The October 1st massacre in Las Vegas gave us an object lesson in the intellectual poverty and psychological troubles of a large segment of the population. Not the sniper himself, who was an obvious mental defective, but rather the people who are bent on finding conspiracies whether any case exists for them or not.
Virtually before the last siren had sounded that night, conspiracy guru Alex Jones was on Twitter with the news that Antifa literature was found scattered around the shooter’s room, according to a “source” that Jones had in the hostage rescue team. Why have we never heard word number one about this from anybody else? Is the government trying to protect the good name of Antifa?
Then, with dazzling speed, Jones found another source who said the shooter had converted to Islam two months before and ISIS had claimed responsibility for the massacre. That would be an easy claim for ISIS to make, of course, since the shooter was dead. But if literature from secular, leftist Antifa was strewn around the room, why would theocratic ISIS be involved? Jones’ Twitter feed offered a video claiming that Antifa, ISIS, and some Kurdish group have joined into a triumvirate of evil. Anyway, there is zero evidence that any terrorist group inspired this attack.
Jones hinted heavily that the attacker must carry an anti-Trump grudge, because he attacked a country music festival, which you would assume would have a lot of Trump voters in attendance. In fact, another reason exists for why that concert was targeted, and it has nothing to do with the type of music being performed. It turns out this maniac had also reserved hotel rooms overlooking the recent Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, a show with crowds of 100,000 each day. For whatever reason he never showed up. He also cased Boston’s Fenway Park.
There was no political angle to this attack. He just wanted mass death. The reason he settled on Las Vegas was that he thought he could set off the giant jet fuel tanks that sat alongside McCarran Airport, just across from the concert grounds. He tried and failed to ignite those tanks with shots.
It will require another essay to compare and contrast evil and mental illness. For now, let’s stick to conspiracy theorists. Because, as it turns out – the plot thickens! “Countless” witnesses are reporting that multiple shooters were out that night, according to Alex Jones and his ironically named “Info Wars” web site.
One of the first things we learned about the Vegas attack was that people could not tell where the shooting was coming from. The terrain and the buildings created an echoing effect. It is easy to forgive someone at that scene from thinking, even to this day, that the shots were coming from more than one place. What is less understandable are the people who show up on conspiracy web sites to say that the entire Las Vegas Strip was swarming with shooters that night.
The newest claim is that an organized effort had shooters as far away as Planet Hollywood and even the Bellagio. Gunshots were supposedly sounding all around there. That would be blocks away from the concert grounds that were actually attacked. Too far away to hear the shots fired from Mandalay Bay. Besides, if gunmen were firing at these other locations, where are the victims? Where are the bullet holes? You would think Info Wars would be jammed up with video of bullet damage at these other hotels, if there were any. That would utterly contradict the official version of events. As it stands, we have only video of unnamed people swearing up and down that they heard gunshots at these distant locations. There is simply zero reason to think so. It was a chaotic night, but there was only the one shooter.If this shooting was a conspiracy, what was the motive? No political value of any kind was gained from this event. But remember, Alex Jones claimed that the Sandy Hook massacre was not only a federal government conspiracy, but entirely a staged hoax! Nobody died there! It was all staged, at stupendous expense, with “crisis actors.” The motive? To hopefully get Americans to accept more gun restrictions. Maybe it would make it easier to conquer the country when martial law is implemented in Texas during Jade Helm. (For the uninitiated, that was yet another Jones conspiracy claim that never materialized.)
It is weird how only some of our gun murder rampages are claimed to be conspiracies. We have so many! But apparently only certain ones are said to be conspiracies, usually for the purpose of trying to win new gun restrictions. Oddly, the Boston Marathon bombing was also trumpeted as a conspiracy. But no guns were involved in that one! It was bombs only. The evil government was conspiring to – well, what? Make Muslim immigrants look bad? Seems like an awful lot of trouble for such a meagre reward. Likewise, the other massacres have yielded little or nothing in the way of political gains.
Alex Jones counts among his friends and admirers one Donald Trump. (Imagine that.) I mentioned earlier this year that the election of Trump should have resulted in a windfall of unmasked conspiracies for Jones. Sure! Trump as president is now in a position to reveal all. The New World Order, in all its sordid depths, can now be exposed. The 9-11 conspiracy. Chemtrails. UFO cover-ups. Everything. We have an Alex Jones patriot in the White House now. Okay, but Trump is not revealing any of Jones’ myriad conspiracies! How come?
I was going to conclude things with that, but I found this video from “War Room,” a subsidiary of Info Wars, and I saw that its list of Vegas massacre anomalies vary widely from the stuff that we got from Alex Jones early on. No mention of Antifa. Nothing about targeting Trump supporters. Instead there is a lot of new stuff, numbered 1 to 20!
I thought I would address a few of them, but not to rebut them all would mean that I was trying to hide something, right? Okay, the host of the video is one Owen Shroyer, who looks about nineteen. Here is his list of Las Vegas Massacre Anomalies.
The first claim on the list is that the timeline has changed several times. I would not say “several” times, but the exact time of the wounding of security guard Jesus Campos was changed by six minutes. Las Vegas sheriff Joseph Lombardo said, “There are more than 20,000 moving parts associated with this investigation. And it takes time, and I ask people to give us patience.”
The timeline changes are not significant enough to alter the basic contention of what happened. Imagine if you were recounting the timeline from an event that was a lot less chaotic than this massacre, say a wedding or a high school reunion, your initial description of the minute-by-minute timeline might be subject to changes. Of course, this human factor is not allowable by conspiracy buffs.
Claim #2 is that the dreaded MSM (mainstream media) stopped covering the Las Vegas massacre after a week. Not even remotely true. There were several reports I saw on TV long afterwards that basically dealt with the fact that no motive had yet emerged.
No motive? This was part of Claim #3 on the list, how “anomalous” the shooter was. But what real motive could there be for any of our rampage murders? How about something called mental illness? One can be superficially functional and still be living a double life. Maybe voices in his head told him to do it. This killer would spend fourteen hours a day playing video poker! He was not Joe Normal. Maybe he simply saw that his youth was behind him and he decided to go out in a blaze of glory.
Much is made of the fact that he was on Valium. This goes to the conspiracy camp’s idea that psychiatric medications lead to murder rampages. Basic statistics explode this idea, of course. Millions upon millions of people around the world are on psych meds. What percentage of them ever hurts anybody? Of the few who do, how many of them would do so anyway, meds or no meds? Besides, what difference does it make to the conspiracy campers if this guy was on meds? They don’t seem to believe that he was the actual shooter anyway!
An odd remark appears in passing from “War Room” video host Shroyer, to the effect that since the killer shot himself in the head no autopsy could have been done on him. I’m tempted to type a row of question marks, but let’s just leave it at this – They could, and very likely did do an autopsy.
Next comes #4, the doubts that the shooter could have supported himself by gambling because “as we know, the house always wins.” That is not true. The house usually wins, and it almost always wins against amateur gamblers. But this was an accountant who was said to have made a science of his gambling. He was like a machine out there, not the typical tourist. Even so, part of his income was from comps the casinos offer to big dollar players. It wasn’t all just from winnings.
Yawning onward to #5: “How did an old, out of shape guy in slippers have the stamina to unload automatic weapons for ten minutes without disturbing his reportedly acute allergies?” Come on. He wasn’t that feeble. He was 65 years old and had allergies, of some degree of severity. Could he not possibly have squeezed triggers for ten minutes in a psychotic frenzy? Why not? Maybe he took a short break, and that would explain the gaps in the shooting that Alex Jones finds to be so suspicious.
#6: “Why were cameras set up inside the room if they were not recording?” Maybe he intended to use them for some purpose and just never did so. The guy was methodical but there is no reason to assume that he was infallible. After all, he also believed he could blow up those jet fuel tanks. He had a camera set up on a room service cart outside his room to monitor the hallway. Conspiracy buffs have demanded to know why such a cart was allowed to sit there for so long. But who said it was there for a long time? He could have wheeled it out just before the shooting.
#7: “Ballistics! How do we know what guns were used? What about the ballistics at the grounds of the concert area? We have no information on any of this!!!” Damn right you don’t. The cops do not dispatch couriers with PowerPoint slide shows to bring the Alex Jones cult up to speed on every aspect of their investigations. The fact that there are things “we don’t know” does not equate to censorship. This event took place fairly recently. There has not yet been a full report issued on it. Alex Jones began serving up baloney about this massacre before the sun rose over the scene, but a real report would take some time. Acting as if all the ballistics information would be made public by now is totally laughable.
The Info Wars guy then expresses his great alarm that the Vegas strip was put “on lock-down” in the hours after the shooting, and even when they later reopened it they kept the concert area off limits. This would be hilarious if the subject were not so tragic. Of course they sealed off that area!
#8: One of the shooter’s houses was later burglarized. Why weren’t the cops “guarding” it? In hindsight this seems like it would have been a good idea, but since the guy was dead and not coming back, maybe it was decided there was no need to deploy much-needed manpower to guarding his houses. Not every human mistake is evidence of dark, diabolical skullduggery. Unless you are paranoid as hell.
#9: “Jesus Campos is an anomaly. Employment history scrubbed from Mandalay Bay … (Says who?) … No credentials to be a security guard in Nevada.” Well, here’s hoping there are no other security guards working in Nevada without proper credentials. What a load of hooey.
#10: Hey, we’re halfway through this compelling, riveting, pulse-quickening list! The Info Wars host says with a straight face, “MGM employees and the Campos family were under a confirmed gag order.” Really? Ya think? Businesses routinely tell their employees not to talk to the media about all kinds of trivial matters, much less something this heavy! Of course, Owen Shroyer never says who he thinks ordered this supposed gag order. That remains a blood-curdling, spine-chilling enigma of the conspiracy.
#11 is something that he says he can neither confirm nor deny (which has never stopped him in the past!) but he thought he would include it since it was printed there on the list. I’m skipping #11.
#12: He says this one doesn’t make sense to him, so he’s skipping it. Me too.
#13: “A former Mandalay Bay security guard claims the hotel doors do not have alarms.” Ahh, but does this former security guard have proper credentials to work in Nevada? The Info Wars guy proceeds to water down this entry by saying it might have been service doors or even something else with an alarm.
#14: “What happened to the maintenance worker that was suddenly thrust into the timeline?” He immediately answers his own question. He showed up on the Ellen DeGeneres show along with Campos. Info Wars seems to find great suspicion in the fact that Campos cancelled some scheduled interviews in the days after the shooting and “dropped out of sight.” He then reappeared on the Ellen show. Okay, so he was holding out for more money maybe?
#16: “Leaked photos bear no evidence markers, suggesting they were taken before CSI arrived. Why???” He then leads right into #17, which is, “WHY were only photos leaked and not videos??? Why only THESE photos???” Why does anything get leaked? Shouldn’t this list get more compelling as it goes, instead of the other way around?
#18: “Why did the shooter fly to Phoenix only to drive back to Vegas before the shooting?” Can I get a WHO KNOWS? How about a WHO CARES? Maybe it was easier to access brothels from a car than a plane. This is the kind of ho-hum factoid which is presented as something deeply significant, and to a paranoid mind it counts as another piece of evidence of – something or other.
#19: “Countless” witnesses reporting multiple shooters. I dealt with that at the beginning, above.
#20: Police announce they will not hold future press conferences on the incident. Okay, so? There will certainly be future press conferences from officials of some kind regarding it. The police have covered all they have to say. How many press conferences do they have to do about it? The Info Wars guy then declares that the body language of the cops is highly suspicious!
This whole thing is plain old anti-intellectualism. No thinking is going on with these conspiracy theories. They seize onto anything and everything, with no allowance for the fact that this was a chaotic scene where people can later remember it wrong or be mistaken about what went on. Eye-witness testimony is declared to be sacrosanct in validity. In fact it is the weakest evidence there is. And then things like the change in the time-line of Jesus Campos being wounded are held up as a reason to believe the entire event was a dastardly conspiracy.
For what reason? For what motive? Ahh, that is the deep, dark, vortex of the inexplicable, insidious unknown.
The Shroyer segment ends with a misspelled slogan – “You Are the Restistance.” (sic)
The Info Wars video itself continues on for another four minutes, with a pitch from Alex Jones for a limited-time, half-price special on Brain Force Plus organic brain nutrients. Made in the USA.