Mel’s Thoughts: Vegas

Melanie Fitch, Staff Reporter

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There is Tel Aviv and Cairo, New York, Kampala and London, Paris is there and Las Vegas now has the unenviable honor of joining this August list. These are just some of a growing list of wonderful places to visit where you just can’t feel safe anymore. Ever since a man opened fire on a random crowd of people, I’ve been avoiding the news as much as I can. I guess it’s because this is the first time that I really don’t have an idea of what face to put on the boogeyman and that’s scary.  

In the past, there was usually an identifiable reason for why a terrorist committed such a terrible act, and for the record (let’s just get this out of the way) he was a terrorist. They might have felt anger about some act of violence or destruction that was or continues to be, committed against their people, sometimes they have an undiagnosed mental illness because their parents didn’t want their precious child to be “labeled” (Jimmy is labeled now though, isn’t he?). There have been times when the terrorist couldn’t get laid so he decided all women needed to die, and sometimes a guy just hates his job, hates his boss, hates his coworkers and decides “You know? They need to die today..”. Even if they felt Congress has become a menace to society, (and while I don’t agree with his methods, he did have a point) we still knew what the “hair in his hiney” was.  

Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas terrorist, is something of an anomaly because nothing about his life (That we know so far) leads to a person becoming a mass murderer. He was a loner and a gambler He didn’t spend a lot of time with his family, but he did have a girlfriend. He didn’t have a regular job, but he was financially well off. That describes a lot of people and frankly, he was doing better than most (including me).  

There was one thing about him however, that most reporters just glossed over, but I can’t help but wonder if it had any meaning. One NBC reporter, Corky Siemaszko, quoted Paddock as saying, “I don’t do sun”.  The question begs to be asked if that may have been the source of at least one of his issues. SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder that comes from lack of vitamin D or sunlight. This often occurs during the winter months when there isn’t as much sun. If he “didn’t do sun” over an extended period, did this cause some emotional illness to develop? Because he was a financially well-off white male with no previous criminal record it is unlikely that he would find himself in a situation to be diagnosed involuntarily. 

Wait, that sounds familiar! Rich older white man, eccentric, dangerous behavior, can’t be controlled by or within society because, unlike most of us, he is rich enough to avoid it. Most people must engage with or depend on society. If not family, then bosses, coworkers, clients, neighbors, someone. But if you or your family is rich enough, (you can inherit the money you don’t have the financial acumen or luck to earn it) you don’t have to engage anyone that you don’t choose to, and anyone that implies that you may want to “see someone” can just be told “Your fired!”. Because he was a “High roller” Paddock had free access to the hotels service elevators so he transported his weapons and equipment to his room without interruption.  

 

When it comes down to it, you can build the walls, you can check the bags. Make as many No-Fly lists as you like. The police can continue to use as much deadly force as they can get away with against anyone that’s a little too dark for their sensibilities. You cannot make cakes for people you are afraid will want to date your kids, and you can slam shut the gates of the communities where you suffer from Affluenza in privacy and privilege. None of that, however, will save you from this terrorist because this one has the keys to the gate, and he’s coming home. 

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Mel’s Thoughts: Vegas