Im­mor­tal­ized by in­famy

The Jakarta Post - - OPINION -

What is the mo­tive for the mass-mur­der that took place on Oct. 1, in Las Ve­gas, Ne­vada, United States? The sur­viv­ing vic­tims and pub­lic are ask­ing why this ter­ri­ble tragedy took place at the con­clu­sion of a three-day open-air Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

Many would like to know the mo­tive for the worst mass-mur­der in mod­ern Amer­i­can his­tory. How­ever, a week af­ter the tragedy, po­lice have not ac­knowl­edged a mo­tive.

The FBI im­me­di­ately dis­missed in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism as a pos­si­ble mo­tive. This was also con­firmed by the shooter’s younger brother. He said that his wealthy, 64-year old brother, Steven Pad­dock, was a re­tired ac­coun­tant and real-es­tate in­vestor. The brother was em­phatic that Pad­dock had no po­lit­i­cal or re­li­gious con­nec­tions and was not a white su­prem­a­cist, etc. There­fore, this elim­i­nates some pos­si­ble com­po­nents of what is of­ten char­ac­ter­is­tic of “do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism.”

So, what was the mo­tive? Since the days of Sir Arthur Co­nan Doyle, what has been the most im­por­tant method of deter­min­ing the so­lu­tion to a mur­der mys­tery? Isn’t the an­swer, “When all other pos­si­bil­i­ties have been elim­i­nated, the ob­vi­ous an­swer be­comes vis­i­ble”?

Isn’t that ob­vi­ous mo­tive a type of “copy­cat” crime? It is con­nected with the fa­ther, Ben­jamin Hoskins Pad­dock, who was an es­caped prison convict on the run when Pad­dock was a teenage boy. In­stead of be­ing ashamed of the fa­ther’s crim­i­nal­ity, the younger brother is proud of the fact that their fa­ther had been on the FBI’s most wanted list. This in­di­cates a lack of re­spect for the laws of God and man which lies at the foun­da­tion for all crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

This lawless at­ti­tude is shown in the in­ter­view that took place with the younger brother on the day fol­low­ing the mur­ders. Eric Pad­dock was be­ing in­ter­viewed at his Florida home by a CNN re­porter. The in­ter­view was later broad­cast that same day on CNN. It shows clearly that the brother, Eric, is proud of the fact that their fa­ther had been on the FBI’s most wanted list. Isn’t it highly likely that his older brother, Pad­dock, also had sim­i­lar feel­ings and mind­set?

If so, it should not be sur­pris­ing that Pad­dock fol­lowed in his fa­ther’s foot­steps. It is very prob­a­ble that Pad­dock de­ter­mined that, be­fore he died, he would copy and even “im­prove” on his fa­ther’s in­famy to the point that his own name would be­come a house­hold word. The mo­tive is ob­vi­ous: Pad­dock wanted to be­come im­mor­tal­ized by in­famy.

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