It’s long been established that the go-to form of terrorism in America is the mass shooting. The Columbine massacre that happened on April 20, 1999 (the perpetrators wanted to pay homage to Hitler’s birthday) is what first brought to major public attention these occurrences with more bombast than ever. Though mass shootings were (and are) nothing new in the United States, the Columbine shooting had the precedent of being executed by high school students that established a very distinct template for subsequent school shootings. Massacres of this variety, however, have been ongoing since at least 1929, when the infamous Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre took place in Chicago. What separates modern shootings from those of the past is motive. In the 1920s through 1950s, these types of events were often centered around outlaw behavior, whereas, now, the intent is to express discontent with a particular group–to upset the political machine with the so-called “revolutionary” act of killing.
Fourteen months ago, the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando had been marked as the record for worst in U.S. history. Now, October 1, 2017 has set an alarming precedent for what it takes to break records for gun-related brutality in America. That the incident occurred at the Harvest Music Festival continues the go-to trend of late of striking at concerts, where the high concentration of people fits the “like shooting fish in a barrel” phrase quite nicely. The shooter in this case, Stephen Paddock, persists in offering another addition to the consistent pattern of what these mass shootings have in common: they are all committed by “men” who somehow see fit to take “justice” or “retribution” into their own hands. They want to threaten and fuck with anyone whose way of life they believe is counterintuitive to their own views, which generally manifest in consisting of the type of shit Reverend Dimmesdale or Albert Fish would inflict upon themselves–that is to say, these “men” are all latently self-hating. And when self-hate has no choice but to be redirected at others, the result is almost always volcanic. But see, in America, the second amendment offers license to the eruption of “men” seeking to punish others for their mental and wang insecurities.