Psychopaths are a bane of every single society on Earth and it appears to be a psychopath who was responsible for the worst mass killing in modern American history. This one man took the lives of at least 59 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas and injured hundreds more.
The shooter, Stephen Paddock, a wealthy and seemingly normal 64 year old, amassed an arsenal of weapons, including firearms that had been adapted to fire in full auto mode, in his hotel room overlooking the revellers at the music festival. Then he fired indiscriminately at the crowd. After murdering so many people and with law enforcement agents approaching his room, the coward Paddock, rather than face up to what he had done, turned one of his weapons on himself and died at his own hand.
There is only one villain in this story and that is Paddock himself. There will be much speculation over the next few days and weeks as to the murderer’s motivation, but the guilt of this man is well established.
In this relatively short article, I do not intend to dwell on either the murderer or any of his supposed motives but I would like to say that although there was one horrific psychopathic villain, this incident created dozens of American heroes. There have been shocking accounts of those who ran towards the gunfire in order to rescue people who may have been strangers to them and some of these rescuers appear to have lost their lives or been injured in the process. Other people threw themselves on top of others in order to save them and yet more administered the early first aid that may have saved lives that might otherwise have been lost. Emergency medical personnel worked diligently and skilfully in order to try to save people with terrible injuries. Other Americans queued up to give blood or offer whatever practical help they could give to the bereaved, the injured and the traumatised.
The law enforcement authorities, even though they may have been initially caught off guard by the shooting, quickly regrouped and located the shooter. The police didn’t know at first whether they were dealing with a lone lunatic or a gang of Islamic terrorists but still they worked hard to isolate and neutralise the threat as quickly as possible. Once the shooter was located, without a thought for their own safety but only for the safety of others, they bravely approached the shooter’s room, not knowing whether he would fire at them or whether he had booby trapped the room with explosives.
The murderer of Las Vegas represents the very worst of humanity, the dregs of the dregs. On the other hand, those who assisted the injured, helped those who needed it, sacrificed their lives to save others or went after the killer in order to stop him, they are the best of humanity and the very best of America.
The response of the politicians to this tragedy has been illustrative. President Trump and the First Lady were, from what I saw and heard, models of dignity and sympathy. Hillary Clinton on the other hand showed just why she should never occupy the Oval Office, as she waited only five minutes between offering condolences and ham-fistedly politicising the situation. At a time when Clinton should have kept her gob shut, she didn’t.
This was a most terrible attack by a man who would have probably committed mass murder by any means at his disposal, whether that be by firearm, improvised explosive device, butane packed vehicle or as in the case of Britain’s worst psychopathic serial killer, by poison. At some point he would probably have killed large numbers of random people by any other method if he had not had access to firearms, as it is in the nature of such psychopaths to do so. I grieve for my American friends today. What happened at Las Vegas was truly appalling.
I would like to conclude by offering my prayers to the Eternal One for the souls of those who were murdered and to those who were injured and traumatised I pray for their recovery. May the mourners be comforted by knowing that our thoughts are with them.