Las Vegas aftermath: No clear motive? No surprise

The Associated Press is reporting that the FBI has concluded its investigation into the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 and could find no “single or clear motivating factor” behind the slaughter of 58 country music fans in October 2017.

The October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas apparently had no clear catalyst but did result in moves to ban bump stocks. (YouTube capture.)

Hundreds of other people were injured in the inexplicable attack mounted by Stephen Paddock, firing from his room at the Mandalay Bay hotel. The incident did result in energized pushes for more gun controls, including a ban on “bump stock” devices, which Paddock reportedly used in his attack.

The FBI’s report did suggest that Paddock apparently was partly inspired by his late father’s “reputation as a bank robber who was once on the agency’s Most Wanted list,” the report noted. But he evidently was not acting in concert with, or because of, any identifiable group.

The Nashville Tennessean reported that the 64-year-old Paddock fired more than 1,000 rounds over the course of 11 minutes. That report quoted Aaron Rouse, FBI special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Las Vegas, who stated, “It wasn’t about MGM, Mandalay Bay or a specific casino or venue. It was all about doing the maximum amount of damage and him obtaining some form of infamy.”

He achieved that, and in his wake he left a launching pad for all sorts of extremist anti-gun activity. The Oct. 1, 2017 late evening attack resulted in calls for bans on so-called “semiautomatic assault weapons,” large-capacity magazines and bump stocks. Prior to the shooting, very few people outside of the shooting community had ever heard of the bump stock, and many shooters didn’t even know about them. They are a shooting accessory that replaces the factory stock of a semi-auto rifle, and helps increase the rate of fire while not changing the internal components or how they operate.

Las Vegas is the only known mass shooting incident in which one of the devices was ever involved.

One survivor of the shooting, Stephanie Dobyns Welleck, told the Washington Post that there should be a law limiting the number of firearms someone can own. Paddock had about two dozen guns in his hotel room, the story noted. He had apparently acquired them over the course of several years. He also had several other firearms at homes in Mesquite and Reno. All of those guns were purchased legally, the Post story noted, which tends to belie arguments by anti-gunners that so-called “universal background check” requirements would help prevent such crimes.