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It's just another morning in America, where on any given day you can expect to wake up to horror. More than 50 people were killed and over 400 injured in a mass shooting in Las Vegas late Sunday night, as a gunman fired what seems to be a fully automatic weapon from a 32nd-floor hotel room down into a nearby country-music festival. The shooter, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, reportedly shot himself as police came into his room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

The gunfire began shortly after 10 PM Sunday night; the shooter fired from the hotel, across Las Vegas Boulevard, into the crowd attending the final night of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival; a crowd of 22,000 were watching singer Jason Aldean as the gunfire began. Video of the shooting (here's a link, we're not going to embed it) captured a long burst of what sounds like sustained automatic fire; the concert stopped and Aldean ran backstage. After a pause, there were at least two more, shorter bursts of gunfire. CBS is reporting that the shooter was may have been located after his sustained fire set off smoke detectors in the hotel:

[Update: We should add that was speculation; as alert Wonkette Operative "eastcoastlib" counter-speculates, hotel security may also have been alerted as soon as the shooter broke out his windows]

Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said that "In excess of ten rifles" were found in Paddock's hotel room, and that Paddock had checked in to the hotel on September 28. Paddock's home in Mesquite, Nevada, about 60 miles from Las Vegas, is being searched by law enforcement officers. Police also located a 62-yer-old woman who is believed to have lived with Paddock, Marilou Danley, and said she is not believed to have been involved with the shooting. The shooter's brother, Eric Paddock, said he was "completely dumbfounded" by the news of the shooting.

Here's your "look for the helpers" moment: CNN video of concertgoers using wheelbarrows and crowd-management barriers to carry people out of the concert grounds to the street; because ambulance services were overwhelmed, private vehicles were used to take people to hospitals:

Nevada has some of U.S. America's most generous gun laws, with few restrictions beyond those provided in federal law. The state legislature passed a bill that would have required background checks on private weapons sales in 2013, but Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed it, claiming that it would impose "unreasonable burdens and harsh penalties upon law-abiding Nevadans, while doing little to prevent criminals from unlawfully obtaining firearms." Open carry of all types of firearms is legal in Nevada.

Little has yet been confirmed about shooter Stephen Paddock, but that didn't stop The Stupidiest Man On The Internet, Jim Hoft at the Gateway Pundit, from doing some investigative reporting by 4Chan before deleting the story, since all they do at 4Chan is make up hoaxes and "celebrate" "high scores":

Since removing that story, Hoft has gone with the more predictable "you're defenseless if you're not armed" angle:

Clearly, if the concert venue had just allowed people to carry in their own handguns, or sniper rifles, they could have defended themselves.

Donald Trump managed to tweet an OK message of condolence that didn't blame any of the victims:


We dont know anything about the shooter yet, so we're not going to speculate about his politics, but we would point out that having over 10 long guns, at least one of them fully automatic (illegal without a federal license, but many semi-automatic weapons can be modified -- again, illegally -- to fire on full auto), a collection of scopes and ammunition, and holing up in a hotel for days before a large crowd gathers below isn't normal behavior by any means. Except for having all those guns. That's perfectly normal, and we're waiting for the NRA to explain how a single armed American could have stopped this.

You have our permission to skip this morning’s tithe to Wonkette and throw some money at Everytown for Gun Safety, Gabby Giffords’s Americans for Responsible Solutions, Moms Demand Action, and the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. Be safe.

[Reuters / NYT / Associated Press]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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NYT video screenshot

The New York Times this weekend brought us a case study of how Donald Trump's family separation policy tore apart just one family last year, although this particular example is notable because it involves the youngest child known -- so far -- to have been taken from his parents at the US-Mexico border. Little Constantin Mutu was just four months old when he was taken from his father, Vasile, a Romanian seeking asylum in the USA, having believed all that outdated crap about the Statue of Liberty being the "Mother of Exiles." What a sap! We're not letting those tempest-tossed takers push US around any more!

Constantin was taken from his dad in February of 2018, a good two months before the Trump administration officially announced the family separation policy -- but which we now know had been operating covertly since the summer of 2017 before it was expanded last year. Vasile and Florentina Mutu, members of the Roma ethnic minority, came to the US seeking asylum after Florentina found out that when she'd had a C-section while giving birth to Constantin, the doctors had also sterilized her without her knowing it. She said she was handed papers while she was foggy from the pain of labor, and had no idea what she was signing, and reporter Caitlin Dickerson notes "human rights groups have documented the practice of forced sterilizations" of Roma elsewhere in Europe.

And the Mutus had heard all sorts of wonderful things about America, too. They made a living by leaving their village and begging or doing short-term labor around Europe, then going home, where life was less expensive, but some people from their village had reputedly gone to the US and become rich, although maybe those stories were exaggerated. Still,

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