Las Vegas: The Worst Mass Shooting In US History

As recently as last week, the worst mass shooting in US history was the terrorist-related incident that took place in the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida. Forty-nine people were killed in that incident, a number dwarfed by the 58 people killed and more than 500 injured in at the Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas on October 1st.

This was clearly a well thought out attack, carried out by Stephen Craig Paddock, a 64-year-old white man.

As of this time, little is known of the killer himself, who ended his own life before police could arrive to apprehend him.

However, the killer was not completely unknown in Las Vegas, where he has had several gambling transactions in the tens of thousands of dollars over the last few months. Whether those transactions were wins or losses, it appears that he might have been spending whatever money he had, before writing the final act of his life.

Just arranging the logistics of this attack destroys the idea of it being spontaneous or emotional. This was clearly a cold-blooded killer at his worst. It took time to accumulate the arms and ammo, then to move them into his shooting perch in order to be ready.

A few days before the attack, the killer rented a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, which overlooked the venue for the music festival. This gave him time to move his arsenal, which consisted of over 10 rifles, into the room and prepare for the attack.

Police have not yet revealed what those rifles were, but it is possible that he had fully-automatic weapons at his disposal. How he prevented hotel employees from having an idea of what he was up to is one of the many mysteries that the police have yet to resolve.

As the festival was underway, the killer broke open his hotel windows and opened fire on the crowd of 22,000 people below. At that distance, he probably wasn’t aiming for specific targets, but rather just shooting into the crowd to see how many people he could hit. Reports from several of the people who survived the event say that the gunfire started slow, but then accelerated to the point where it sounded like a machine gun.

The distance gave him another advantage as well, as anyone who was carrying concealed would be unable to fire back at him effectively. Being on the 32nd floor means that he was 320 feet above the people he was shooting at, as well as about 400 feet away from the concert venue.

It would take a trained sniper, with a pretty good rifle and scope, to hit him from that distance.

The gunman must have expended over 700 rounds in the several minutes he was firing, as that’s how many victims there were. While some of those people may not have been hit by his shots, but rather injured in the crowd’s attempts to flee the scene, there were probably also shots that didn’t hit anyone.

Additional guns and ammo were found in his home in nearby Mesquite, Nevada.

What’s the Motivation?

It is too soon to know what motivated the killer to open fire on that crowd. Police will be investigating this incident for months, trying to track down every lead and determine what was behind the attack. One of their most important tasks in that investigation will be to determine the motive of the killer.

Nevertheless, this event has several traits in common with other mass shooting events. Specifically, we have a lone gunman who has planned out the event carefully. It is yet to be revealed whether the police found any evidence of this planning in his home, but they did find additional guns and ammo, which could be an indicator.

He also seems to be somewhat of a loner, unmarried, even though he did have a live-in girlfriend. Finally, he killed himself before the police could take him into custody, something that is extremely common in mass shootings of this type.

So, even though we don’t know yet whether he had any signs of mental illness, the possibility that this was no more than another tragic mass shooting seems rather likely. Much still needs to be done to establish that, or any other motive.

But that hasn’t stopped ISIS from taking credit for it. As they have done before, they are once again saying that this was motivated by their call for lone-wolf attacks here in the USA. This alone doesn’t prove anything, as ISIS hasn’t provided any information to back up their claim.

It could be nothing more than them trying to take credit for something that they had nothing to do with, simply to make themselves seem more formidable. If so, this wouldn’t be the first time the terrorist organization made such an unfounded claim.

There has been one witness who came forth claiming that Paddock converted to Islam a few months ago. If that is true, then it would collaborate the claim by ISIS, assuming they had something to do with his conversion. They are actively trying to recruit new converts, who they immediately try to turn into murderers.

Should this be the case, it would definitely be the most effective attack that this terrorist organization has ever made on our soil. It would also be a very difficult sort of attack to counter, as our First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech. Eliminating their ability to recruit over the internet would also hinder people’s First Amendment rights.

Democrats Jumping into Action

As always, the reactions of various groups are predictable. Democrat lawmakers are following their normal philosophy of not letting any crisis go to waste. There have already been calls for passing new legislation curtailing our Second Amendment rights.

As per usual, the proposed actions by Democrats would have done nothing to eliminate this attack, had they been in place and been perfectly enforced. But then, any “common sense” legislation they propose to deal with gun violence is the same. That’s probably because they really aren’t interested in stopping crime, but rather in disarming the population. With that as the goal, their solutions to the problem are always illogical and unfounded.

But then, everything the progressive left does is based upon emotion and not logic. They want something they can sell to their support base as a “feel good” measure. Whether or not it actually works is immaterial. If it doesn’t, they can always say that more restrictions are needed.

Hillary Clinton, who claims to have retired from politics, has given her two-cents worth as well, using this attack to condemn the Hearing Protection Act, a Republican initiative to eliminate the tight controls that currently exist on the sale of firearm suppressors. According to her “expert opinion,” more people would have been killed, if that bill had been passed.

Once again, we have a progressive liberal proving how little they know about guns. A rifle that would allow a shooter to kill at over 500 feet, as this one did, would have to fire a supersonic bullet. Suppressors, which many refer to as silencers, are not effective for supersonic rounds. Besides, once people started falling victim to the firing, it wouldn’t matter if they could hear the shots or not, people would still run from the danger, just as they did.

So, What Can be Done?

This attack presents an extremely difficult problem; both from a defensive point of view and from a legal one.

On the legal side, I wouldn’t be surprised if the shooter bought all of his firearms and ammo perfectly legally. Until we can develop a means of looking into people’s hearts and determining their future actions, there is no legal action we can take, which will eliminate their ability to do such heinous acts. Even then, the legality of such actions would be very questionable.

If the shooter did not buy his firearms legally, then the problem won’t be solved by passing more laws, at least not the ones that Democrats love to propose. Better enforcement of existing laws might help, but even then, a determined criminal will always be able to get guns. Just look at what happens in countries where guns are illegal; criminals still get their hands on guns.

What liberals really want is to repeal the laws of nature, rather than man’s laws. That’s what it would take to eliminate guns altogether; making it so that they could not work. But last I checked, no legislative body on the face of this earth has the authority to change natural laws.

On an individual basis, there is little that any of us could do to prevent being the victim of such an attack, other than to not be in such a place. Terrorists of all kinds, whether homegrown or international, prefer a “target rich environment,” where they can find the most potential victims. The only defense against that is to avoid places that would make attractive targets.

Even running is a poor defense from this sort of attack, as the killer was situated in a perch which allowed him an incredible view of his target area.

With everyone else running around to escape the venue, running would merely put you in the crowd which was being shot at. You might actually be better off staying put, allowing everyone else to run away from you and making yourself an unattractive target to go after.

I have carried concealed for years, and in this case, it would not have done me any good. There is no pistol on the market, which can shoot accurately at over 500 feet. If I were to be there and did shoot back, chances are I would end up putting a bullet through the window of someone else’s hotel room, possibly even killing them. There would be essentially no chance that I could hit the killer. For that, I would need a high-powered hunting rifle, with a good scope mounted on it.

This was a tragic event, but I doubt that it was a preventable one. As murders go, this one was just about perfect.

The only thing the killer did “wrong” was that it would be too easy to identify him. But then, he wasn’t concerned about that, as he had obviously planned on taking his own life, as the final act in this tragedy.

What you can do? Stay alert, and stay prepared!

Written by

Bill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. While those days have passed, the knowledge Bill gained during that time hasn’t. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them. You can send Bill a message at editor [at]

Latest comments
  • Las Vegas is starting to look like another false flag just like building 7 on 9/11.

  • To my thinking (and hope this doesn’t all come put in caps) – the problem in this case is STILL gun control; because people that were staying in the hotel probably weren’t allowed to keep guns in their rooms. Anyone that heard the racket from those guns could have shot him from inside the hotel. Anyone on that floor could have disrupted him before stopping him fully.

    • I’m certain there is a law that states guns are not allowed in some areas. But people who want to kill don’t obey laws. This is the part I never understand. How will more laws matter when someone who wants to kill doesn’t regard laws–any laws, God’s laws or man’s laws. These people are “outlaws” because they act outside of the law. No law is going to stop them.

      • Dori, you are one of the few perspicacious enlightened ones when it comes to the bizarre comprehension of Gun Control Restrictions.
        By now, anybody with half a frontal lobe still functioning knows that virtually NOTHING works to stop somebody from doing something bad if they seriously put their intent to it. Gun Control of any kind has never stopped anybody hell bent on getting one to use with bad intent, and it never will. ‘Extreme crime prevention’ attempts also never work compared to the deleterious and critically unconstitutional damage they do to free Americans.

        So the big question is then, Duh, is why in the world would we even have any gun Laws then if they don’t work and cause more problems then they attempt to solves, not to mention the? waste of money spent on bullshit laws? There were no gun laws during our original liberty revolution and no background checks for militia when they risked their lives to give us liberty?

        So again, what is the unholy purpose of all these continuing gun laws? Why do we even have them anymore? Why are not ALL Gun Control laws repealed to keep from continuing this subculture of ‘convicted felons’ who are never allowed ;, and rehabilitation and have an eternal social stigma that punishes them continuously when they are attempting to become law abiding value producing citizens again?

        What would Jesus say, who was .’known’ to hang around with criminals?

        The culprits behind the 1968 Gun Control Act knew full well what the social consequences of denying gun rights to ex-concvicts for the rest of their lives. That’s why they also . denied voting rights as right along with guns.. They knew that once large groups of ex-criminals now turned law abiding citizens would eventually form a PAC movement to reverse the 68 GCA so ‘They’ fixed that little issue in 1968 by banning people who made mistakes in life from voting forever! ‘And it wasn’t for the specious notion of ‘Public Safety’. It was to protect the leftist agenda The totalitarians will stop at nothing with their gun laws plans..

        The sad part for out freedoms is that most of us can’t figure out how all these gun laws really fit in-to their agenda. There are still too many holier-than-thou morally narcissistic imbeciles that say Maxignoramus things like ‘that person or those people should Not have guns’.

        Wait until morons like that have the government say the same thing…to them!

    • Nope. The shooter/terrorist had thought of that already. He placed cameras outside his room to see anyone coming, and he barricaded the door as well. The police had to blow the door open, something that takes great effort that a John Wayne type couldn’t have done just by owning a gun.

      By the way, most people staying at Vegas hotels have FLOWN there, and they wouldn’t have bothered bringing a gun because airport Nad-Squeezing Academy would go into full meltdown mode. If it were a local, maybe. But in Vegas people don’t stay in their rooms; they go OUT, drink, gamble, etc. And everyone who heard the gun said they all assumed it was firecrackers, and so would any guest on the 32nd floor.

      And I see what you mean about the ALL CAPS thing, yikes!

  • Thank you for the well reasoned and insightful article. As you state, emotional reaction will not help dealing with our safety. Keep up the good work.

  • Thank you for this well-written piece, forwarded to me by my uncle.

    Are you familiar with Australia’s experience with Mass Shootings?

    Do you think it might be a lesson for us as Americans?

    Australia’s Lessons on Gun Control

    The 1996 Port Arthur massacre resulted in legislation that saw a dramatic decline in gun crimes.

    There had been previous mass shootings in Australia, but none in recent times of this magnitude. The killings, which came just weeks after the mass shooting in Dunblane, Scotland, resonated across Australia, a nation that traditionally had a high rate of gun ownership and that espoused the ideals of rugged individualism, much like the U.S. does. But after the massacre, the ruling center-right Liberal Party joined with groups from across the political spectrum to work on legislation to sharply restrict the availability of guns.

    Australia’s success in tightly restricting gun ownership after its worst mass shooting, and the concomitant reduction in gun crimes and mass shootings, is likely to be held up by proponents of gun control as an example for what the U.S. should do after its latest mass shooting on Sunday. The countries are different, of course. America has more people, more guns per capita, and, perhaps most importantly, a constitutional right to bear arms. But the debate in Australia and developments in subsequent years show how a country can successfully deal with gun violence.



    • I have been under the impression that other types of crime increased in Australia after their big gun roundup. has anyone else heard this also? there are also numerous stories available about crimes in the united states being prevented by armed citizens. criminals will always find another way to assault or kill innocent citizens. a disarmed populace is at the mercy of criminals, and we have criminals at all levels of our society who are watching for their chance to gain power over other people. remember hitler? who had all of the guns in his time period and locale? who has all of the guns right now in the areas being affected by isis?

      • Ken, you don’t think fake bullshit news or skewing the stats is only conducted here, do you When Australia, or anywhere else for that matter tries to mitigate their totalitatarian methodologies, they say things like ‘Gun deaths have decreased after the total ban’. Well, um duh, one would hope that GUN deaths would if there’s a ‘shortage’ of them after confiscations and turn ins,

        But they don’t mention that the TOTAL amount of death and violence is still right up there right where it always was. They just use knives, clubs, or as in the Case of the Aussies, glass Beer mugs are a fine ‘deadly Weapon in the right hands.

  • The initial reports have so many holes and inconsistencies in them so as to render them almost useless. Obvious questions: 1] audio indicates long bursts from a fully automatic belt, not magazine fed weapon.. A village idiot with that weapon and vantage point should have been able to kill / wound hundreds. 2] What about the 2nd shooter on the 4th floor where there is video proof? 3] how did one or more individuals get all this heavy gear and ammunition into well guarded casino hotel rooms? Again, where’s the video showing paddock hauling it in? 5] How convenient the patsy ended up dead. 6] Thousands of attendees and very little video has yet to surface. Where are the uploaded videos of any of the injured? 7] How convenient the network news just happened to be in the area. The list goes on. This is looking more and more like a setup!!!!!!!!!!

    • “the patsy ended up dead”.
      Just like oswald.

    • Posolutely Absotively

  • we need to make killing people-murder-illegal.

  • to carmela: I THINK the whole massacre took ten minutes, right? nobody would have been brave enough or certain enough of the need to barge into paddock’s hotel room in that time.

    • Ann,

      If I understand right, one unarmed guard, did, in fact try to breach the room.

      Hotel rooms are notorious for being thin; somehow I don’t think people on that floor would have mistaken gunfire for fire crackers.

      If visitiors were allowed to carry on planes and allowed to carry in their hotel rooms, they would have made an effort to stop him. The hidden problem here is everyone is intimidated by gun control laws except for criminals and those intent on using those laws to create uneven odds against innocent people. Anyone that believes that these pieces of paper can stop people who intend harm is incredibly naive at best.

      As for other countries doing so well with gun control… they have terrorists with suicide bombs and driving vehicles into crowds instead. Take away those “weapons” – and criminals will just look for something else to kill with. The more they look, the more creative they get, and the higher the chance they will find something worse.

      Might as well keep it at guns because there is no going back.

      • Hotel room’s WALLS are notorious for being thin … is what I meant to say.

  • What about the guy on the grassy knoll?

    All this speculation is just as silly. Wait until all the facts are in.

    • Check out you tube. James Files, serving a life term for 1st degree murder in Joliet, claims to be the Knoll/picket fence shooter even claims one of his cohorts was dressed as a policeman. Interesting interview.

  • Did he send $100000.00 to his girlfriend to keep her quiet of his plans? What is she saying about all of this.? Or did she have him killed her self by an accomplish? Seems strange to me that the rooms were in her name cause casinos take ids at time of check in. So was she there and then left before all this occurred? Or is the mafia the culprits???

  • shame ON THE DISGUSTING POLITICIANS WHO COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE VICTIMS AND ARE TRYING TO USE THIS TIME OF GRIEF TO ADVANCE THEIR ANTI GUN RHETORIC. bunch OF INGRATE ANIMALS. LIKE NOW, Years ago people owned guns all over the country TOO and this kind of violence was never an issue. We don’t need gun control, we sin control. Take GOD out of the public forum and chaos and moral decay WILL GLADLY STEP IN.