Currently I’m inclined to believe there really was just one shooter in Las Vegas. If there’d been other shooters, there’d have been shell cases littered around where they’d been shooting. But there have been no reports of other snipers’ nests.
Perhaps the most telling piece of information about Stephen Paddock:
Eric Paddock said his brother did show a confrontational side at times: He apparently hated cigarette smoke so much that he carried around a cigar and blew smoke in people’s faces when they lit up around him.
It prompted the thought that if, as seems quite likely, many in the open-air concert audience were smoking, Paddock lost it when the secondhand smoke from below reached his 32nd floor suite. If they were going to blow smoke in his face, he’d blow smoke in theirs. He’d done it before, after all. Now he was doing it again – on a grand scale.
There was that video game a while back with a sniper rifle being used to kill smokers. At night. As they were sitting in an audience.
Paddock’s game of choice was video poker. So that means he played video games. Maybe he’d even played Smoking Kills video game a few times. It was just that this time he was doing it for real.
And some antismokers actually are insane enough to do something like that. After all, somebody had been insane enough to create a video game for antismokers to shoot smokers.
And Las Vegas is not a good place for antismokers.
if smoke really bothers you, you will not be happy in Vegas.
Particularly if you have allergies and asthma.
I have what you might call a sensitive nose. (My family calls it freakish.) Either way, I smell things most people don’t. Even tiny doses of perfume, flowers or chemical fumes are overwhelming, but nothing more so than smoke. At a stoplight, I can detect a single cigarette three cars away … with the windows up. Since I also have allergies and asthma, this super-sense of sniff comes in handy for avoidance purposes (stogie at 2 o’clock!), but it’s not so fun when there’s no escape.
So naturally, I am thrilled by our state smoking ban (sorry, Marlboro dudes). I’m so spoiled now, breathing and eating in the same place, I actually started to think smoking had grown passé.
Then I went back to Las Vegas.
I had been scared away for five years. That time, Lady Luck had shunned my lungs, and I landed in an urgent-care clinic one day, and an emergency room the next. And sadly, what happened in Vegas did not stay in Vegas: I hobbled home with walking pneumonia, and spent three weeks taking steroids, nebulizer treatments and even an occasional breath.
Stephen Paddock had a whole set of bizarre allergies:
The Las Vegas gunman was allergic to certain chemicals and medications — and often wore gardening gloves around so he wouldn’t get rashes, his brother said Wednesday.
Stephen Paddock, 64, was so sensitive to cleaning chemicals that he asked staff at the casinos he regularly stayed at to scrub his room with water instead of cleaning agents, his younger brother, Eric, told Reuters.
He was also allergic to certain medications and couldn’t renew his pilot’s license because he wasn’t able to take pills to reduce his blood pressure.
Paddock’s girlfriend, Marylou Danley, was sympathetic to his allergies and eccentric behavior.
”The reason Mary Lou looks so plain in that picture they keep posting of her is because for him she would not wear perfumes or hair sprays or anything with scents in it because it affected him,” Eric Paddock told Reuters.
Stephen Paddock must have had endless trouble with smoking if he was a gambler who frequented smoke-filled casinos.
And last weekend it was maybe way worse than ever, with up to 22,000 people smoking in the plaza below. Which way was the wind blowing that day in Las Vegas? If it was blowing from the north-east, he’d have been downwind of them.
The hourly average wind direction in Las Vegas throughout October is predominantly from the north,
Trapped in his 32nd floor suite, there was no escape for Stephen Paddock, as the smoke slowly seeped into his room through the hotel air conditioning system. And it only got worse and worse as they day wore on.
And perhaps he often had lots of guns around him. He kept lots at home. And perhaps he usually rigged up webcams in hotel rooms as well, for security reasons. And always wore gloves.
And just before he started shooting, the concert-goers had all just been doing something that concert-goers have been doing for years – holding up burning lighters while they sang God Bless America. These days they also hold up brightly lit mobile phones. It would have looked something like this:
Well, it’s as good an explanation as any.
Postscript: Paddock complained about loud music:
Security appears to have paid little notice as he moved a series of bags containing 23 guns to the room. But they did respond to his complaints about loud music from a family staying in the room just below.