Monday, December 18, 2017 | Las Vegas has long been hailed as “the city that never sleeps,” but the coverage of the deadly attack on a country music festival on the night of October 1st has long since gone to bed.
The virtual radio silence on this subject, not only from the mainstream media, but also from the punditry, the gun control advocates, and even law enforcement, is stunning in its totality. Someone who had been hiking in the wilderness somewhere, off the grid and out of touch, for the first two weeks of October might not even be aware that the worst mass shooting in the history of United States had even occurred.
Let’s ignore, for the time being, the implications of this near-total silence on the actual debate over gun control. Let’s ignore that for two weeks one of the most evil creations in the history of humanity was the bump stock for AR-15 rifles until—almost overnight—everyone seemed to forget that they had ever even heard of them.
Let’s forget that, as usual, the crime was leaped upon by those who would infringe upon our Constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms as some sort of evidence that the citizenry should not be trusted with weapons.
Let’s agree that the expected outcry on social media claiming that gun makers, gun owners, and the National Rifle Association were somehow collectively responsible for a murderous lunatic shooting concert-goers even happened.
Forget all of those knee-jerk reactions and standard dissimulations, at least for a minute or two. (If you are the type who finds it difficult to let go of such injustices, rest assured that they will all be marched out for us again when somebody shoots someone else.)
What I am really having trouble figuring out is how this story, which is admittedly one of the biggest of 2017 as far as gun owners are concerned, has just plain vanished from the news and from the public consciousness.
In some ways, I’m not overly troubled by the lack of coverage and discussion. As noted, virtually any conversation about guns in the aftermath of a newsworthy crime tends to be slanted heavily against gun owners and civil rights protected by the Second Amendment. So a lack of national debate over the horrific crime in Las Vegas is not the worst thing that could come to pass.
But, in many other ways, I am mystified by the almost absolute lack of information on this incident. 58 people were killed in the shooting. Another 546 were injured. Even the most steadfast defender of gun rights has been forced to take pause and recognize the astounding severity of this crime. Yet we hear nothing about it.
In the week or so after the shooting, I made note many times that—despite a lack of details from law enforcement—we could divine a few things about the shooter. Though we might not be able to determine who he was, we could be pretty sure about some things that he was not. He was not, for instance, a neo-Nazi. If he had been, it would have been plastered all over every media outlet and shouted from every rooftop. He was not a Donald Trump supporter, for the very same reason. The cynic in me believes that the media was hoping and praying for an outspoken Trump voter behind the trigger, or at least a Tea Party member. But the fact that we didn’t hear anything about that basically proves that it wasn’t the case. The shooter must not have been an NRA member, either. Because that fact would have been jumped on faster than you can say “assault weapons ban.”
Why haven’t we heard more? Is it simply because there just isn’t any more information to share? Could it be because the investigation has led to deeper and darker things that need to be worked on out of the light of the public eye?
Perhaps the shooter’s motives were not in line with the narrative that the media wishes to spin? After all, when the Orlando night club shooter declared allegiance to the Islamic State and claimed his crime was retribution for American policy in the Middle East, the media painted it as an intolerant hate crime against homosexuals. And almost everyone bought it. That tall tale, though, isn’t nearly so easy to sell when the victims are country concert attendees.
Or is it just because there is no damning evidence that can be used to crucify the gun industry and the gun owners of America? Remember that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel once said, while he was President Obama’s Chief of Staff, that “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
Maybe the Las Vegas shooting, without a doubt a very serious crisis, wasn’t “good enough” for those who wanted to use it for their ends. So it got buried while we were looking at something else on our phones for a minute.
The victims of the Las Vegas shooter deserve better. The citizens of Las Vegas deserve better. The gun owners of America deserve better.
No one is going to get it. By the time the real story comes out, no one will care anymore.