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  • James Willis, Jr.

Las Vegas Shooting - lessons to be learned

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

Lack of known motive behind Stephen Paddock’s terrible actions creates a disturbing cloud that hangs over an already dreadful tragedy. Paddock seemed to be an inconspicuous man in his 70’s, with no known enemies or axes to grind.

In other mass shootings the assailant usually gives clues to why their attacking or who their targeting. Some are racially motivated, as with the 2016 Dallas shooter who targeted white police officers or the 2015 Charleston shooter who attacked Black churchgoers. Others are politically motivated, as with 2015 Planned Parenthood shooting or the 2017 shooting of Republican congressmen in Virginia. Still others are motivated by religious extremism, like 2015 San-Bernardino shooting or the 2016 Orlando shooting. Yet, Paddock didn’t leave behind any statements or journals, Facebook posts or phone calls.

However, October 1st attack wasn’t a spur of the moment decision either. Reports suggest that Paddock had scouted out other possible targets, including another music festival the week earlier in Las Vegas, A music festival in Chicago, and the Red Sox’s Fenway Park in Boston. Furthermore, his acquisition of some 40+ firearms within a very short period, his purchase and installation of bump-stocks on many of his guns, and his attempt to buy tracer rounds all signal a thought out intention to cause a much death as he could.

How do you prevent something as terrifying as this from happening to your co-op? The unhappy answer is that in many ways you can’t. It should serve as a reminder that danger can come from anywhere at any time. Yet, one should also resist the temptation of “turtle-up” and to try and turn your office and stations into fortresses. Fear should never be allowed to rule, but it can prompt you to remain vigilant at all times. To view security and safety, not as a reaction to problems you’ve experienced, but as a proactive attempts to forestall what you can. Conduct security audits of your offices, conduct training for your employees, and contract profession security advisors to give you a fresh perspective.

The murders of 58 people is a tragedy, we shouldn’t compound that tragedy by not learning from it.

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