BY JACK KERWICK
As I write this, there is only a small handful of facts, or alleged facts, that all of the talking heads in Big Media seem to agree upon regarding “the largest mass shooting in American history.”
First, 64 year-old Stephen Paddock, a white man and resident of Nevada, appears to have acted alone when he opened fire on over 22,000 country music concert attendees in Las Vegas.
Second, Paddock had a lot of weaponry, guns of various sorts, in the hotel room that he used as a sniper’s nest.
Third, Paddock is a relatively wealthy man who enjoyed gambling and may have accrued quite a bit of debt as a consequence of his vice.
Fourth, the shooter has a girlfriend, Marilou Danley, an Asian woman who has since “returned to the United States from the Philippines.” Initially, police cleared her of any wrongdoing. According to the latest update, however, they still plan on interrogating her when she returns to the states.
Fifth, nearly 60 people are now dead and over 500 people have been hospitalized.
Finally, according to his own brother, Paddock had no political or religious affiliation.
As things always go with these sorts of matters, what we think we know now will inevitably change and, in some respects, undoubtedly change dramatically as more information comes to light. So far, though, this is essentially the extent of the propositions on which the Big Media insiders agree.
Admittedly, I don’t know anything more at the moment. However, I’m shocked (though not particularly surprised) that no one—namely, no “conservative” commentator—has so much as suggested even the possibility that this historically unprecedented massacre just may be the event in which the violent hatred to which suspected Deplorables have been routinely subjected for over a year-and-a-half has reached its bloody climax.
From even before President Trump received his party’s nomination, leftist agitators, mostly fans of Bernie Sanders, began making it a habit to crash Trump’s rallies and assault his supporters. Since this time, literally hundreds of Trump supporters, men, women, and young teenagers—the folks who Hillary Clinton infamously characterized as “deplorables”—have had their person and property abused by leftists of different sorts. Antifa (“Anti-fascists”), BLM (Black Lives Matter), and BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) are some of the more militant leftist organizations that came to be counted upon to attack indiscriminately, and with a range of weaponry, Trump supporters—i.e. veterans, flag-waving patriots, Republicans, Christians, and anyone and everyone else who is deemed “fascist.”
Pepper spray and bear mace; sticks of dynamite and Molotov cocktails; bats, pipes, clubs, and flagpoles; stones, flamethrowers, and bottles; feces and urine—these are among the weapons that have been used against those who have declared their support for “free speech,” Trump, and the American flag.
Some far left members of “The Resistance” have indeed shown up to some events armed with guns, although no one, to my knowledge, has yet used these guns on Trump supporters.
Of course, as recently as June, a Bernie Sanders admirer and avid MSNBC viewer, James Hodgkinson, in an effort to slaughter as many Republican members of Congress as possible, shot several, including and most notably, Steve Scalise. (And shortly before this event, another zealous Sanders fan and Trump opponent, Jeremy Christian, whom the media tried absurdly to depict as a “white supremacist terrorist,” stabbed three men on a Portland, Oregon train, killing two of them.)
In other words, the last nearly two years have established two things:
(a) Violence against anyone and everyone who is suspected of having contributed to the election of President Trump (and the GOP) has been normalized.
(b) This political violence has been normalized by those on the far left.
It also bears noting that Antifa and the like, in affirming their allegiance to “The Resistance,” affirm their ideological and political affinity with all of those “mainstream” Democrats in Congress and the media who similarly raise the proverbial banner of The Resistance. For that matter, the embarrassment of a former presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, also proclaimed her own allegiance to The Resistance some months back, as did former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Democrats own the fringes of their party.
Now, given the patterns of the last two years (to say nothing of the left’s long history of violence), is not the theory that the Vegas killer was but another committed Resister, determined to, “by any means necessary,” “bash the fash” not eminently plausible?
After all, the predominantly white country music fans upon whom Paddock set his sights constitute the collective poster child of the Deplorable, a fact of which leftists, in their ever articulate manner, have spared no occasion to remind us from the moment that word broke of this outrage.
Shouldn’t someone in Big Media, specifically, in the so-called “conservative” media, at least raise these points?
Can there be any doubt that had this been a rap concert—an event comprised of tens of thousands of black men, women, and children—that, despite being short on verifiable facts, the very media figures who now refuse to indulge speculation as to the shooter’s motive would have wasted no time in speculating about “racism?”
Can we doubt that had the targeted event been a gathering of tens of thousands of Hispanics or Muslims or gays that we would have been treated to endless speculation concerning the likely “racism,” “Islamophobia,” and “homophobia,” respectively, of the shooter?
There is nothing objectionable about posing a hypothesis, as long as the theory is reasonable, rendered plausible (if not true) by the known facts. Intellectually curious people speculate. Speculation is actually preferable to the incessant repetition of talking points with which Americans are relentlessly bombarded by the media whenever events like this occur.
That those in the media now refuse to speculate or, to put it more accurately, that they refuse to advance the most plausible of speculative theories—the shooter, like the 66 year-old James Hodgkinson, who was in his age cohort, was an anti-Republican, anti-Trump zealot—is explained by the likely fact that he shared their animosity toward the same objects.
While I may be proven wrong, I’d bet dollars to donuts that Stephen Paddock was driven by the same homicidal hatred of all things to his right that animated Hodgkinson.
Paddock, I find it more credible than not, saw himself as a member of The Resistance.
Townhall.com columnist Jack Kerwick has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Temple University, a master’s degree in philosophy from Baylor University, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies from Wingate University. He teaches philosophy at several colleges in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas.