LOS ANGELES, October 5, 2017 — The mass shooting in Las Vegas has shocked the national conscience. Sadly, it brought out people determined to provide solutions that run the gamut from ineffective to counter-productive and destructive.
When emotion takes over, people demand that government “do something.” Repeated refrains to “act now” substitute passion for logical reasoning. Demagogues from Hillary Clinton to Jimmy Kimmel insist that their celebrity status gives them expertise. Nobody alive right now knows the motive for the shooting, yet experts everywhere are providing solutions to an unknown problem.
The answer to Las Vegas is to do absolutely nothing. There is nothing that can be done, and nothing that should be done. Those screaming that praying and spreading love are not enough should be quiet, pray more, and love more. From a policy standpoint, there is no justifiable action for legislators to take.
Many liberals are pushing gun control because they always push gun control. They hate guns and love control. Every problem requires more government power at the expense of individual rights. There is zero evidence that a single gun control law either on the books or proposed would have prevented the Las Vegas massacre. Areas like Chicago with the strictest gun control laws have the worst violent crime rates. Gun control is utterly useless symbolism, but thoughtfulness is far more complex than self-righteousness.
Other individuals are demanding a tough crackdown on Islamists. While we should do this in general, there is zero evidence that radical Islam had any role in the Las Vegas shooting. ISIS claimed credit, but Islamist groups often take responsibility for attacks to bolster their reputations and gain more recruits. Even if radical Islam was a factor, the left would never accept the solution. President Donald Trump tried to enact a travel ban, and the left sued to place political correctness above national security and safety.
Another theory is that this was leftist violence meant to kill as many Republicans, conservatives and Trump supporters as possible. Country music fans overwhelmingly lean to the right politically. Leftist violence has been on the rise, from the firebombing of the North Carolina GOP headquarters during the 2016 election season to the shooting of Louisiana Republican Congressman Steve Scalise. Many on the left would be delighted to see a bunch of conservatives murdered.
Singer Madonna spoke openly about blowing up the White House, and CBS attorney Hayley Geftman-Gold openly expressed joy at dead Republicans.
These two people only said what many other liberals joke about at dinner parties.
Yet while Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other leftist groups have crossed the line from peaceful activism to domestic terrorism, that does not apply to Las Vegas. Shooter Stephen Paddock does not appear to have any known political philosophy. Banning liberal thought and speech is as crazy as liberals trying to ban conservative thought and speech.
Another more plausible angle would be mental illness. Deranged crackpots do what they do. Some people are just crazy. However, as of now, there is zero evidence that Paddock suffered from any mental illness. His neighbors described him as functional and affable. The Las Vegas shooting was carefully planned out over several days. It was not the action of somebody who just snapped and went bonkers.
Even if mental illness were the driving factor, the left would never allow the appropriate solutions. In America, it used to be legal to forcibly commit people for mental evaluations. 72-hour holds kept crazy people locked up for observation. It also used to be legal to forcibly medicate mentally ill people. Liberals became so obsessed with the rights of patients that they made it tougher to save the sane population from the lunatics.
Maybe the shooter played violent video games. Maybe he loved violent Hollywood movies. Maybe he had financial difficulties, although he appears to be a well-to-do individual who owned several properties.
The only thing we know is that we do not know anything. So it is beyond foolish to try to do something until we know something. Politicians are supposed to have answers, but sometimes there is no answer. Hollywood celebrities want to be seen as more than pretty faces, but talking loudly and crying on camera is not a substitute for knowledge of facts.
The only thing more painful than witnessing a horror like the Mandalay Bay shooting is being forced to accept that nothing would prevent it. That would lead many people to conclude that more of these shootings will happen. That is an ugly, cruel fact of life in a world that is filled with much ugliness and cruelty.
Emotions can allow us to empathize with the victims, but it must not allow us to compound the pain by prescribing false healing remedies.
Maybe Stephen Paddock really was “just a guy” who did an evil thing. That cannot be regulated, legislated or controlled. Until science allows us to find out what ails the human heart and the human mind, there are no answers.
In the absence of facts on why the shooting took place, there is no government solution to stopping these attacks; The government should do nothing. Doing nothing is a terrible course of action, but it is the least “worst” approach.