It’s painful to think that a place I visit so often would be home to such a ruthless attack. But the truth is that Las Vegas is a high-value target and many threats have been made against the city in the past. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Mandalay Bay shooting, but there are some conclusions we can come to without waiting for investigations to be completed.
Mandalay Bay Hotel by Sascha Brück | Creative Commons 2.0 Germany
There’s no doubt that automatic rifles of some sort were used in this attack. And this time, it’s not the media just showing their ignorance. The rate of fire was too consistent to be natural. Yes, people can shoot faster with semi-automatics, but they never have such a consistent space between trigger pulls.
Production of automatic rifles for civilians has been banned since 1986. Firearms purchased before this time are still transferable but require additional documentation and fees. This is on top of the background checks required to be performed by FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealers.
There’s already talk in the media about how regular semi-automatics can be modified to be fully automatic. This is possible. Most amateurs don’t know how to do it and most professionals don’t want to do it.
It all makes me wonder what we’re going to find out about the killer’s background. But I am sure about one thing…
If the extreme laws already in place against automatic rifles didn’t stop this guy, applying more stringent laws to other rifles won’t prevent evil people from getting ahold of them.
Increased attacks on large gatherings
We’re seeing a radical increase of attacks on large gatherings across the United States and Europe. In this case, like others, it doesn’t seem to be caused by religion or politics. And I don’t think this trend is going to stop.
Everyone needs to start taking action to protect themselves. It was only a few months ago that I was writing about the Manchester Arena bombing incident. While it may have been a different type of music, it was still a concert. In fact, I can’t even count the number of times I’ve written about attacks on large groups.
These concerts generally do the best they can to protect their attendees, but it’s time to accept that they can’t always protect you. While I don’t recommend you live your life in fear, you need to accept that you put yourself at risk every time you attend a large gathering. Avoid it whenever possible and plan for the worst when you can’t.
Although we don’t have all of the details, it is being reported that two windows were broken out before the shooting began with a glass-breaking tool. This makes sense. Bullets can go through standard glass quite easily. However, the glass would have a profound effect on the accuracy and power of the rounds.
I imagine that law enforcement, as well as private security firms, will start using this as an attack indicator in the future. It’s unknown at this point how far in advance the windows were smashed, but this could have been an advanced indicator.