon, you’ve had months to do ballistics testing; you know what weapons were actually fired.
2. If no automatic weapons were used, why does at least one recording of the incident have a burst with two simultaneous rapid fire gunshot audio signatures, one a steady boom, and the other a sharper crack, at different rates of fire?
A wannabe Rambo could grab two fully automatic weapons and fire them at the same time. Poorly and inaccurately, but it’s doable if you don’t mind a face full of brass. But not bump-fired rifles; you need both hands with a bump-fire stock: one for the trigger, and one to provide the tension to pull the rifle forward.
If the weapons were bump-fired, it raises the question of how one guy fired two guns at the same time.
3. Las Vegas is one of the most surveilled cities in the world; possibly the most when you include all the casino and hotel interior cameras. Where is the video of the asshole bringing in his guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition? Sitting in a restaurant? Playing video poker? Walking down halls? He doesn’t even show up in the background in some tourist’s iPhone footage?
Did he carry everything himself, or did someone help him with all that stuff? Maybe an innocent valet, who could at least add to the timeline. Where’s the video?
4. When people spotted a “note” in crime scene photos and speculated that it was a suicide note or explanation of motive, authorities said it was actually “ballistic calculations” to better target his victims. Why would he need such ballistics calculations?
Calculations of that nature would involve wind speed for bullet drift, and more importantly bullet drop for shooting from an elevation at a given range. Except he didn’t need that, and relatively few shooters know how to do it on a scrap of paper. He didn’t need it because such precision is to hit a specific — often relatively small — target accurately. Our asshole wouldn’t be concerned about hitting a torso or head on one person. He was hosing down a mass of tens of thousands of people, a crowd the size of football fields. Unless there’s something else they haven’t told us.
And this brings us back to bump-fire. Bump-fire is inaccurate. What’s the point of careful calculations of the most accurate way to aim a firehose? An automatic rifle in most people’s hands wouldn’t be much better.
Can we see a legible image of that note/calculations?
5. Authorities said the asshole had an escape plan. What was it, and why did he abandon it for suicide?
6. Where is the computer hard drive? Law enforcement said the drive from the computer in the hotel room was missing; where did it go and when?
Would video answer that question, too? Speaking of video, the shooter had his own cameras which are implied to have been wireless computer types; where’s that video? On the perambulating hard drive?
7. Why did the shooter stop after 9-10 minutes with thousands of rounds of ammunition left over?
Is that when he killed himself?
7. So when did the asshole die?
Just body temperature should give them a rough idea of how long he’d been dead when they finally entered the room. Perhaps that would shed light on why spent brass appeared to be sitting on top of coagulated blood in crime scene photos. Or how he shot himself in the head and fell down, extending one leg under a rifle on a bipod without knocking it over.
9. Within a day or two, authorities were rummaging through the shooter’s financials enough to figure out that he’d purchased software, and been shipping cash out of the country by the pallet. Why did it take another month and a half — when folks were getting antsy over motive — to discover he was despondent over massive gambling losses, when they totally ruled out “terrorism” in less than a day?
How much had he lost? When? Was it significantly higher than previous losses? Victims and families suing the estate would probably like to know how much is left.
10. Why did the most valuable material witness leave the country, and did the authorities know before he left?
Seriously; no one told him, “Don’t go leaving town. Keep yourself available for more questions while we sort out the latest version of the timeline.”?
11. Why did the police wait until roughly an hour and twenty minutes after the last shot was fired to enter the room? Was the shooter still alive, did he communicate with them? For that matter, we don’t know why it allegedly took them so long to figure out what room the shooter was in. Two witnesses claim they reported it.
Oh well. It isn’t as if I don’t know about plenty of “armed standoffs” with empty houses, or sleeping drunks who didn’t know the cops were there.
Until investigators will explain what guns the asshole used, and how, along with other pertinent facts, imposing more infringements of human/civil rights based on “we have to prevent another Mandalay Bay” makes as much sense as banning automobiles because the shooter owned one of those, too. Or houses. Or boats. Airplanes. Clothing. Suitcases.