Las Vegas shooting was committed on Oct. 1, 2017 by a lone killer, Stephen Paddock, a resident of Mesquite, Nevada, who was a retired accountant, property investor and a wealthy lavish gambler, received VIP treatment for his gambling hobby. He was offered complementary suite on the 32nd floor at Mandalay Bay Casino Hotel, where he stayed for three days, plotted and committed the mass murder killing 58 and wounding 500 people who were attending the outdoor concert of western country music 400 yards across from the Mandalay Bay Casino hotel. The shooting was premeditated involving the use of 23 weapons and converted semi-automatic guns. So far, the officials ruled out this mass murder from any connection with terrorist groups but could not offer any clue why Paddock committed such a crime other than disclosing that his deceased father, Benjamin Paddock, was a bank robber and his younger brother Eric living in Orlando, Florida and Australian Pilipino girlfriend, Marilou Danley, both had no idea why Paddock committed this horrific crime.
Naturally, the Las Vegas shooting has raised serious concerns among American citizens regarding what are the reasons causing (or responsible for) this tragedy and how the U.S. may prevent such incidence to occur again. Since Paddock committed suicide at the crime scene, the officials seem to be following crime solving logic to focus on the criminal's motive and whether there was any accomplice involved in the crime. Whereas the media besides following the official reports, seemed to have launched their speculative investigation on whether Paddock was mentally disturbed (insanity) or influenced by inheritance (DNA from his criminal father) and was eagerly flaming the debate on gun control and second amendment in the constitution which always surface up whenever a crime was committed involving guns. Such a debate would be useful if it could produce any legislation that could prevent crimes and not diminish the spirit of citizens' right to bear arms as granted by the second amendment.
To make a causality Analysis of the Las Vegas Shooting crime may be straight forward based on direct evidence known about Paddock as a lone person committed the crime with no connection to any organization or terrorist group and also with no political or religious reasons as crime motive. Paddock was sane with no criminal background. He obtained the weapons legally and his crime actions had no implication to his younger brother or girl friend. Toby Harden wrote a quite detailed account of the Las Vegas Shooting in the Sunday Times, UK (10-8-2017); he had suggested that the genes from Paddock's robber father may be responsible for his crime, quoting a Psychologist, John White. But this is totally far-fetched without any scientific proof since White said himself that there was no such thing as genes of mass murder.
Since there is not much significant direct causes linking to Paddock's criminal actions, we may extend the causality analysis to indirect causes or evidence. By indirect causes, I mean anything that might have contributed to the occurrence of the Las Vegas shooting incidence or in the absence of them, the incidence might be aborted. First, the inadequate security management at the Mandalay Bay Casino Hotel was a contributing factor to the mass shooting. It is unbelievable, the hotel would let any guest bring in 23 weapons, tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, tripods, scopes, tools and a dozen “bump stocks” (devices to modify semi-automatic rifles that essentially turned them into machineguns), into the hotel rooms without arousing any hotel management's attention. If the hotel security was able to detect these weapons or alert enough to increase security measures, the shooting might be averted. From public safety point of view, the Mandalay Bay Casino Hotel (management, bell boys, room service staff, garage attendants, hotel surveillance crew, etc.) was at least negligent if not reckless or careless in allowing such a mass murder to take place in the hotel. Proper public safety and security law should be implemented to demand diligence in security and safety management on private and public business entities.
The occurrence of Las Vegas Shooting and many other shootings happened before must have causality roots in the society which we must try to understand beyond simply blaming on the availability of weapons. One of the indirect causes may be pointed out is the immoral media effect. The criminal incidences were always reported by media as sensational stories; worst of all too often they were made into ‘hit’ movies to leave people dramatic impressions about the violence and the crime rather than any moral lessons or judgments. Ask yourself, how many crime movies or TV series that have left you a clear moral imprint or instead a sensational violent crime. Especially for kids and young people, they were impressed time after time how sophisticated crimes could be committed and how dramatic effects the crimes could create. No wonder the shooting crimes in the recent decades were getting worse and worse involving more death and more elaborated setting (drama) as again exhibited by the Las Vegas Shooting.
A society must balance individual rights against public rights. Gun control is such an issue. Yes, individuals granted by the U.S. constitution have the right to bear or own arms but the debate on gun control after a shooting incidence has always been focused too much on the 'right' to own guns or certain guns, a stalemate debate. The real desired solution is not to take away the right to own guns but monitor how the weapons are kept and used. If legislations can exist to impose vehicle inspections every year for the purpose of insuring that the use of vehicles are safe for the individual, the public and the environment, why there isn't any requirement on inspections on weapons to insure their use to be safe for the owner, the public and the environment? Just like vehicles, heavy trucks get more stringent inspection (even road inspection), why aren't weapons get semi-annually or quarterly inspections on their conditions, whereabouts, ammunition usage and storage records and any modification or added new parts such as “bump stocks” which alters semi-automatic riffles into machine guns. Legitimate weapon owners should not have any objection to inspections just like vehicle owners shouldn’t. These inspections would not take away the right of owning weapons but would give law enforcement a good picture of weapon owners' intentions and behaviors with their weapons. Penalty for illegal possession of weapons must be severe and if any weapon used in crime is traced to an illegal sale, the seller should be charged as accomplice or accessory to crime.
Las Vegas Shooting is a tragedy but it should not be treated as another movie script. Rather we should use it as a valuable lesson and make efforts to construct and implement proper public safety and security laws to make our society safe and secure.