The Corner

National Security & Defense

We’re Never Getting a Motive for the Las Vegas Shooter, Are We?

You’ve probably read or heard a reference to the Las Vegas shooting in the past day or so. Quite a few media voices find President Trump hypocritical for calling for “extreme vetting” after yesterday’s terror attack, but not calling for gun control after Las Vegas. (I fail to see how doing the opposite is any less hypocritical.) Some are asking why the New York attack would be considered terrorism, but not the Las Vegas massacre. No doubt, the Las Vegas shooter intended to terrorize the concertgoers below. 

But what you’re not reading today is any new information or conclusions about the motivation of the Las Vegas shooter. He no doubt carefully planned his massacre for a long time, contemplated several possible targets, and spent considerable sums putting his plan in place. But the FBI and local law enforcement appear to still be unable to explain why the shooter did what he did, and why he chose that target. There is no discernable religious or political cause. (Many conspiracy theories have cropped up to fill the vacuum.) The shooter’s brain continues to be studied by neuropathologists for any evidence of mental illness or additional clues.

As far as anyone can tell, he was a well-off if moody, generally isolated guy who just decided one day to plan the country’s worst mass shooting ever, an explanation that is hard to even begin to understand.

It’s been a month, and we understand the killer’s motives no more than we did the night of the shooting. If investigators fail to ever find a more detailed explanation, the unsolved mystery is likely to make this abominable crime just a bit more painful.


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