Was the Las Vegas Gunman's Homicidal Rage Politically Motivated?
The motive of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock remains a mystery four days after he committed the deadliest mass shooting in American history. However, the FBI is following up on a number of theories, FBI special agent Aaron Rouse said during a press briefing in Las Vegas Wednesday night.
Rouse didn't specify exactly what theories were being investigated, but one under consideration by some pundits is that the shooting was politically motivated. Others are convinced that he became radicalized after converting to Islam.
Or perhaps Paddock, the son of a criminal psychopath, was always a ticking time bomb.
Paddock is a tough nut to crack because he kept a very low profile and apparently had no social media accounts. According to Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, he lived a "secret life" and amassed a large arsenal of weapons and ammunition over several decades.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revealed on Wednesday that Paddock — not known by his family to be a gun enthusiast — had been stocking up on firearms since 1982 and had bought 33 weapons in just the past year alone.
Special agent-in-charge Jill Snyder explained on CBS This Morning why the purchases didn't raise any red flags.
“From October 2016 to September 28, 2017, he purchased 33 firearms, majority of them rifles,” she said. “We wouldn’t get notified of the purchases of the rifles, we would only get notified if there was a multiple sale, which would be two or more handguns in an individual purchase.”
Something that apparently did raise a red flag, however, was the timing of the uptick in purchases — which started in October of last year.
"Are you looking into the possibility that there may have been some kind of a mental issue — something that happened in October of 2016 that compelled him to purchase those weapons?" a reporter asked Sheriff Lombardo during the press briefing Wednesday night.
"Yes, yes," Lombardo answered, adding that he didn't have any more information. "I wish I could provide it but we don't have it. But we are looking ... because we keyed on that too, sir," the sheriff said.
Can anyone think of anything that happened in the fall of 2016 that might have triggered the Las Vegas madman to go over the edge?
While you are thinking about that, ask yourself how many people you saw on social media in the past week celebrating the fact that Paddock's target was country music fans because their perception is that such people tend to be white Republicans.
Yes, there is a sickness afoot across the land that can be traced back to the election of President Donald Trump. PJ Media has documented more than twenty violent attacks on Trump supporters since the election.
Is it possible that Stephen Paddock's homicidal rage was politically motivated?
CIA-trained former intelligence operative Col. Tony Shaffer thinks it very well might have been.
Shaffer told Fox News' Martha MacCallum Tuesday evening that it was now "beyond dispute" that the massacre was a "very deliberate act of terror" and explained why he thought it may have been politically motivated.
"I would argue most of the clues of the motive is right in front of us," Shaffer said on The Story with Martha McCallum. "First off, this individual parallels in many ways — by age and by predisposition of being unstable — the shooter who attacked Congressman Scalise back in June. The Hodgkinson attack."
Shaffer said the country concert appeared to be "a politically-selected target" because of the perception that there would be "a lot of pro-gun folks there, Trump supporters." He argued that the shooter saw the venue as "a legitimate target of political expression."
Shaffer also pointed out that the left has been encouraging the use of violence as an extension of political speech for some time, citing Kathy Griffin holding up a bloody model of the president's severed head as an example.
Things like this are "pushing a lot of folks to believe now that somehow violence is an acceptable piece —is politically justified," he argued.