Sunday, October 08, 2017

58 Crosses

Well, at least we can send thoughts and prayers.

I just finished reading the Times’ story on Stephen Paddock, the latest American psycho to unleash his twisted fury on innocent people—this time at a country music festival in Las Vegas, where he fired down into the crowd from his hotel window, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds—yes, hundreds, of others.

The carnage has been called the deadliest mass shooting in American history—until the next one, of course. And we all know that there will be a next one.

Paddock is a man contrasts, according to the Times, who doesn’t fit the mass shooter profile, but we do know he was a fucking lunatic with ridiculously easy access to a shit-ton of firearms.

The video footage of the shooting is sickening, with the unmistakable sound of machine gun fire ripping through the air while the singer on stage stops to figure out what’s going on and then turns to run. It makes me ashamed to be an American.

The stories emerging from the shooting are horrible, with people dying as they used their own bodies to shield their loved ones from the merciless assault.

Paddock wasn’t a Muslim, though ISIS is claiming he was, and factions of the right wing media are working overtime to make some kind of Islamic connection to distract us from the blistering reality that this son-of-a-bitch was a Caucasian American male that neither a border wall nor a travel ban would’ve stopped.

So now we have the vigils, and the speeches, the thoughts and fucking prayers that didn’t do jack shit to prevent last year’s slaughter at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando or any of the other mass shootings before or since.

Death from Above

A group of volunteers is planting 58 trees to honor the victims, while another man is planting 58 crosses. I think these are touching, commendable tributes, but I can’t stop thinking about the 58 corpses.

The gun lobby and its paid hand puppets immediately launched into loathsome, bogus wails of “too soon” at the very mention of control, as if they actually gave a shit about the victims or their loved ones.

It’s strange how it’s never too soon to discuss changing the law after a deadly fire, plane crash or other such tragedy. Only when guns are involved do politicians hit the brakes on change and get all protective and worried about people who are beyond saving.

Ladies and gentlemen, please go fuck yourselves. You have no intention of changing the law, even with talk of banning the bump stock, which helped Paddock rack up such a sizeable body count.

The Second Amendment chimps are hooting that there are other ways of killing people, like fertilizer bombs, runaway trucks, and hijacked jetliners.

No doubt, but by introducing some kind of sanity to our gun laws, we could at least shut down one potential avenue of mayhem.

We could, but, of course, we won’t.

I don’t know why I even bother writing about these shootings anymore. People are more upset about football players kneeling during the National Anthem than they are about mass murders.

So, by all means, send your thoughts and prayers to Las Vegas, but save a few prayers for yourself and ask God to spare you from the next massacre that’s surely heading our way.


Jay said...

These mass shootings - and America's total lack of sane response to them - scare the heck out of me, and are one of the main reasons OH and I will not be coming to America again any time soon to spend our tourist dollars.

It certainly seems like pure self-interest on behalf of the gun lobby to us 'out here'. I quote you the example of Germany, which has around 5.5 million guns, but an incredibly low percentage of gun deaths (something like 0.7 per 100,000 people). Why? Because when there was mass shooting, they reacted with new controls - immediately. There were a couple of subsequent shootings, and again, a swift reaction involving legislation, and now they're in a good place. It's the only possible response from a sane government - and one which doesn't have its hands tied.

Bijoux said...

Agree with everything you said. My husband has a coworker who was at the concert. He's ok physically, but the PTSD is going to probably follow him his entire life.

How that lunatic was able to get all those weapons up to his room boggles my mind. Between the distance from a parking garage to the maze of wheeling your luggage through a casino to find the right elevators and all the security cameras, how was this guy not red flagged?

Rob K said...

Bijoux, i'm so sorry to hear about your husband's coworker. I can't begin to imagine what he must be going through.

I don't know this guy fell through the cracks, but hotels are very busy places and it's to inspect everyone coming and going.

Stay safe

Rob K said...


You're so right, Jay. And I'm sure a lot of people in other countries feel the same way as you and OH. They're not going to come to the US and risk getting shot.

There was a mass shooting in Australia decades ago and the lawmakers down there got together THE NEXT DAY--and passed strict gun control measures.

The gun lobby has got this country in its claws and nothing is going to change any time soon. Between the guns and the idiot in the White House I have to wonder if maybe I should think about living in another country.

Take care.

Ron said...

Rob, what blows me away about this is HOW the hell was he able to purchase SO MANY guns?!?! And HOW the hell was he able to transport them into the hotel without anyone noticing something strange?!?!?!?! His hotel room looked like an armory!

Something needs to be done (and FAST) about gun control in this country.

I spent two nights last week bawling my eyes out watching video after video of what happened on that night. It's freaking unbelievable that this happened and I can't even imagine the trama that these people have gone through, and will continue to go through as they try to put their lives back together after this horrendous act.

Bijoux said...

Considering that security immediately approaches you if your teenager veers off the carpeted path through a casino, trust me that Big Brother is watching your every move in Vegas. I can't imagine how one man could traipse across Mandalay Bay with 15 pieces of luggage and not attract notice. They make you go through the casinos to get to your room. Cameras are everywhere. Something doesn't add up.

Jay said...

I just can't get my head around the fact that the US government can have the examples of Germany and Australia, and all of the facts and figures on gun numbers/gun deaths, all this is available to them and yet they don't - or won't see! It is totally incomprehensible.

Rob K said...

@Ron, I was sickened by that footage. What a disgusting image of our country--and it goes around the world.

Stay safe, buddy!

Rob K said...


There are a lot of unanswered questions here. But the problem ultimately gets back to the guns. People have ready access to horrendous weapons and nothing will change until the laws change.

Rob K said...


Join the club. I have no idea why people in this goddamn country equate freedom with owning massive firepower. How free are those people in Vegas? Or Orlando? Or Sandy Hook?

Rightwing politicians blather about "Second Amendment rights" but I wish they'd focus more on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Take care.

A Cuban In London said...

I feel, understand and agree with your anger. I'd be angry myself. Stephen was a terrorist. In the same way the guy who drove a lorry to mow down people in France last summer was a terrorist. They all spread terror. I'm always trying to be the eternal optimist when it comes to situations like this one but with the NRA having such a foothold on the government I cannot see anything changing anytime soon.

My heart goes out to your land, brother.

Greetings from London.

Rob K said...

Thank you, Mario. We're in desperate need of a miracle over here.

It astonishes me how Americans are so wedded to their guns that they'll tolerate massacre after massacre all in the name of a delusion they call freedom.

How free are those people in Las Vegas? How free are any of us from the next mass shooting?

Take care, my friend.