The "lone wolf" Caucasian gunman was identified as Stephen Paddock, who is said to have been a high-stakes gambler from the area who never had any run-ins with the police. As of yet, nobody knows exactly what drove him to go on his killing spree, though Daesh did attempt to claim responsibility once news of the attack emerged by claiming that he converted to Islam a few months ago. The FBI doubts this narrative and said that it hasn't found any evidence to indicate that this is the case, and his friends and family have gone on record as stating that Paddock didn't have any deeply held views that they knew about concerning anything at all for that matter.
As all American tragedies have a sad tendency for doing, however, this one is also becoming increasingly politicized over a couple of polarizing issues. The first one is whether it should be classified as a "mass-shooting" or an act of "terrorism", with authorities using the former because no clear political motive has been found while some regular folks are opting for the latter because the incident was nevertheless meant to spark terror among the population. Cynics have also said that the government would probably have classified it as "terrorism" had a Muslim or person of color been involved, remarking that "mass shootings" are the exclusive domain of Caucasians. A less rhetorical and more real-life issue that's sprung up in the wake of this attack has been over security at public venues such as concerts and the disturbing ease with which the gunman was able to take multiple firearms and other murder accessories to his hotel room. Relatedly, the topic of gun control has expectedly emerged once again.
While there are many lingering and uncomfortable unknowns about this entire event, the fact is that someone did indeed kill over 50 people and injured around ten times as many, and the resultant firestorm over what to label this tragedy, how to better protect Americans, and the never-ending debate over gun control has the chance to turn this into one of the most politicized incidents of Trump's Presidency thus far.
Andrew Korybko is joined by Joe Iosbaker is a member of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, one of 23 antiwar activists attacked by the US Department of Justice. He is a rank-and-file union activist, and is involved in the struggle to stop police crimes in Chicago. Also on the line with us is Scott Rickard, Former American Intelligence Linguist & Geopolitical Analyst.
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