If Only Stephen Paddock Were A Muslim

Vegas Spent

Because of the media drenched age in which we live, where we float around in our biased digital bubbles, whenever an incident such as the shooting in Las Vegas occurs we are inundated with opinions, facts, and alternative facts. Ignoring all the idiotic conspiracy theories that abound whenever something like this occurs (such as Alex Jones and his claims of a ‘deep state’ cover up), it can be hard to find nuanced points of view that shed light on the madness that just occurred.

This particular tragedy is made even harder to digest because the shooter was a white, middle aged, retired, multi millionaire, former accountant, not on any watch list, and with no prior inclinations of such atrocities. In other words, he does not fit any known profile. No beard, no brown skin, no calls for jihad, and therefore no established narratives to politicize. Queue the usual discussions of why white skin equals lone wolf with mental health issues, whereas brown skin equals terrorist:

In my quest to find answers, to find solace, I came across two articles that really made sense. Journalist Jennifer Williams wrote an article explaining why in America white American men are more of a threat than Muslims:

White American men are a bigger domestic terrorist threat than Muslim foreigners…in the eight months since Trump took office, more Americans have been killed in attacks by white American men with no connection to Islam than by Muslim terrorists or foreigners…In fact, between 2001 and 2015, more Americans were killed by homegrown right-wing extremists than by Islamist terrorists, according to a study by New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, DC…The average American is more likely to die from their own clothing or a toddler with a gun than an immigrant terrorist. But we’re not banning guns and T-shirts from coming into the country. – Jennifer Williams, 02 Oct 2017, from an article at vox.com

The article gives at least five examples of horrific attacks that have occurred in America in 2017 that did not involve Muslims. Well worth a read. Another article well worth reading is from the Pulitzer prize winning journalist and author Thomas L Friedman. Friedman wrote an article in the New York Times controversially entitled If Only Stephen Paddock Were A Muslim. The article begins with this bold and daring proclamation:

If only Stephen Paddock had been a Muslim…If only he had shouted “Allahu akbar” before he opened fire on all those concertgoers in Las Vegas…If only he had been a member of ISIS…If only we had a picture of him posing with a Quran in one hand and his semiautomatic rifle in another…If all of that had happened, no one would be telling us not to dishonor the victims and “politicize” Paddock’s mass murder by talking about preventive remedies. – Thomas L Friedman, 03 Oct 2017, from an article at nytimes.com

The article only gets more daring after this, with Friedman pointing out the blatant hypocrisies of the American governments approaches to ISIS and the NRA:

On crushing ISIS, our president and his party are all in. On asking the N.R.A. for even the tiniest moderation, they are AWOL. No matter how many innocents are fatally shot — no matter even that one of their own congressional leaders was critically wounded playing baseball — it’s never time to discuss any serious policy measures to mitigate gun violence. – Thomas L Friedman, 03 Oct 2017, from an article at nytimes.com

Vegas Steps

This cycle of violence that America has just experienced is nothing new. We have unfortunately been here too many times before. To try and make some sense of it all, not only do I read from well established journalists, I also find myself increasingly turning away from politicians and instead turning to our comedians and satirists, to see what their take is on events. The reason for this is simply put thusly:

Our problem is our leaders are clowns and our ‘clowns’ (Frankie Boyle, Russell Brand, etc) should be our leaders! It’s just too tragic to be comedy. – YouTube comment from grassfuse3

In this light please find below 9 short videos that I found illuminating and moving, with personal comments from the biggest names in American TV talk shows. Real Americans (apart from James Corden), real voices, real emotions, all trying to bring some sort of hope into and make some sort of sense out of the tragic events of Las Vegas. As much as one can in these troubled times, enjoy…

Ellen DeGeneres

Jimmy Kimmel

Stephen Colbert

James Corden

Conan O’Brien

Seth Meyers

Trevor Noah

One thought on “If Only Stephen Paddock Were A Muslim

  1. There’s three things Americans are not allowed to tell other Americans to moderate:

    1). How many guns they can own.
    2). How much gas they can consume in their humvees and station wagons.
    3). How many kids they have.

    And yet, they’re happy to tell other nations their own limits on these things…


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