In Las Vegas Shooting, Was the Medium the Message?

Mark Steyn posted an interesting theory from a reader:

1. His long planned and carefully executed purchase of a virtual armoury of unprecedented scope and scale guaranteed that very armoury would inevitably become the central focus of the media.

2. His assiduous removal of evidence of any tangible motive also removed the possibility that the news cycle might move on from guns - simply the means of the killing - to considering the more interesting issues of motive and message - be it political or economic or environmental or anything else.

3. This man was a highly methodical and systematic thinker. Nothing in the scenario that unfolded was left to chance - even down to positioning cameras to surveil the corridor. It is therefore inconceivable that this was all done in this precise manner for no reason. That there is no message.
But of course there is indeed a message. It only happens to be implicit instead of explicit. That message is 'guns'. And that message is being trawled over every minute of every day on every network in America. Given the nature of the man and the facts this is not a chance outcome. On the contrary given the known facts it is indeed the only possible outcome. An outcome so obvious that anyone given the full story beforehand would have predicted as inevitable.

4. The people he chose to kill supports the hypothesis on 'guns'. Country and Western fans are virtually guaranteed to own or at least to defend the ownership of guns. By a certain logic this provides the gunman with two sound moral positions (because it is not beyond possibility he has a conscience):

First - While killing a very large number of innocent people is an horrendous crime it is nonetheless entirely justifiable - in moral terms - if it causes a restriction on guns. Because such a restriction would - it is widely held - save innumerable lives in the long run. There is no evidence for this but it is still a widely and passionately held belief.

Second - Since the people he is shooting are actively or passively defenders of guns and an obstacle to gun control they are by definition responsible in part for all the people who have been and continue to be killed by guns.
It makes as much sense as anything else I've read on the topic, though there is no hard evidence for it so far.


MikeD said...

I dislike conspiratorial thinking in general. And the best you can say for Steyn's thinking here is that, while it's plausible, it's based upon speculation and circumstantial evidence. That does NOT disprove it, but nor does it confirm it. It is A theory. It is a theory that is internally consistant. And it is a better theory than any other I've yet seen suggested. But that does not mean I'd be willing to take the plunge and say "yes, that's what happened."

I did just realize one great virtue of Steyn's theory. It is NOT a rehash of "the government did it as a false flag operation." And for that, I am thankful.

Christopher B said...

It's certainly a possibility, and though speculative it does fit with known information. He doesn't seem to have been any flavor of conservative, and I'm sure that information would have made it into the news media rapidly. There are clues but no hard evidence that he leaned left and the silence on that score is telling. Some other theories (serial killer going out with a big bang is one I have heard) have been way out beyond the available data.

Tom said...

It's actually one of Steyn's readers, who remains unnamed. Is it conspiratorial if only one person was involved? It does sound conspiracy-theory-ish, though.

But yes, it is all speculative. I'm not endorsing it. I just thought it was an interesting take that I hadn't heard yet.

On the other hand, the fascist Antifa seem to indicate such convoluted thinking can motivate violence. Weird times we live in.

Anonymous said...

First of all, "conspiracy theory" is a term popularized by the CIA as a slur to discourage inquiry into the CIA's sins. This is worth knowing.

I have had a ringside seat to some epic discussions about recent news events, and seen how speculation is a useful step in developing real information.

First, the readers get a news story with scattered, incoherent bits of information, any of which may or may not be true. The readers chew on this, and propose all kinds of theoretical frameworks, supposing that this or that collection of bits of information are true, and adding others. Then others mull over these frameworks, considering routes to further information that may prove or disprove the frameworks.

A lot of frameworks get thrown away.

What's left more or less fits the available, verifiable facts, sort of.

A few iterations of this process, and evidence starts to surface.

I disagree with Mark Steyn's theory, but he has isolated a critical part of the Las Vegas shooting, namely the absence of volumes of information that should have been readily reported. He ascribes this to the great intellectual powers and methodical planning by the alleged shooter over a period of decades.

I do not buy that theory, because it is simpler to assume that we just aren't being told the information. Also, the shooter's social media accounts got taken offline immediately. The stuff was wiped: that does not mean that evidence of his intent did not exist, or that he did the wiping.

I submit that we could be seeing a very determined effort to choke off an important subset of facts, for political purposes.


Ymar Sakar said...

Once I got to the point where I started expecting things like Fast and Furious, false flag ops, and the IRS crushing the Tea Party with a strategic bomb, it was much easier to crack through the disinformation on "conspiracy theories". People aren't very good at it yet though.

A user can't wipe things from Facebook, because the FBI and NSA have mirror servers that FB agreed to give them access to. Everything on FB has been mirrored and copied. If you posted a photo and "deleted" it, they still have it.

raven said...

This was carefully planned well in advance. There is a motive, a very strong motive, and I suspect the investigators full well what that motive was, and it would be extremely inconvenient AKA official narrative destroying for it to be public.

They say he has no social media presence, and no political affiliation etc, as if to reinforce the "crazy loner white guy just waiting to snap" narrative.
I don't know if he had FB account or not. From my limited understanding, if he had an email address the gov should be able to find all his web searches etc- that would be revealing.

The guns- there is no reason, none at all, for him to have toted all those weapons to his room. 1,2,3, and a spare maybe. 23? No way. Therefore, the excess weaponry was a theatrical prop. This guy did not do things without a reason.
There is a lot we are not being told.

Just for a second, assume Steyns reader is right. Now there is a chilling thought-the anti gun fanatics have people so opposed to gun violence they will kill mercilessly to promote their gun control agenda.
Some wise man once said, governments and criminals have the same same reason for wanting you disarmed-because they intend to do something to you, that they could not, if you had a weapon.

douglas said...

I had thought of something like this as well, along with the possibility that he was just nuts, wanted to be notorious in a big way, and left no clues to motive to screw with everyone just for the hell of it. Both plausible. Both almost impossible to prove.

He did not seem to have any real social media presence. His girlfriend did, and people were on it on social media before the room was breached (I was up late and tracked this in real-time). If his facebook page was wiped, he wiped it. I suspect, like me, he had one and never did a thing with it.

Raven, that point about 23 guns is a good one. Even if you figure that he had more because he expected to melt barrels or jam, it's still way more than needed. Also the bump stocks- he didn't need those to inflict the damage he did, their inherent inaccuracy was as much a detriment as the increase in rounds/min was help. But they made for a discussion that touched on items like bump stocks, and if the left had manipulated it properly, all semi-autos.

Also, we live in a society that, starting with Obama, has increased in polarization and intensity of discourse, and it doesn't seem to be letting up.

Texan99 said...

I find the Valium/psychotic break theory a little more plausible.

jaed said...

Would someone in the throes of a psychotic break be able to do this amount of planning, over this long a period of time?