As authorities search to find a motive behind Sunday's horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, others are re-examining security measures. The police now state that 23 firearms were found in Stephen Paddock's suite, and it seems incredible that he was able to transport that amount of guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition there without drawing scrutiny.
The conventional wisdom is that the tragedy Paddock unleashed could not have been prevented; Nevada's liberal gun laws (rundown here) do not require a permit to carry rifles and shotguns, for instance, nor is there any limit on the amount of firearms someone may possess in the state. So it seems it would be legal for Paddock to have that many weapons in his hotel room.
However, had Paddock tried to check into the Wynn rather than Mandalay Bay, it is likely that his arsenal would have been detected and that he may have been confronted. This has come to light because Reuters has uncovered a video from last year, where casino tycoon and billionaire Steve Wynn--"who had been dismissed as 'obsessed' about security before Sunday's massacre, a rival casino executive said"--revealed his previously secret security measures to a local news station:
I mean, holy crap. Assuming Wynn's not exaggerating, 40 ex-Marine embassy guards at each entrance? (His wording is unclear, so perhaps he meant spread over all of the entrances.) Ex-Navy-SEALs and CIA counterterrorism agents? Invisible metal detectors? With those measures in place, Wynn administrators would certainly have been aware that Paddock was transporting his materiel into their hotel. What's not clear is if and how he might have been confronted.
Wynn's previously-dismissed obsession with security now makes him look prescient, and other casino owners will presumably follow his lead.
It is extra tragic that Wynn predicted an eventual threat would materialize by the hand of a jihadi terrorist. Instead, at least at press time, it appears that mass murderer Stephen Paddock did not have links to any extremist group. And that, at least to me, is much more worrisome.