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United States News

Las Vegas Shooting Leaves at Least 50 Dead, More Than 200 Wounded (wsj.com) 1219

Readers share a report: At least 50 people are dead and more than 200 wounded after a shooting late Sunday at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternative source). Police said they were first alerted to reports of an incident at 10:08 p.m. and then determined there was a shooter on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino who was targeting the nearby Route 91 Harvest Festival. Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in a briefing that officers responded and shot dead the suspect. He said the suspect was a local resident but declined to identify him, citing the ongoing investigation. Police are also trying to locate a female companion, who they named as Marilou Danley, who was traveling with the suspect.
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Las Vegas Shooting Leaves at Least 50 Dead, More Than 200 Wounded

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:15AM (#55291251)

    This is what happens when you don't have enough guns. If some of those poor people in the crowd had had rifles, they could have taken the shooter out before so many died.

    • by Aethedor ( 973725 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:21AM (#55291271) Homepage
      No, that's the old way. In a modern world, automated guns are placed at the corner of every street. It will open fire at everything that sounds like a gunshot. The only way to stop shootings like this. And it will make the excuse "guns don't kill people, people do" invalid. Developing, installing and maintaining such automated guns will also create a lot of jobs. It's gonna be great.
    • taking out some shooting from high up on the ground is not easy.

    • Re:We need more guns (Score:4, Informative)

      by gtall ( 79522 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:27AM (#55291303)

      Let's assume you aren't joking. How many people would have to be killed before some local with a gun takes out the gunman and you would then consider this a success of more guns? What, maybe 1 or 2. With modern weapons, you can easily kill 10 people before some idiot with his own weapon guns you down and manages to miss all the other people s/he wasn't aiming at.

      The problem for the gun advocates is they campaigning for a minimum level of gun violence, yet they never tell us what that minimum level is, or how to keep normal people from buying guns, losing their minds, and then killing off a bunch of the rest of us. And if you have ever spent time with the mentally ill, you'd realize a good many of them can come off normal for everyday life. There's a percentage that will go all the way down the rat hole. Some will even take their medication on the way down.

      I thought a congress critter getting his ass shot off would change the atmosphere on Capital Hill towards gun control. Nope, it only made the gun nuts stronger.

      • by clickety6 ( 141178 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:37AM (#55291379)
        It's not just an issue of a well person buying a gun and then developing mental health problems. The US gun lobby doesn't even want to restrict sales to those who already have mental health issues.
        • Re:We need more guns (Score:5, Informative)

          by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @09:24AM (#55292245) Homepage Journal

          The US gun lobby doesn't even want to restrict sales to those who already have mental health issues.

          I think the problem with most laws that have been put forth for removing a person's 2nd amendment right, for reasons of such things as mental illness, spousal abuse, etc....is that they are set up such that it immediately removes the rights from the accused, and leaves little if no rights to due process for that person to either defend themselves against the charges or have those rights restored once remediation steps have been made.

          But they way most of these laws have been written, mere accusation by a disgruntled spouse or any party that may have a grudge against the accused, causes the accused to immediately have their rights revoked and allow to have their property confiscated. Basically they laws proposed have made you guilty until proven innocent.

          We don't like that with any other of the amendments in the constitution, why should we be so willing to allow it for the 2nd?

      • by bleh-of-the-huns ( 17740 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:49AM (#55291443)

        Lets face it.. if killing 20 toddlers in a school did not change the laws, nothing will. It's a sad truth, but a reality because in the US, money reigns supreme, and the NRA has a metric shit ton of money that they throw around, not just to prevent changes to gun laws, but even to prevent research being done. Did you know that the CDC is not permitted to research gun violence (they did a study once a few years back by using some weird data gathering mechanism to avoid running afoul of some random rules the NRA has managed to get the Feds to agree to) because the NRA has effectively blocked federal funding into any gun research.

        Yeah.. this country is currently fucked...

        • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @08:40AM (#55291835) Journal
          No. It is not the money that gives NRA power.

          It is their members who show up without fail to every election. Especially the low turn out local elections.

          Till Democrats motivate their base to show up in every little election, we will lose. Always.

          It is not money. It is lack of motivation by our base.

          • by epine ( 68316 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @10:07AM (#55292603)

            It is lack of motivation by our base.

            Consistently high cortisol levels and an overactive amygdala turns people into joiners. It's a safety reflex to run with your own crowd.

            My politics are the politics of less cortisol, and I'm not especially keen to sign up to anyone else's mindless, group-thinking base.

            Fear is a weird thing. Having your gun taken away: soul destroying. Trump negotiating with North Korea: mild anxiety. Not only do you have to whip up fear to mobilize your base, but it also has to be fear of something puny, yet personal.

        • by hey! ( 33014 )

          We just have to resign ourselves to the fact that this is the trade-off we've chosen. The universe doesn't owe us solutions that make us completely happy. The best you usually get is some kind of utilitarian trade-off.

          Events like this are the price of your enjoyment of your
          being able to enjoy high-power semi-automatic weapons with large, interchangeable magazines. That doesn't make what happened here you fault in any way; given that what happened here is possible you might as well go ahead and enjoy yourse

        • by jeff4747 ( 256583 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @09:30AM (#55292293)

          t's a sad truth, but a reality because in the US, money reigns supreme, and the NRA has a metric shit ton of money that they throw around

          Actually, the NRA has two things. Money is one of them, as you have said.

          The second is a rabid following who will vote for anything that the NRA says is gun control. No matter what else that particular politician does.

          Politician A fights to keep your industry alive, lower your taxes, rebuild the roads you drive on every day, but wants concealed carry to require a permit.
          Politician B fights to end your job, raise your taxes and destroy all infrastructure, punch you in the face every Tuesday, but wants concealed carry without a permit.

          NRA supporters will always vote for Politician B. No matter how much they are hurt by all the rest of the policies.

        • Re:We need more guns (Score:4, Interesting)

          by jeff4747 ( 256583 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @09:37AM (#55292335)

          There is one way to get more gun control in the US.

          Hand out assault rifles to Black Lives Matter protesters. Gun control laws would suddenly become very, very important to many of the people who are horrified by gun control today.

          • Like that Black Lives Matter supporter who shot 5 cops in Dallas? That was a year ago and still have seen any new support for gun control.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The cure is worse than the disease in America's case. There are three possible treatments:

        1. Stronger controls on guns
        2. Free, high quality mental healthcare
        3. More guns

        Number 3 is the least effective but also hated by fewer people than 1 or 2.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:25AM (#55291289)

    We can put an end to this controversy once and for all.

    They said not to ban it. They said we needed more of it. They said not to limit our rights for the sake of a few.

    Now look where we are.

    It's finally time, once and for all, to put an end to country music.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:32AM (#55291339)

    As a first responder, this is the kind of stuff we train for and pray we'll never have to respond to. I was doing active shooter training at my town elementary school just last month, and our typical gallows humor was on wide display, the only way we can deal with what would be a horror show in the best possible circumstances and only goes downhill from there.
    This kind of thing never happened when I was a kid. How have we as a society come to this? And more importantly what's the answer. Ban guns? I don't personally own a gun and have little thoughts about them one way or the other, but with millions of guns on the street would this ever make a difference? If you ban automatic weapons, are not many regular weapons relatively easy to modify? And much like the war on drugs, I can't help but feel that a war on guns would have much the same effect - people who want them can still readily get them and our prisons are filled to bursting with low-level offenders. Maybe we ban all brown people from coming into the country, except this guy in Vegas wasn't brown, has lived here all his life, and from his profile it seems unlikely he is a jihadist (further information pending). Perhaps this is the fault of our frayed medical safety net which leaves people with serious mental illnesses more or less to fend for themselves, but you can't force people to get mental help or take their medication regularly when they do - as a guy with a bipolar sister, I can swear to that.
    Meanwhile politicians will go on TV and spew whatever talking points support whatever their tracking polling tells them, and people out for a night on the town will continue be shot en mass. Anyone have any new ideas, or can convince me that something old will sound somehow new and fresh this time around?

    • by Mascot ( 120795 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @08:21AM (#55291643)

      tl;dr: I don't have the answer either.

      It seems like a tricky area to do reliable research on. It's not like you have two virtually identical countries and can ban guns in one and not the other and see how it all pans out. Australia's changes to gun laws following their Port Arthur massacre might be cited to show restrictive legislation can work, but then again it's very difficult to control for other influences (IIRC gun related violence was already on a downward trend, but with the trend seeming to accelerate after the new legislation).

      Then there are nations with both restrictive legislation _and_ high rate of gun ownership, that do not have these issues. So one could argue that might be the way to go. For example, in my own nation (Norway) we have a high rate of gun ownership, but "for protection" is simply not a valid reason to buy a firearm. You buy one for hunting, or for sports. For handguns you need to pass a safety course and be an active member of a club for a minimum of six months, at which point you can buy a safe approved for firearms storage (requirements being designed to prevent the firearm from being stolen) and then _apply_ for a permit to purchase a handgun. Typically you'll get approved, but the police does check with your club so if you've been behaving like an idiot and ignored safety protocols and such, they'll let the police know. In other words, this serves to instill a mindset of safety with regards to firearms.

      Do I think that's the holy grail of how to sort out gun violence? To be honest, no. It works for us, because we are us. We're a society where people do not in general view firearms as something you need for protection. We don't sit on our back porch taking potshots at bottles (hey, I'm entitled to at least one stereotype here, I figured). Where police are still not generally armed. How can what works here be expected to work in a nation like the US, where the primary argument for gun ownership seems to be protection from your neighbors and your own government? Where there's a very real risk of a traffic stop turning into a shootout?

      Now, I do think the US legislation and culture when it comes to gun ownership is nothing short of bonkers. That doesn't mean I can claim to know what might work to help solve it. Although I don't see many ways of making it worse, so just about anything seems worth trying.

      • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @11:13AM (#55293353)

        For example, in my own nation (Norway) we have a high rate of gun ownership, but "for protection" is simply not a valid reason to buy a firearm.

        The pattern I've noticed in the U.S. is that densely populated areas with relatively fast police response times (a few minutes) generally favor gun control. Sparsely populated areas with slow police response times (15+ minutes) generally favor individual gun ownership. The "you don't own a gun so you call someone with a gun (police) to protect you" argument has very different connotations depending on which type of area you live in.

        I'm not sure what sort of solution this suggests, if any. Increased police presence in rural areas (to maintain the same number of cops per square mile and thus the same response time) is probably unfeasible. Just pointing out the pattern I've noticed and why some of the pro/anti gun control arguments which ring true in one location may sound like total nonsense in another.

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:34AM (#55291355)
    It's amazing (but not surprising) how little the lack of meaningful background/facts on this dead guy, his act, his purported "companion" and his motivations matters to those who are already spinning up complex narratives to serve whatever agenda they're usually selling. Doesn't matter who we're talking about or which ax they're grinding. It's just remarkable how consistently the early period following something like this is full of what turns out to be misleading, or outright fictional information. But the speculation and misinformation (it's not even misinformation, it's something else ... just fabrications in the absence of anything solid to go on) now fills in all of the social and traditional media cracks so early and so thoroughly that whenever real information emerges, it can never shake off some of the "facts" that circulated early on.

    That indelible quality to whatever gets said first (see, for example, the perfectly incorrect Ferguson story that's still impervious to reality) is well understood now, and creates a sort of awful race to get into that "first mover" narrative position because that's now all that matters. It's not a new observation to say that the 24 hour news cycle generates endless blathering by talking heads looking to fill broadcast time, but the social media frosting on that cake has added an even worse and in many ways far more toxic new layer.
    • by Cytotoxic ( 245301 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @08:09AM (#55291563)

      You are absolutely correct, so I'll make a stab at an indelible fact....

      The guy was crazy.

      There, I said it. Crazy dude gonna do crazy dude stuff. The fact that he was a big fan of "Blood Drive" on SyFy might sidetrack some folks, but I'm gonna put my chit down on uncontrolled schizophrenia. Others might dig into his political affiliations. But even if he's been to see Milo and has a Bernie T-shirt with a white power pin, I'm still going with crazy. Everything else is a symptom.

      I can tell because the "not crazy" bucket includes "people who don't shoot at large crowds". And the "people who shoot at large crowds" bucket doesn't really include "not crazy".

      I'll also make a prediction: nobody cares. HuffPo is already on record calling for gun control and talking politics. (that was when the death toll was 20, BTW) Remember the "bath salts" guy who ate the dude's face in Miami? Yeah, nobody remembers that he wasn't on any sort of drugs. He was crazy. Crazy dude gonna do crazy dude stuff. That's how they roll.

      So you are right. And nobody cares..... because they have an ax, and they intend to grind it.

      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @09:17AM (#55292173) Homepage Journal

        You are absolutely correct, so I'll make a stab at an indelible fact....

        The guy was crazy.

        There, I said it. Crazy dude gonna do crazy dude stuff. T

        It is probably worth remembering that one of the first (and only) things this Congress did was to overturn Obama-era rules that restricted gun sales to people with certain severe mental illnesses. Now granted those rules wouldn't have caught this guy, because they only applied to people with very severe and obvious delusions. Statistically your likelihood of running into one of these people toting a gun is practically nil, but eventually someone is going to.

        Congress did this in the same act that repealed the rule that required coal mines to monitor water quality in adjacent streams.

        • by chiefcrash ( 1315009 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @09:45AM (#55292407)

          It is probably worth remembering that one of the first (and only) things this Congress did was to overturn Obama-era rules that restricted gun sales to people with certain severe mental illnesses.

          Not quite. The repeal does not change any actual firearm regulations; there have been (and still are) laws on the books that prohibit the sale of guns to some groups of people based on mental illness. All they did was remove a questionable reporting requirement from the Social Security Administration that tried to equate "has trouble handling finances" with "potentially dangerous mental defect"

          When the ACLU agrees with the NRA on something, it might be worth digging deeper...

  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:48AM (#55291439) Journal

    The weapon was fully automatic, which is very tightly regulated. It is likely the shooter either modified a weapon illegally or obtained one on the black market. That is no normal "assault rifle".

    I slowed down one of the eyewitness videos and used a tap-counter to count how many rounds were fired. I counted 80 rounds in a single burst. He was either using a belt-fed automatic weapon, or some specialized extremely high capacity magazine. The standard magazine you can buy for an assault rifle is 30 rounds.

    For all of the commentators saying this is what America gets for guns being legalized, I would like to point out that in Europe there have been far more attacks using fully automatic, illegal weapons like what just happened in Las Vegas, than in the USA. In fact, Europe still holds the record for the most people killed in mass incidents of this kind. This was a premeditated attack using specialized weapons by someone so incredibly deranged and unhinged that they would obtain several thousands of dollars of gear ahead of time, then open fire on a crowd of innocent people over and over with a fully automatic weapon.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      The weapon was fully automatic, which is very tightly regulated. It is likely the shooter either modified a weapon illegally or obtained one on the black market. That is no normal "assault rifle".

      You can buy a fully automatic weapon for the price of a less than mid-level new car, perfectly legally. You only have to get certain licenses and stamps and follow certain regulations related to storage, but really anyone can get if you can find one. Hell, I know one person that has one and I know of at least one local gun range that allows you to rent one (it's a ripoff though, an MP5 but you can only use their pre-loaded magazines that they charge $50 each for). The recent legalization of silencers is

      • The recent legalization of silencers is kind of concerning as well. I'm surprised someone hasn't used any of those in a mass shooting yet-a couple silenced pistols in a loud venue means you can shoot for a lot longer before people notice what's going on.

        So, you've never actually used a gun with a silencer? They don't go "PEW! PEW!" like in the movies. There is no way a pistol with a "silencer" would not be heard very distinctly in a large and crowded venue. The primary use of "silencers" is for hearing p

    • by Kiuas ( 1084567 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @08:34AM (#55291763)

      For all of the commentators saying this is what America gets for guns being legalized, I would like to point out that in Europe there have been far more attacks using fully automatic, illegal weapons like what just happened in Las Vegas, than in the USA. In fact, Europe still holds the record for the most people killed in mass incidents of this kind. This was a premeditated attack using specialized weapons by someone so incredibly deranged and unhinged that they would obtain several thousands of dollars of gear ahead of time, then open fire on a crowd of innocent people over and over with a fully automatic weapon.

      As a European I fully agree with your core point, which is that people who're motivated to do harm will go to great lengths to achieve their goals. However, one slight thing to point out: in Europe getting any kind of gun is a lot more difficult than in the US, which means if someone planning an attack, they pretty much have to get their weapons illegally, and if one's already about to go to the black market to get a gun illegally, might as well make it an automatic.

      That being said, the US still has numerically a lot more (mass) shootings than Europe because the abundance of (legal) guns means that acquiring a gun of some description even illegally is far easier than in Europe. Thus you have a higher rate of gun crime and homicide [wikipedia.org] than countries within the EU. That is, someone just wanting to get their hands on any kind of gun to go shoot up their school/workplace/etc. will have a much hgiher chance of success in the US than in here. Most mass shooters are mentally unstable, often depressed, so the difficulty of getting a gun illegally in here means the rates of mass shootings are much lower.

      However, it should be noted that it's not about the plain amount of guns. There are plenty of countries in Europe that have high amounts of firearms, we (Finland) among them, Switzerland is another famous example where everyone that goes through the army keeps the rifle in their home, yet we both have several times smaller homicide rates as well as rates of mass shootings. Why then is this? Well it's because we do have regulations about how the guns must be kept and transported. And in Switzerland the ammo for the rifles provided by the army is strictly controlled. In here to get a hunting rifle you actually need to be part of a hunting club for a while and pass a psych exam, and it's illegal to transport the weapon in public without it being disassembled.

      My point here is this: gun regulations do affect the amount of deaths by guns, but these regulations are too often thought of in the black and white mindset of 'less vs. more guns'. However, as I said we're both in agreement that even the most sensible regulation cannot stop all mass shootings or acts of terror. We've had a handful of mass shootings in the 2000s, all of them with the exception of a single case [wikipedia.org] committed using stolen/illegal weaponry (and that case itself went to court that determined the police were guylty of dereliction of duty when they did not confiscate the weapon/license even though the perpetrator had been investigated based on his online writings idolizing violence). However, the only terror attack we've had which happened earlier this summer was done with a knife and the death toll was only 2 because of that.

      So while you're right that this incident especially could not probably have been affected by more regulations, it's still good to keep in mind that the kind of regulations in place do affect the overall number of gun crimes and homicides significantly. One thing that is also a factor and I feel is too often sidelined in the american gun discussion is the availability of mental health services. Obviously it's too early to say what role if any that played here before knowing if he even tried to seek help, though it's rather that the guy was a nut of some description.

      My heart goes out to anyone here with friends or family in Vegas, stay strong people!

      • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday October 02, 2017 @08:56AM (#55291999) Homepage Journal

        My point here is this: gun regulations do affect the amount of deaths by guns

        Maybe. I think there's also a significant cultural aspect. One telling statistic: There are more knife murders per capita in Chicago than in Toronto. That can't be blamed on guns, and neither city has any knife restrictions.

        • My point here is this: gun regulations do affect the amount of deaths by guns

          Maybe. I think there's also a significant cultural aspect. One telling statistic: There are more knife murders per capita in Chicago than in Toronto. That can't be blamed on guns, and neither city has any knife restrictions.

          Toronto is in Canada, which does have knife restrictions [wikipedia.org]. See also some of the better knife forums where this question comes up a lot [bladeforums.com].

  • by adosch ( 1397357 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @08:05AM (#55291537)

    This is a whole new level of insanity I just cannot wrap my head around. I just don't understand the mentality or whacked-out level of disgruntlement, depression and motive it takes to want to walk into a concert and mow human beings down with an assault rifle (I presume), then have your own life taken. That in itself, minus the news-fed death toll that's rising as I type this, is a tragedy.

    It's just downright scary as fuck anymore to go to any public event. I look at the school shootings from the late 1990's and 2000's, that 'joker' impersonator who took lives at the Batman movie premiere, Boston marathon bombings, the Ariana Grande concert in London as of late, and now at a fucking Country music concert at Las Vegas? Talk about wanting to just stay at home anymore. Living in the United States or not, I think anyone is going to start second-guessing

    Point I'm getting at is, one life or a million lives, this insider-thread-homeland or organization-led terrorism shit happens every day on scales that blow my mind. I wish that it all made headlines so we'd, as a world of people, would figure out how to handle it. Because it's not right or just, and even though this is making huge headlines, we sure don't blink more than once at headlines for any war-torn country where a car bomb erases hundreds of lives --- and that's just as terrorism-led and tragic. We need to stop minimizing it and come together to end this type of behavior.

    It's honestly sad and I'd be the first one to say, the more and more this happens, the less and less I seem to find an answer to any of it.

    • by MinaInerz ( 25726 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @08:52AM (#55291963) Homepage

      It's just downright scary as fuck anymore to go to any public event. I look at the school shootings from the late 1990's and 2000's, that 'joker' impersonator who took lives at the Batman movie premiere, Boston marathon bombings, the Ariana Grande concert in London as of late, and now at a fucking Country music concert at Las Vegas? Talk about wanting to just stay at home anymore. Living in the United States or not, I think anyone is going to start second-guessing

      It isn't even remotely that scary. Your odds of dying while driving to a public event far exceed your chance of getting shot there. If you're afraid of going to a public event, then you probably shouldn't go anywhere near your automobile.

    • by dave420 ( 699308 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @08:52AM (#55291967)

      Changing your behaviour or beliefs is letting terrorists win. The secret is to figure out why a terrorist is terrorising, and tackle their grievances (perceived or otherwise). This is how the Brits severely curtailed the IRA, for example.

      For the home of the brave, there seem to be a fantastic amount of scaredy cats in the US.

  • But is it terrorism? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Monday October 02, 2017 @08:32AM (#55291733)

    It's pretty obvious if Stephen Paddock's name was something like Abdul Fatah, the entire right would be screaming "Terrorist!" (which is how Breitbart started their coverage). It looks like it was an old white guy with an Anglo name, though, which complicates things. If it turns out Paddock was a lefty...Terrorism!!! If Paddock was a conservative, the blame will fall on mental health issues which weren't addressed because Obamacare.

    I'm betting on a different motive: the guy was a music lover.

  • by sremick ( 91371 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @11:18AM (#55293425)

    I know it's going to be pointless debating anyone online/here about this, but I just wanted to drop some points for thought.

    Not all liberals are anti-gun. This liberal owns several. But that's because I also own fire-extinguishers, and not because I'm trying to play fireman/cop. I own them because I recognize and accept that it's my personal responsibility to control an immediate emergency as best I can until the pros arrive. Which can be 30-45 mins in rural areas. I hope I never have to use either.

    I also recognize that I have a 1-in 110,000 chance of dying in a mass shooting, as terrible and sad as events like this are. Meanwhile I have a 1-in-113 chance of dying in a car accident. So I try to live my life with some perspective and control my fear/paranoia.

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