Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor
Like many of us, I have been glued to the television watching in horror as the death and injury count mounts in the latest massacre of Americans. As I write this 59 are counted dead and over 500 were injured as they attended a country music outdoor concert in Las Vegas.
I don’t know what to write and I don’t know what to think. I’m emotionally drained. I’m worried sick about my son’s and our country’s future. I’m befuddled because I want to help make this world a better place in which to live, but don’t know how that can be accomplished.
In earlier times we could write-off the Las Vegas concert killings as an isolated incident. Not now, however. NEWSWEEK magazine claims there have been more mass killings in America in 2017 than days of the year through September 1. A mass killing, according to NEWSWEEK is defined as an incident where four or more people are involved.
I find that statistic unbelievable. Has our country really become the next “killing field,” much like Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan, where crazies point a gun and shoot innocent bystanders without remorse?
The Las Vegas incident was unusual in that it wasn’t an act of terror. It was committed by a 64-year-old Caucasian who had no criminal history beyond a parking ticket. He was a retired accountant who had become wealthy through land investments and gambling, and as far as family and neighbors can recall, had no axe to grind with anything. He was by all accounts normal and lived a comfortable life.
So what would bring a normal, retired dude to plan such a horrible act. This is not a situation where the guy snapped and went on a shooting spree. No, this guy planned this for months. He checked in to the Mandalay Bay hotel four days before he committed the crime spree. He somehow was able to get 23 weapons and over a thousand rounds of ammunition into his 32nd floor hotel room.
Although ISIS claims the shooter was radicalized and committed the crime on their behalf, nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, indicates that this was a terrorist act. This was simply some random guy deciding to become famous by committing the most heinous crime in American history.
And that’s where the problem lies. If this random white guy, on no watch list, or never having been convicted of a crime can commit this act, how in the world can our protectors stop others of the same ilk. Additionally this wasn’t a Marilyn Manson concert, this was a country concert featuring family-comfortable acts like Jason Aldean and Big and Rich. Who would think chaos would evolve from this? It just goes to show we don’t know where a mass shooter might strike. We simply can’t predict, but we can be a little more diligent.
I wonder how this guy was able to get all those guns and ammo up to his 32nd floor suite without security guards taking a look at his bags?
I’ve stayed in Vegas too many times to count, but I’m here to tell you typically if you are taking an elevator to a higher floor, security guards typically check your stash, particularly at night. The Mandalay Bay, is one of the strip’s pricier hotels, and I would think security guards there would be even more diligent. Apparently I am wrong, because this killer was able to get by them several times.
One wonders if our lifestyles must change? Will outdoor venues become non-existent? Will musical concerts stop? Let’s face it three of the latest and most horrific mass killings have been at a Ariana Grande concert, an Orlando nightclub and now this.
So many questions I have, and very few answers to be had. I pray we can find the answers. I pray that the mass killings stop. This is America, home of the free and land of the brave.