Paddock photo - compliments of The Business Insider
Paddock massacre photo – compliments of The Business Insider

Almost everyone except the loved ones of the victims will continue to be obsessed by the question, “Why did Paddock do what he did? The loved ones of the victims really could not care less about his motive. When your loving husband, wife, father, mother, brother sister or even friend is murdered, the grief associated with the permanent loss obfuscates all importance that others may attach to the motive of the murderer. Nevertheless, “why?” remains a legitimate question. Along with its companion, “how?”, it seeks answers through post mortems, whether on the body of a deceased or on a botched performance or event. In fact “why?” could justifiably be said to be the word that God has imbedded in the mind of little children, frequently to the annoyance of busy and/or mentally challenged parents. The question surrounding Paddock’s motive is therefore justified, and we would never have known how important that is, were it not for the fact that he has given us so little help in even guessing his motivation.

How Valuable Are Murderers’ Motives

So we do not have enough information on Paddock to definitively determine his motive for murdering 58 persons at a Country Music Festival, and attempting to kill hundreds more. But we believe we know the motive behind the Orlando Night Club shooting in 2016 when 49 people were murdered. We believe we know what motivated the 2015 San Bernardino attack when 14 persons were murdered and many more injured. And what about the motives for the murder of over 545 students in America in almost as many Campus incidents over the last 250 years? We have frequently floated motives of “hate”, “rage”, “revenge”, “Jealousy”, and most popular of all, “mental illness” in our palpably inadequate attempt to answer the question, “why?” after each perpetration of a heinous, criminal act. But does it make a difference what was the motive? We know that the Orlando Night Club killer was ISIS inspired, and very likely was motivated by strong anti-LGBT biases. So what? We know that Dylann Roof killed nine black people in a church in Charleston, South Carolina because they were black, and possibly because he wanted to start a civil war between blacks and whites. Does that make their murder more or less reprehensible?

How Many Murders is Acceptable?

But here is another thought for reflection. By our justifiable outrage at Paddock’s actions with the emphasis on the number of people he murdered, are we subconsciously suggesting that his act would not have been as heinous, had he murdered only one person? Are we suggesting that an intent to murder 1000 people is worse than an intent to murder only 1 person? Here is another thought. Is one method of murder more reprehensible than another, even though one may be more “efficient” for killing large numbers of persons in a short time? It is tragically humorous that there should even be debate about the immediate banning of sale, possession and use of the bump stop outside of a declared war zone. But is it not true that the real problem is not the bump stop, but the fact that a person would decide to use it in a way similar to that chosen by Paddock? And following on the suggestion that the murder of one person is the murder of one person too many, would a revolver or a knife, or a baseball bat, or a motor car in the hand of a determined murder become a lethal welcome for committing the crime? Should we the consider banning all knives, baseball bats and motor-cars?

47 Murders Every Day

Paddock consumed the headlines for a week because he murdered 58 people and injured hundreds more in one atrocity.  But if it is true that one murder is one too many, it is instructive that the FBI tells us that in America in 2015, there were 1,197,704 violent crimes which included 90,185 rapes and 15,696 murders. That is 3,281 violent crimes every day; 247 rapes every day; and 43 murders every day.  And to make a bad situation even worse, the FBI reports that in 2016, with only a negligible change in the daily number of violent crimes, greater degrees of efficiency were achieved as daily rapes increased from 247 to 262; and daily murders increased from 43 to 47. Steven Paddock’s atrocity will feature in the 2017 statistics, but played no role in the 2015 and 2016 statistics. Paddock has earned the worst name and description you can think of. But Paddock himself was a victim, as are each of the perpetrators of the 1.2 million violent crimes in 2016, and the multiple millions of non-violent crimes over the same period. Isn’t it time that the FBI, academia and mainstream Americans begin to look beyond the murderer and his motive, to the one common denominator that influences all murders, rapes and violent crimes?

Trump – “Demented & Pure Evil”

President Donald Trump got it right when he described Stephen Paddock as “demented”, and when he described his actions as “pure evil”. Regardless of whether you are a Democrat or Republican or anything in between, it is important to understand that the elected President of our country enjoys both the privilege and its associated responsibilities that come with having his appointment sanctioned by God. As someone whose words matter, it is important to parse everything he says, and whenever possible, extract helpful guidance from them. When the President uses the word “demented”, he is implying that Paddock, as a human, acted under influences that are so powerful as to render his rational thought processes and associated actions inoperative. When the President describes Paddock’s actions as “pure evil”, he is in the same breath, acknowledging the existence of evil as a powerful force, and secondly stating that Paddock’s actions epitomizes evil in its most concentrated form, and at its source.

Extra-Human Source of Evil

So, Mr. President, what is the extra-human source of this evil to which you refer, that is so powerful, as to render the rational thought process and actions of a wealthy, methodical, meticulous self-controlled man completely inoperative? I admire the FBI and most of what it stands for. I admire the extremely high skillset of each FBI Agent, and how equipped they are to get the job done whether their mission is to counter terrorism, cybercrime, domestic violence, financial crimes or a host of other subcategories of offences against the Constitution and the people of the United States. I also know that the FBI is smart enough to initiate a temporary tactical retreat when they find themselves out-maneuvered or out-gunned. Does the FBI consider itself equipped to counter the demons of demented minds, and the force of pure evil at its source? To the best of my knowledge, FBI Chaplains perform “damage control” but do not provide either the offensive or defensive weapon skills to counter pure evil.

Immortal Spirit in a Mortal Body

Fortunately for us, as a Nation we are well on our way to understanding the phenomenon of pure evil and strategically countering it. Whether we realize it or not, but with a little thought, we accept that we are all spirits in a human body. To prove this, my favorite routine follows these lines. Acquire 5 photographs of John Doe at age 1 year, 10 years 30 years, 60 years and 99 years. All five photos will be drastically different. Which is the real John Doe? Next, imagine that at any age, John Doe is unfortunately involved in a series of accidents that incrementally disfigure him. Take a photo when he loses both feet. Take another when he loses both hands. Take a third when he loses both ears, both eyes, and his nose and mouth are disfigured. Take the final photo half an hour before John Doe dies because of lung, kidney and heart failure. At which of these stages did John Doe cease to be John Doe? And if, out of the kindness of your sympathetic heart, you drew your gun and fired a single fatal shot into the head of John Doe 15 minutes before he would have died from agonizing “natural” causes, but while he was still alive, what charge would the FBI bring against you? Would it be murder?

John Doe at 1 year is John Doe at 99, and with 90% of his members gone or malfunctioning, John Doe is still John Doe. Therefore, since John Doe is John Doe regardless of the stage or phase of his body and regardless of the presence or absence of the functioning parts of his body… who or what is John Doe? John Doe is an immortal spirit in a mortal body and the Constitution of the United States validates this fact when it treats 99year-old, disfigured, dismembered, suffering John Doe as human, but treats the most sophisticated, highly-trained ape in the prime of its

In Part 2 I will share the message that Paddock left behind in plain sight, and that the FBI may have missed.