Vegas Weekend Roundup: Insanity

by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:

Ok, time for a round-up on the latest insanity in the Vegas shooting.

Let's deal with the "security guard" first.  He's "disappeared" -- well, not really.  He suddenly canceled several interviews, his house is now under "guard" by a firm that was decertified (expired license) in Nevada, and a family member allegedly told a member of the press that he's under a "gag order."  The "security guard" doesn't appear to have ever been registered as a private security officer in the State of Nevada, which, if his job description met what one thinks of as a "security guard", is a legal requirement to work as same in the state.  Further, he apparently has union representation (that is, he's a member of a trade union.)

Ok, let's go through this because the conspiracy nuts are going insane at the moment.

First off, a "gag order" can only be issued by a judge.  They're not secret.  Second, both the FBI and LVMPD have repeatedly claimed that there are no other shooters (and never were), and no other suspects.  The only suspect is dead, so there's nothing to "gag" because there's nobody to put on trial.

So if there's a "gag order" (a real one), let's see it.  Best guess is that it doesn't exist.

What about the other inconsistencies -- especially the apparently lack of a private security officer license?

Occam's Razor folks: I'll bet he's an illegal immigrant.

His name is a common Hispanic first name but an extremely rare US one.

If he's an illegal immigrant he can't register for a security guard license.

This of course means that both his union and Mandalay Bay (MGM) knew, or recklessly and intentionally averted their attention from his lack of citizenship, and that would explain the "gag"; one or both have warned him that if he opens his mouth they will throw him to the wolves.  Up until this point it was great for both Mandalay Bay and the union; the union got dues, Mandalay Bay got a suppressed-wage and compliant worker.

The reason to shut him up is obvious; he has a nice car over there, and an apparent nice life.  If he's illegally in the United States, however, all that goes "poof" like a fart in a church if he gets caught and ICE comes after him, and what's worse is that just perhaps that there's a security guard who allegedly is supposed to be licensed and isn't could bring ICE into all the casinos and hotels in Las Vegas, where they would likely find thousands of illegal invaders working in said hotels in various capacities, including, if this guy really is an unlicensed "guard", those where licenses are supposed to be required.

Of course all of this is illegal as hell up and down the line but in our country if you're a corporate executive nobody gives a **** and nobody goes to jail either, so why not do it since it's profitable?

Right?

Second, the conspiracy garbage about "gun-running."

Folks, have you ever bought or sold a gun?  No, you haven't if you're running that crap.  What's the one thing that is never in the immediate proximity of a gun when it's being sold or bought?  Ammunition for said gun.

Why?  Duh.

If the "deal" goes bad (whether legal originally or not) the last thing you want is for the party that gets pissed off (no matter which party that might be) to have the ability to use the gun(s) right there to kill the other party.  Therefore there is never ammunition with or in the firearm(s) and there most-certainly is never a crap-ton of loaded magazines for said weapons within "grab-and-go" range.  What do you think these sort of deals are -- a ****ing movie?  No!  You get shot and you really die unlike on the TV and thugs (along with gangsters) understand that quite well.

So the "gun running" garbage that is being run is utter and complete crap folks; get your head out of the damned TV and movie screen and use your brain for 10 seconds, or you could just walk into a gun store or gun show and see for yourself.  Note that all the firearms in both cases either have an empty magazine in them or no magazine at all, with the exception of the sidearm that the store employee might be carrying.  It's pretty hard to get shot with a gun that has no bullets.

There are people claiming that there were a "lack of muzzle flashes" from the 32nd floor.  No there weren't.  I saw several in the hand-videos of people who were crazy enough to point their cellphones at the source of the shooting instead of making their first, best and only act to get the hell out of there and/or behind hard cover.  Yes, the flashes were (in relative terms) muted.  So what?  It's never actually dark in Vegas, especially on the side of any of the casino hotels.  Have those people running this crap ever been there?  The buildings are lit up like daylight 24x7.  The fact is there were muzzle flashes, they looked a bit brighter than they'd look in the daytime, and that's about right given the general level of illumination on the side of every casino hotel in the city.  If you're running this sort of conspiracy crap shut up and sit down.

On the claim of a so-called "second shooter": Oh really?  Where is/was he or she?  There's at least one nutjob running around on the web claiming to have done "forensic acoustic analysis."  Nonsense.  Las Vegas is literally full of echoing surfaces for sharp sounds -- like gunshots.  There's nothing in terms of ballistic evidence to support that claim -- nothing.

Next up are the general facts related to this clown and his selection of weapons and tactics.  Let me put something forward that nobody other than myself is making clear to anyone, and I'd like to know why: This idiot knew nothing about firearms beyond what the average person sees on TeeVee and in the movies.  In this regard the fact pattern on this violence is utterly common when it comes to "Rage Monster" attacks but fits neither terrorism (those folks usually have at least some familiarity with guns) or any other sort of organized group.  This guy demonstrated through his choices and actions a complete lack of skill at-arms to such a degree that it is obvious he had never hunted, never served in any sort of armed unit (e.g. military) and he almost-certainly never even shot at paper at a gun range with any sort of frequency.  In other words he was almost completely unskilled in the selection and use of firearms; his level of understanding was approximately equal to someone who has never fired a weapon.

Let's count up the points of ignorance on guns alone, shall we?

1. He allegedly shot intentionally at the fuel tanks beyond the fence at the airport, if the cops are to be believed.  The closest tank (use Google maps) is roughly 2100' away at ground level, or ~700 yards.  Incidentally the stage is about 1,000' from the hotel, again at ground level (or more than 300 yards.)  Both of those must have their distances adjusted (increased) to account for elevation; the "shooting distance" is the hypotenuse of said triangle, of course.  Nobody with any degree of experience with weapons would choose an AR-15 to shoot at a high-strength fuel tank 700yds away as the odds of penetrating it at that range are somewhere between low and zero.  Further, he had tracer rounds (that use a phosphorus mixture to leave a burning trail, and could have lit the fuel inside if he did penetrate the tank wall) but didn't use them on said tank.

2. He was at the far end of the effective range of an AR-15 (~300ish yards) to the festival for a moderately skilled shooter (of which he obviously was not) but was using an Eotech reflex sight on at least one of them instead of a scope.  An Eotech is a decent close-quarter (under 100yds) battle sight (in other words, it's a decent sight choice for a defensive weapon you envision potentially using on your property) but it offers nothing in terms of useful accuracy at 300+ yards.  The usual compromise for someone that doesn't have 20 year old eyes (this guy was old enough that I suspect his vision is nowhere near as acute as the average 20-year old military inductee) and wants to shoot in the 100-300yd range with that sort of sight is a flip-to-side magnifier behind said Eotech for longer range shooting which can be immediately flipped out of the way should you need to shoot at close-quarters.  Those flip-to-side mounts and magnifiers are expensive (nearly as much as the sight itself!) and he didn't have one behind his Eotech.  In addition you wouldn't have different sights on a collection of weapons you intended to rapidly switch between for such an attack, simply because your sight picture will change and you would want a consistent sight picture during the event.  Finally, even a moderately decent scope is a lot cheaper than an Eotech+flip-to-side (like by half or more) and for varmint hunting (a decent use for an AR15) they're a better choice since they're both cheaper and at least as accurate at the range you likely will use the weapon.  In short the value in an "Eotech" sort of sight is that you can shoot "both eyes open"; this has value in a close-quarters situation as it can keep you from being blindsided by an attacker.  "Both eyes open" shooting is of zero value when engaging in long-range shooting and is a ridiculously stupid choice for a weapon intended for such a use.

3. He had bump stocks on said rifles (to increase the rate of fire) and, on at least one of them, a bipod.  Those two don't go together at all.  A bipod will quite-effectively make a bump stock worthless (that is, not work.)  A bipod enhances accuracy by stabilizing the muzzle end of the gun while a bump stock destroys accuracy and essentially requires that you hand-hold said weapon.  These two items make no sense whatsoever on the same weapon, yet they were apparently present.  Further, there are reports the shooter was left-handed. The bump stocks I saw on his guns were for right-handed shooters which means to use them (and he clearly did) he would have taken even more degradation in accuracy by shooting from his "weak side", especially for an unskilled and unpracticed user.

4. Nearly the last weapon you would choose for shooting people at that range would be an AR15.  It's simply the wrong tool.  Far more effective would be anything chambered in 7.62x51 of which there are a lot of choices including the AR10 and M1A.  There are also plenty of sporting rifles in that caliber, some semi-automatic, that are extraordinarily (murderously so) accurate; it's a very popular caliber for both hunting and intermediate-range competitive target shooting.  For the latter purpose there are cartridges manufactured that provide extremely high accuracy when used in a quality weapon; coupled with a scope and bipod, plus of course a level of skill in the user, they would have been monstrously-effective.  Indeed, you could take a standard AR15 lower, put a different upper on it that uses a different cartridge with far better long-distance accuracy and carried energy and use that.  Instead the shooter elected to buy and employ a bunch of standard AR15s, and the raw number of guns he had showed that he certainly wasn't cash-limited in his choice of weapons.  In other words despite his high body count he was pretty damned ineffective and a material part of that outcome was due to his selection of weapons for the assault.

5. You have to be crazy to use a bump stock on a weapon if you intend to shoot at something 300+yds from your position.  They simply trash accuracy, and it's quite hard to hit what you aim at 300yds away to begin with.  It requires both a reasonable selection of a weapon and cartridge to start with and then a decent degree of concentration and steadiness on the part of the person doing the shooting.  Bump stocks, by their design, cause you to abuse your muscles and the dynamics of holding the weapon in a fashion that trashes the accuracy of your fire.  Inside of 100yds it matters much less, but there was nothing for him to shoot at inside of 100yds (that didn't even get him to ground level from the 32nd floor!)

6. What evidence is there that he even bothered to zero all 20ish rifles?  That's a fair bit of work and someone had to have seen him, somewhere, doing it -- if he did.  Of course from all the other indications of insanity I suspect the answer is "he didn't", which just further contributed to his inaccuracy.

7. He had his head up his ass in terms of tactics, assuming of course that the point of his scheme was to commit mass-murder.  The cops say he "intended to get away."  Oh really?  Was it the 50lbs of Tannerite in his car that gave them that idea?  Gee, how do you "get away" after you drive screws through the door so it can't be easily kicked in?  You do realize doors open for both entry and egress, right, and cutting one off also cuts off the other.  Speaking of that Tannerite putting it in a plane (he knew how to fly), flying it into the festival intentionally and shooting the Tannerite as he did so would have likely killed half the people there between the explosion, the pieces of aircraft that turned into shrapnel and the fuel that would have been sprayed all over everything and ignited. It's not like there isn't an airport runway within 30 seconds of the festival site, right?  Oh wait..... (PS: Stealing an aircraft is ridiculously easy and anyone who's ever flown one knows that.)

As for the LVMPD quit covering **** up, especially whatever you know about that "guard's" legal status vis-a-vis being in the United States and why he doesn't show up on the Nevada License site as holding the license he would almost-certainly need to be a security guard.

Oh, and quit playing with the timeline too.

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