Las Vegas Shooting

ghost

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#1
Terrible tragedy on innocent people. I know i've argued this point in times past on this forum, but I will never understand why citizens need fully automatic weapons that hold 30 rounds or more per clip. I pray for the victims and their families and hope this never happens again, but if the past is any indication......
 

WesL

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Well here is a shocker indeed a 66 year old retiree from the area. He had a sniper's perch on the 32nd floor of Mandalay and had been there since Sept 28th. According to police reports he had built some type of platform in the room and installed a camera system to alert him when police approached his room. When they did he took his own life.
 

Kory

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#4
After watching the horrific video as seen on social media, that doesn't sound like a factory full auto to me. The fire is too choppy. Now, it could be a modified semi auto rifle or have a bump fire stock. Or it could be full auto with a defect.
 

ghost

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#5

Kory

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#6
And sure enough, overnight the AP reported that bump stocks were indeed found in the shooter's hotel room. Here's an example of how bump stocks can "turn" a semi-automatic rifle into an "automatic" rifle. I put them in quotes, because the rate of fire is similar, but its still one trigger pull per bullet. The stock just uses the recoil to oscillate very slightly where the trigger becomes depressed very quickly.


I, personally, see no point in bump stocks. It was literally invented to circumvent the laws in place and have NO place on the market. Wanna talk common sense gun control? Tackle gimmicky stuff like this...
 

WesL

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And sure enough, overnight the AP reported that bump stocks were indeed found in the shooter's hotel room. Here's an example of how bump stocks can "turn" a semi-automatic rifle into an "automatic" rifle. I put them in quotes, because the rate of fire is similar, but its still one trigger pull per bullet. The stock just uses the recoil to oscillate very slightly where the trigger becomes depressed very quickly.


I, personally, see no point in bump stocks. It was literally invented to circumvent the laws in place and have NO place on the market. Wanna talk common sense gun control? Tackle gimmicky stuff like this...
Wow I had never heard of this. That is crazy.
 
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#8
Terrible tragedy on innocent people. I know i've argued this point in times past on this forum, but I will never understand why citizens need fully automatic weapons that hold 30 rounds or more per clip. I pray for the victims and their families and hope this never happens again, but if the past is any indication......
I still wondering in saddness,how was he ever allowed a federal permit to have automatics or any gun to hurt Innocent? Also I am wondering was he angry about his family's past? It is so un-understandable and senseless.
 

Evan

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#9
And sure enough, overnight the AP reported that bump stocks were indeed found in the shooter's hotel room. Here's an example of how bump stocks can "turn" a semi-automatic rifle into an "automatic" rifle. I put them in quotes, because the rate of fire is similar, but its still one trigger pull per bullet. The stock just uses the recoil to oscillate very slightly where the trigger becomes depressed very quickly.


I, personally, see no point in bump stocks. It was literally invented to circumvent the laws in place and have NO place on the market. Wanna talk common sense gun control? Tackle gimmicky stuff like this...
I think bump stocks are silly as well. They either slip over your existing stock (so why have a nice stock?) or replace your existing stock (why get a nice stock to begin with?), and they significantly reduce accuracy while causing premature wear on parts of the lower receiver. Binary triggers on the other hand are not silly and quite useful, but ultimately they accomplish the same thing as a bump stock which is to simulate auto fire.

I worried for a long time that bump stocks would be used in a shooting, but I never expected this. My expectation was some awkward loser would try to use one and would find that he couldn't get any rounds on target and would have major issues just trying to maintain steady fire. But, unfortunately, this was guy was not that type at all. He was a very detailed planner. He was also very intelligent in the way he planned this massacre. He had elevation, he had firepower, he had multiple angles, etc. He used bipods for stability and control, and a variety of optics (of the two pics of rifles released so far, one had one looks like an Eotech or other holographic optic and the other was a powered scope) to keep rounds on target plowing through the crowd. He may just be a sick and demented psychopath. His father was a psychopath. It has a significant genetic component and is heritable. Environmental factors also play a role, and considering his father robbed banks, used firearms, escaped from prison, and then was on the FBI Top 10 list -- those kinds of action definitely provide an environmental catalyst to the genetic underpinnings of a future psychopath.

Guess we will see soon enough, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that he gambled heavily and frequently using it as a stimulus and a way to "feel right" due to his psychopathy and eventually hit a cold streak. I know there have been recent reports from his CTRs (federal currency reports that casinos file) showing he had significant betting activity in the very recent past. Psychopaths have a low resting heart rate and are so preternaturally calm that they feel compelled to gamble, commit crimes, use drugs, skydive, and other high risk activities just to feel some excitement. This actually makes them quite good at other risky activities like Wall Street finance, business, and trading because they have a huge risk tolerance and a high appetite for stress. It doesn't impact them the way it impacts you or me. Its probable that a psychopath is actually reading my post right now (or will shortly) as most estimates place them as being 1-2% of the population. Essentially that means that 1-2 people out of a hundred in the general populace.

Psychopaths have an extremely grandiose self-worth. They are richer than you, smarter than you, better looking than you, have a more attractive wife/GF than you, and are very adamant about letting you know it in a braggadocious way. <--- That's their opinion of their self.

They don't have empathy or are able to turn it off at will, but unlike sociopaths that may have little to no empathy and just can't grasp it, they are so charming and intense that they are able to fake it and convince you that they care (when they actually don't care one bit). And, psychopathy is not a binary thing -- it's kind of like a scale, and can range from someone who barely qualifies and might be viewed as just having an anti-social personality to someone who maxes out all the traits and characteristics of a psychopath or somewhere in between. From confirmed media reports and police press conferences, the Vegas Shooter actually introduced himself as a gambler when he met people, bragged to people about how much he won (his brother and many neighbors knew about several specific slot & video poker jackpots that he told them about or sent pictures of and the exact amounts), moved around frequently and lived in quite a few different states, and was married several times. It was also notable that his brother frequently referred to him as a "multi-millionaire" and then specifically said that the Vegas shooter made "2 million dollars" with his real estate company and "made me wealthy as well." Seems fairly probable that the Vegas shooter frequently used those specifics when talking with others so they immediately came to mind when his brother was discussing him. The Sheriff over the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has also specifically called the shooter a psychopath. I don't believe he is using that term generically. The FBI Behavioral Science Unit has certainly been consulted and has likely already made a profile of this guy which the Sheriff would have probably been made aware of to help target their overall investigation. However, I will add that one of the news outlets did speak with a former BSU supervisor that said he didn't yet see anything in this guy's background that would indicate a predilection for homicide/suicide. I don't quite get that as being the son of a diagnosed psychopath is a pretty strong piece of background that could explain the shooter's actions.

Psychopaths are not every prone to suicide as their grandiose self-worth means they normally think too highly of themselves to end their own life. But, there have certainly been psychopaths that have killed themselves, and there is documentation as to why. One, they are arrested/captured and face long imprisonment or certain death. They cannot bare the thought of being unable to engage in all the stimulating activities that led to their arrest and cannot bare the destruction of the grandiose persona they had constructed. Secondly, they are not willing to let someone else kill them -- in their grandiose view they much prefer to end their own life than to let someone less superior do so. Third, something else happens that would/could lead to the destruction of the grandiose persona they have built for themselves. Loss of financial wealth, power, or the control of others would make them "normal" or less superior to others and unable to maintain their grandiose picture of their own self. This is pure speculation, but as I referenced earlier, I wouldn't be surprised if he hit some kind of cold streak and started losing when he gambled or had investments that took major losses. Additionally, his girlfriend or whatever she was -- definitely appeared to enjoy the trappings of his material wealth, and there are reputable reports that he recently sent $100,000 to the Philippines where she is originally from and is currently staying. On the flip side, Claire McCaskill just told ABC News that there is insufficient evidence to say he was under financial pressure due to gambling losses. His CTRs show huge amounts of gambling transactions, but no one is yet saying if there were any major losses. McCaskill may just be saying they don't have the evidence yet, or that he didn't have major gambling losses. However, his girlfriend used to work as a high-stakes casino hostess and her social media profiles showed she listed her occupation as "gambler." Perhaps she lost a ton of money gambling. That's important to clarify, and obviously investigators will find that out very soon

Before information came out about his father being a diagnosed psychopath, I pondered whether or not he had a medical issue. There are cases of people experiencing significant personality and behavioral changes due to things like brain tumors, head trauma, and certain legal/illegal drugs. I remember one case of a man that was taking medication (I think for Parkinson's) and it caused him to lose huge amounts of money gambling and he started engaging in frequent and risky homosexual sex (guy was married with kids). When the medication was stopped he returned to normal. There's not a lot of evidence about what effect drugs (legal or illegal) have on someone that has a genetic predisposition for psychopathy so we just don't know what kind of impact it could have. Again, outside of the things I'm saying are confirmed , when I say probable, perhaps, appeared, etc I am just speculating. I think just about everyone that is familiar with this case is at that point because a motive is not yet readily apparent and there are a multitude of possibilities. Especially when you consider his age and socioeconomic status, he's just not in the target pool of the usual types of people that do these types of things. Everyone is grasping at straws. That being said, there are only so many possibilities. I know there are certain people with political motives pushing the idea that he may be linked to Islamic terrorism (and ISIS did claim responsibility), but outside of ISIS' claim there isn't anything yet that backs that up unless you make an extremely generalized link between the nationality of his girlfriend and add in the fact that he traveled to Dubai. But millions of people do the same thing, so that seems to be at the very bottom of the list until new evidence emerges.
 

Evan

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#10
Continuation of previous post: (Part 2)

I wanted to lay all of that out because this guy is not your typical mass shooter. His wealth allowed him to purchase numerous high-end firearms and accessories. The LaTimes and others have confirmed that he had: 'four Daniel Defense DDM4 rifles, three FN-15s and other rifles made by Sig Sauer." Those specific rifles cost around double to triple what your average AR-15 costs. They have better and stronger components than your average AR-15, so it is obvious he planned for and considered the abuse the firearms would take from a high rate of fire and that he wanted excellent accuracy and reliability. The picture was too blurry to tell for sure, but I'm almost positive one of the rifles had an Eotech holographic site. Those run between $400-$800. Bump fire stocks are not super expensive, but the one on at least one of the rifles looked like a Slide Fire, and they range between $170-$400.

I do not believe that banning bump fire stocks would have prevented this event nor reduced the number of causalities. If bump fire stocks were banned he'd have just used a binary trigger. If binary triggers were banned he'd have just made a few lightning links. Lightning links are literally small pieces of metal that cause the lower receiver to function in a very similar fashion to a bump fire stock. Ironically, they ARE illegal unless pre-1986. Detailed schematics (and I am referring to literal blueprints with precise dimensions) are the 3rd result on Google. There are tons of places that have these schematics along with instructions for making one with a dremel, a few handtools, and a file. Or, someone of his means would have easily been able to afford a drill press or fabrication machines that could have literally fabbed this thing out for him by just inputting information into a CAD type of software interface. And, there are likely millions of people that have a bump fire stock or binary trigger. Instructions for making your own binary trigger are available online as are schematics for making a bump fire stock. You can 3D print a bump fire stock. Or your can just bump fire using a belt loop or even a sturdy piece of wood.

This guy would not have been deterred one iota by these devices not being available. As humans, we always feel the need to understand why these events happened and we feel an incredible urge to do something or see something done to prevent future ones. I'm certainly not immune. I just typed a long post wondering why this happened and speculating as to why. However, we need to do this with full rationality and be very logical about it. There are millions of semi-automatic AR-15s, Ruger minis, AK-47's, etc in existence. Almost all of them can be converted to auto fire with a bit of research with very little know how or even mechanical ability. It's actually shocking no one has done this before, but if I had to guess why it'd be because a fully automatic or simulated automatic rifle is actually very hard to control and most mass shootings are up close and the people you are trying to kill are scattered all over and moving. An automatic rifle would have you just spraying all over very inaccurately and it is very probable you'd hit less people. Most of these mass murderers are going for maximum body count. This sounds horrible, but they don't want to waste rounds. They know they have a limited time before the police arrive and engage them or they run out of the ammo they are carrying. That's why this is such a unique situation. This guy was in a fixed position with virtually unlimited ammunition, and the people he was shooting at were densely packed into a large area that made automatic fire actually usable.

Because we have hundreds of millions of guns in this country and easily accessible technology, magazine capacity limits, simulated auto fire devices (bump fire stocks/binary triggers), super accurate red-dot/holographic sights/powered scopes, bipods, and a plethora of other accessories, even a complete firearms ban will not stop someone who is this dedicated and engages in this level of planning. Sure, another assault weapons ban could be done, but you'd have to make the existing weapons illegal and offer an amnesty or you'd not even come close to reducing the number of semi-automatic rifles in existence. And, unfortunately, with the prevalence of 80% lowers (people who don't know what this is should google it and see for themselves). It's basically a binary choice at this point. Either we ban all guns on embark on a serious gun roundup or we have to be honest with ourselves that we cannot completely stop psychopaths, the mentally ill, or the deranged from doing this type of stuff. We can't even limit it that much. It's a pipedream akin to rounding up 12 million illegal immigrants. There are large caches of weapons stored in people's backyards. So many ARs and other firearms were sold during the Obama admin that the number of guns in circulation have skyrocketed. I think bump fire stocks are dumb and I have no use for them. Go ahead and ban them. I guess you'll have to ban binary triggers as well (hopefully I can buy one first), but understand it won't reduce the number of mass shootings or victims. I find that tragic, but there's a need for the American people to have honest conversations instead of the platitudes and generic "we have to do something" ideas that circulate after these shootings occur. Sadly, these mass shootings have become a part of our culture due to the media coverage and impact that they have. We can also ban magazines over 10 rounds like California. Although that law has been blocked, the federal government did it with the assault weapons ban. But pre-ban magazines were still legal. So, you'd either have to grandfather them in or do a federal round-up with amnesty. Good luck getting them out of circulation when significant numbers of people will refuse and just keep them hidden. Plus, since you can 3D print magazines and 3D printers are getting cheaper and cheaper.
 

Evan

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#11
Continuation of previous post: (Part 3)

Again, I hate to say it, but I haven't seen a single convincing proposal that would actually make a significant difference. Any proposals to limit anything will be met with extreme opposition by the NRA and a number of groups. They see any limits as a slippery-slope to a total gun ban. It's not that the slippery-slope idea is right or wrong. It's that once the various bans spend years in the courts, perhaps finally go into place (who knows if SCOTUS is more Conservative), and 5-10 years pass -- people will see that it didn't significantly change anything. So what's the next step? I think this is a binary thing as I said. "Sensible restrictions" other than improvements in screening the mentally ill and people with a background of violence are just window dressing that are meant to make people feel better. Either we ban guns all the way and undertake a major government war to seize all firearms (which will not be totally effective), or we start looking at other ways to prevent this type of stuff. Unfortunately, this guy had tannerite as well, and there have been media reports that he also had ammonium nitrate. This type of mass shooter is more akin to the Unabomber or Timothy McVeigh. He had a plan and was going to find a way to execute it. Unless you just ban the movement of people completely how are you ever going to stop it? Evil is evil. Crazy is crazy. It's a very high price to pay for a free society, but what are the alternatives? I think we should undertake a serious examination and study of what causes people to do this. One that doesn't simply say ban guns and all is well. I'm far from a hardcore gun person. If my small amount of firearms were gone tomorrow I wouldn't like it, and I'd believe it is Unconstitutional, but I wouldn't lose my mind over it. I just think we need to be rational and look at real alternatives instead of the knee-jerk reactions that just lead to additional political polarization, societal division, and actually help foment the type of rhetoric and culture that are conducive to these people doing this in the first place. I don't think we should cover these shootings on TV and in graphic detail online, but how do you restrict a free press? You are going to run into freedom every single time. It comes down to this: because of our society and culture as Americans, we are going to have to find a voluntary way to change our culture and society so that these acts occur less frequently. And I don't have the slightest clue how you would go about doing that or even where you would start.

Just my opinion, but I believe what I'm saying is grounded in logic. As painful as it is, I'm trying to be objective and dispassionate here even though every time one of these events happen it just floors me emotionally and mentally. I can't understand. I never will be able to understand it. All I can do is realize that evil and crazy exists. And, like I said, I don't know how you stop or control that. This is a very sad and horrific event. The victims were you and me. Normal everyday Americans just trying to relax and have a good time. They were from all walks of life, all races, all ages, and all ethnicities. They ARE America. Every one of these events is like an attack on our country. It is devastating and shakes me to my core. But we all need to pull together and find some workable solutions and try to think outside our normal reactions and rhetoric. I actually feel this applies to most political issues facing our country. Finally, we need to realize that for many issues there are no easy solutions or clear answers. People don't like that but it is undeniably true. A lot of the issues we face as a country cannot be fixed with a law, a bill, or a political movement. They either require deep societal shifts and changes or they aren't problems that currently have definable solutions in our current day.

God bless the victims and our country.
 

Evan

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#12
Terrible tragedy on innocent people. I know i've argued this point in times past on this forum, but I will never understand why citizens need fully automatic weapons that hold 30 rounds or more per clip. I pray for the victims and their families and hope this never happens again, but if the past is any indication......
I don't think it's a question of need. Unfortunately, neither of the restrictions you mentioned (one of which already exists but was worked around to an extent by the shooter) would have prevented this event nor reduced its scale and outcome.
 

Evan

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#13
I had not seen either of these two pieces until a few moments ago:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/mass-shootings-are-a-bad-way-to-understand-gun-violence/amp/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opin...8c702d2d975_story.html?utm_term=.c167d4dd6301

I believe these pieces reach a similar conclusions to what I said above. We need to think about gun violence outside of the emotion of a recent mass shooting, and we also need to be a bit more unconventional and not buy into the hype of different gun control legislation that papers over what are societal and cultural issues.
 

Kory

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#15
You know, you see 59 reported dead, its sort of a number. It registers as an act of cowardliness and evil, but it never fully sinks in. Now that the pictures and stories of the victims are rolling out, it makes it all the more heart wrenching. The pictures of moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and countless other friends and families' lives changed forever. Their holidays and family get-togethers will forever have a void, an empty space that will never be filled. The pictures of people just enjoying a Sunday evening out in Vegas, listening to the music they love. Who ever wakes up and says, "well today is the day I die"?

But what gives me hope, and really it is the only glimmer here, are the droves of people who came to help. They came to the aid of those injured, whether it was turning their cars into makeshift ambulances or triaging at the concert site. I'd like to hope the heroism and bravery of those who saved lives in the midst of unthinkable evil overshadow the vile man who created it.
 

ghost

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#16
I don't think it's a question of need. Unfortunately, neither of the restrictions you mentioned (one of which already exists but was worked around to an extent by the shooter) would have prevented this event nor reduced its scale and outcome.
I don't think every maniac, terrorist, or evil person who is bent on mass murder will have the expertise to modify semi-autos to make them replicate autos like you mentioned, even though I acknowledge some would. But I still believe if magazine capacity was limited to 5 or 6 rounds (which is fully adequate for hunting or target practice), a significant number of lives could be saved in these acts of horrific violence. I am also realistic to know that you would never eliminate the huge number of high capacity magazines that are currently in circulation. I would support efforts that tried to do that though. The only way I can think of now is a buy back period and after that make it a felony for possession with a mandatory sentence. I know this would not eliminate all of them and people would find ways to have access, but I believe it has the potential to reduce the threat.
 

ghost

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#17
There are a lot of questions that come to mind about this being a lone wolf. It may well be, but I sense there were others involved.
 

Evan

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#18
You know, you see 59 reported dead, its sort of a number. It registers as an act of cowardliness and evil, but it never fully sinks in. Now that the pictures and stories of the victims are rolling out, it makes it all the more heart wrenching. The pictures of moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and countless other friends and families' lives changed forever. Their holidays and family get-togethers will forever have a void, an empty space that will never be filled. The pictures of people just enjoying a Sunday evening out in Vegas, listening to the music they love. Who ever wakes up and says, "well today is the day I die"?

But what gives me hope, and really it is the only glimmer here, are the droves of people who came to help. They came to the aid of those injured, whether it was turning their cars into makeshift ambulances or triaging at the concert site. I'd like to hope the heroism and bravery of those who saved lives in the midst of unthinkable evil overshadow the vile man who created it.
A lot of heroes and selfless people risked their lives for others. It's always a great thing to see.

As you said, a lot of people lost love ones. Kids will grow up without parents. Parents will get old and die without their children. It's sickening and heartbreaking. Every time there is a mass shooting, a major terror attack, or some other mass casuality event I always go and read about the victims and ponder how someone had so much hate or evil that they took the lives of those innocent people.

The most recent press conference said 12 rifles had bump stocks. I'm sure the ATF will ban them quickly. I hope it helps, but I truly believe we have to dig deeper for answers. We need to approach this in a new way. Mass shootings are just one part of gun violence. Suicide, street shootings, domestic violence, etc all make large contributions. We've seen major reductions in our homicide rate yet mass shootings have become more frequent and the homicide rate has now stabilized. Why?
 

WesL

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#19
I know this hard to believe but it could have been worse. This is from his room. He had a lot more ammo ready to go.

IMG_3827.PNG
 

KoD

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#20
To add on/respond to Evans posts, it's atypical to see deranged behaviour like this come about in somebody in their 50s/60s. Normally homicidal ideation presents with bipolar/schizophrenic/schizo affective disorders in their 20s and many of them seek hospitalization for these thoughts when they get too severe. Unfortunately if the person has suicidal and/or homicidal ideation and there's a concurrent drug abuse issue (which is a very common combination) they are almost always rejected from getting inpatient assistance and will be discharged from the hospital and referred to expensive outpatient behavioral health facilities - which usually they will not follow up with. I've had only a couple middle aged patients who present with new onset homicidal ideation, out of hundreds of behavioral health patients. A few had homicidal/suicidal thoughts that had been recessed for decades then had spontaneous reoccurrence after psychological stress or trauma.. death of a mother, father, sister or brother are the most common. It's entirely possible this shooter had a similar occurrence, either a resumption of homicidal thoughts or late-onset.. and for whatever reasons never became too psychotic to become suspicious and never reached out for help... or did and was rejected because the psychiatrist refused to admit due to drugs or because the behavioral health environment requires one to relinquish control over their environment and decision making, something a grandiose bipolar/schizophrenic cannot handle.
 

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