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Sometimes, the effect of an action betrays its motive. Amongst the most remarkable consequences of Paddock’s horrific crime is that the NRA has, for the first time in the recent history of mass murder in the USA, actually come out in favor of gun control legislation.
What? Does this mean that Paddock was not a criminal but a revolutionary? In fact, the very definition of a terrorist; though incomprehensibly a “white” man who loved country music and who “studied arguments for his right to own weapons under the US constitution” according to an acquaintance, as reported by the Guardian on October 4th.
According to this logic, Paddock did it, not in order to declare his “right to bear arms”, but rather to force the gun control industry and their puppets in Congress to actually respect the 2nd Amendment. Paddock, who suffered from a “God complex”, according to other reports, unleashed hell-fire on his own people to punish them for their ignorance of “his” laws, and to target the client base of the NRA to force them to look past the profit motive.
As someone whose “grasp of detail about the 2nd amendment seemed superior”, according to the boyfriend of Danly’s sister, Paddock would be familiar with the landmark case District of Columbia vs. Heller (2008). In that case, which struck down a DC ban on handguns, the Supreme Court was clear that the purpose of the 2nd amendment was to protect the right of self-defense, mainly in the home; but did not extend to the right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever or for whatever purpose.
Clearly “bump stocks” are not needed for self-defense in the home, nor is the stockpiling of some 23 or more guns including AK47’s to be smuggled into some den of iniquity in Vegas for the purpose of mass murder. By making a mockery of the failure to respect the goal of a “well-regulated militia” established in the 2nd Amendment, Paddock calculated that he could single-handedly bring the NRA to its knees. And he did.
This should not surprise us because Paddock was a professional gambler; an expert at calculating risk and reward; who applied these skills in his meticulously planned, and ironic, “revolution”. But he was a gambler with a sense of justice, however merciless. He wasn’t a corporate boss, or a mechanic when he worked for the Post Office, the IRIS and Lockheed Martin; he was an “auditor”. He was an expert on the enforcement of regulations, who had honed his skills in the regulation of weapons in the Defense Industry.
He was also the son of a bank robber, from whom it would seem he had inherited psychopathic levels of insensitivity. His action was in this sense a symptom of mental illness, not “pure evil”. But there is no treatment for psychopathology, nor is it even acknowledged by the criminal law as an illness, though it is no more the fault of its victims than is schizophrenia or obsessive-compulsive disorder. The problem is that, unlike the neurotic who mainly tortures himself, the psychopath leaves such a devastating external trail a destruction behind him, literally in this case, bodies strewn in a field.
Paddock was similar then to other political types like Hitler, Stalin, and Nixon (perhaps even Donald Trump?) But the emerging post-modern revolutionary is different in that he is not a party man. He is instead a “lone-wolf”, an anarchist of the violent school, for Paddock has shown that today one man can bring down an empire like the NRA, something that in former ages it would have taken an army to achieve.