Actor Makes Incredibly Uninformed Tweet After Vegas Shootings

It isn’t all that uncommon for entertainment personalities to spout off on issues about which they know nothing and quickly find themselves looking stupid, but actor Boris Kodjoe took the prize for the most uninformed and ill-timed tweet about the Las Vegas massacre. Kodjoe managed to tweet an even worse message than Hillary Clinton’s blatantly partisan and tone deaf tweet about silencers Monday morning.

Kodjoe, whose IMDB page lists few credits that you’ve probably heard of, tweeted, “My 10 year old asked me how the shooter was able to get his machine gun. I told him that pretty much anyone in the US can. ‘But why daddy’?”

A user called “Heimish Conservative” responded best with the retort, “So you lied to your kid?”

Kodjoe, who was born in Vienna, Austria to German and Ghanaian parents, is obviously ignorant of American gun laws, despite having spent more than two decades in the United States. Kodjoe’s tweet is blatantly false. Not everyone in the US can get a gun and “machine guns” are extremely difficult to get.

In 1986, the National Firearms Act banned the possession by private individuals of fully automatic weapons, “machine guns” to Boris Kodjoe, manufactured after May 18, 1986. The Federalist points out that there are no exceptions to this law and the penalty is stiff, a mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison.

Pre-1986 automatic weapons can be legally purchased, but it isn’t easy. Prospective owners of an automatic must submit to a thorough federal background check that includes submitting fingerprints and a photo. The purchaser must pay $200 in taxes and both the gun and its owner will be listed in a federal registry.

It isn’t even accurate to say that “anyone” can buy a semi-automatic (one bullet fired for one trigger pull) gun. There are age limits and other restrictions on the ability to purchase guns. Background checks have been required under federal law since 1994. Many states have even more stringent requirements.

Stephen Paddock’s guns were not fully automatic and he had passed the background checks required to own semi-automatic weapons. At least one of Paddock’s 23 guns was modified with a “bump stock,” a legal modification that increases the rate of fire to simulate an automatic. Paddock apparently broke no laws until he started killing people.

Actors like Boris Kodjoe and Jimmy Kimmel are entitled to voice their opinions on political issues, but they don’t have the right to put out false and misleading information without being corrected. Like any other citizens, Kodjoe and Kimmel should learn about both sides of the issues to make informed comments and avoid embarrassing themselves.

 

 

 

 

Not All Heroes Wear Capes: Iraq Veteran Helps Police Track Down Las Vegas Shooter

As we process the horrific shootings in Las Vegas on Monday, stories of unique and inspiring heroism continue to emerge. Take the example of Chris Bethel, an Iraq War veteran who played a key role in locating killer Stephen Paddock on Sunday night.

Bethel was in Vegas for an IT conference, and his room at Mandalay Bay was two floors below Paddock’s. The minute shots rang out, Bethel knew something was terribly wrong, and he phoned police.

“I could just hear the gun shots. Continuously. Just full automatic. There’s explosions going off. It was like, a bomb just went off man. And then there were more gun shots,” Bethel said, according to KTVT-TV.

There was no bomb, other than the explosive device police used to blast through the shooter’s hotel room door, but there were gunshots — hundreds of them. Hundreds of feet below, Bethel said he just saw “everybody running.”

“I kept looking at the windows to see if I could see any kind of muzzle flash to see if I could see where the shooter was. I crouched by my front door. In hopes that I might get the opportunity to see the shooter if he ran by and I could identify him,” Bethel said.

Ten minutes after Bethel made his call to police, he received a call from authorities letting him know that they had located the shooter. In typical fashion for a humble hero, Bethel wished he could have done more to stop the sensless, tragic violence.

“I feel like I couldn’t get a hold of somebody quick enough to let them know. And it felt like it took them too long to get over there, to take him out, to get him. It’s actually eating me up inside,” Bethel told KTVT.

Hats off to you, Chris Bethel. “Thank you” doesn’t seem like a sufficient enough sentiment.

Las Vegas, Sympathy and the Liberal Bubble

By now you’ve probably heard the story of Hayley Geftman-Gold, who got busted on Facebook for saying she didn’t feel one bit bad for the victims of Stephen Paddock, who killed 59 people and wouded over 500 when he opened fire on them at a Las Vegas concert on Sunday night.  In case you need a refresher, though, this is what she had to say about the subject:

If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing.  I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.

Even more mind-boggling than her complete lack of sympathy is that Geftman-Gold wasn’t what you would call a fringe lunatic.  Quite the contrary, she was a CBS vice-president and senior legal counsel—at least until the network got wind of her online antics.  To its credit, CBS immediately fired her for violating company standards—and given that this is the same network that employs Stephen Colbert, that’s really saying something.

Now Geftman-Gold has also apologized, issuing the following statement:

Earlier today I posted an indefensible post in a Facebook discussion thread concerning the tragic Las Vegas shooting, a statement I sincerely regret. I am deeply sorry for diminishing the significance of every life affected by Stephen Paddock’s terrorism last night and for the pain my words have inflicted on the loved ones of the victims. My shameful comments do not reflect the beliefs of my former employer, colleagues, family, and friends. Nor do they reflect my actual beliefs — this senseless violence warrants the deepest empathy. I understand and accept all consequences that my words have incurred.

And indeed, she has incurred the consequences for her poor judgement.  She’s lost her job, and I’m guessing that she’ll probably remain radioactive for quite a while.  Who knows if she’ll ever recover?  Of course, the outrage machine will keep running in overdrive against Geftman-Gold, at least until the next distraction comes along—but I’m inclined to take her at her word.  She realizes what she said was wrong and she regrets it.  We should all just forgive and move on.

But that does leave one question, though:  What ever made her feel justified in saying such a thing in the first place?

Sure, being a good liberal might have made her think that those gun-lovin’, pickup-drivin’ country music fans had it coming.  But actually expressing it out loud, on Facebook, for the entire world to see?  I’ve witnessed drunken 3am booty calls that showed more discretion.  How in the hell could a wicked-smart, Columbia educated lawyer think that would be okay under any circumstances?

Probably because in her circles, Geftman-Gold’s opinion isn’t that unusual.

It’s likely that she felt perfectly comfortable expressing her sentiments on Facebook because everyone else she knows and associates with thinks the same way.  In fact, I would venture that the same CBS executives who fired Geftman-Gold probably agreed with her privately, because they live in the same leftist bubble that she does.

And sympathy, it would seem, does not extend past that bubble.

This, unfortunately, is what the increasing tribalism of our politics has done in America—and it’s not just the left that is guilty of it.  Examples from the left, however, tend to be more extreme because the popular culture is more accepting of its own faults, and only tends to call out behavior that is simply too horrible to ignore.  In that respect, Geftman-Gold’s real sin wasn’t so much what she said but that she got caught saying it.

Maybe it’s time we all popped our own bubbles.

A Las Vegas Massacre Every Three Weeks

Democrats want calm discussion about gun control. They want to have a national talk about how to stop massacres like Las Vegas, or Orlando, or Aurora, or Sandy Hook, or any of the other mass shooting we’ve seen in the past decade.

Every three weeks, Chicago, where guns are as illegal as they possibly can be within the bounds of the Constitution, has a Las Vegas massacre.

It’s always the same discussion, and they always have the same answer: ban all guns. For some reason, the pesky Second Amendment gives the left–which wants America to be just like Europe and other countries where rights exist because the government grants them–dyspeptic heartburn.

But we’ve had this discussion. We’ve had it calmly, without the shrill impetuousness and raw emotion, for decades. Some states, like New Jersey, New York, and Illinois, make gun ownership a chore. In Illinois, there’s a 72-hour waiting period to buy a handgun, and 24 hours for a rifle of shotgun. Gun owners must have a Firearm Owners Identification Card, issued by the Illinois State Police.

Concealed carry permits are not of the “must issue” sort in Illinois. Applicants must be 21 years old, pass a 16-hour training course, and the issue of said license can be blocked by any law enforcement agency. In private clubs this is called “blackballing.” Yes, there’s a board of review, but it’s appointed by the state, so who do you think they’re going to side with?

There is practically no open carry in Illinois, and reciprocity with other states is limited. To even bring a gun into the state without a permit, it must be unloaded, enclosed in a case, and inaccessible or non-functioning.

In Chicago, most semi-automatic firearms with expanded magazine capacities are outright banned. All handguns were banned in most of Chicago and its suburbs until SCOTUS, ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller made that unconstitutional in 2008. Even then, Chicago kept its ban until the Supreme Court struck it down in McDonald v. Chicago in 2010.

Yet liberals still want to ban all handguns. They want to find a way around well-established Supreme Court precedent. They figure if all of Congress passes an unconstitutional law, maybe the Supreme Court will uphold it. Of course, that’s fantasy.

But they’re ignoring the one most important point. Chicago just passed its 500th homicide a month ago. The city is on track for 700 murders–just about all of them committed with guns–this year.

Every three weeks, Chicago, where guns are as illegal as they possibly can be within the bounds of the Constitution, has a Las Vegas massacre.

It doesn’t happen all at once, and it doesn’t happen all in one place. But many weekends, the death toll hits double-digits. And Chicago, remember, has some of the strictest gun laws in the country–so strict that the Supreme Court had to enforce citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

What the left wants is a repeal of the Second Amendment. It’s fantasy, and it wouldn’t work even if it wasn’t politically impossible. So really, the left wants nothing at all done. They just use this issue to virtue-signal, identify an enemy (the NRA), and raise money to win elections.

When Democrats were in power from 2008-2010, they could have passed Chicago-style gun control for most of America. They could have done something that now that they’re not in control of most state houses and Congress they cannot do now. But they didn’t. They passed Obamacare instead.

The cities that have the most murders nationally, by firearms, are mostly run by Democrats and have been for decades. These cities are overflowing with illegal and stolen handguns that the police cannot confiscate from actual criminals, while most law-abiding citizens can’t obtain a gun without a major investment in time and paperwork. In some places in New Jersey, a citizen simply can’t get a permit because the authorities don’t issue them.

But now that there’s been a massacre, we hear the Democrats and the left screeching endlessly about having a calm conversation about gun control.

We’ve had the conversation. And Chicago continues to have a Las Vegas massacre every three weeks, while Democrats do nothing. Maybe it’s time for calm, reasoned people to realize that people commit crimes, not guns. And someone like Stephen Paddock, or James Holmes, can’t always be identified in advance.

And even if those people had no legal access to guns (Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza did not), they’d find a way to commit their horrible pre-meditated crimes because their intent was evil.

Let’s have a calm conversation about evil and the best way to combat it. I guarantee the answer isn’t to ban all guns.

Vegas Concertgoers Tell of Warnings: “You’re All Going to Die!”

Some attendees at the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas where Stephen Paddock gunned down concertgoers, killing at least 58 and wounding more than 500, reported receiving dire warnings on their way into the show.

A woman, identified as short and Hispanic, told people at the venue that they were going to die. One witness, who was at the venue for her 21st birthday, recounted what she saw:

“She had been messing with a lady in front of her and telling her she was going to die, that we were all going to die,” the witness told local news about the woman, who had pushed her way to the front of the venue.

“They escorted her out to make her stop messing around with all the other people, but none of us knew it was going to be serious.”

Authorities escorted the woman out of the venue.

There’s no known motive for the shooting. Keep praying for everyone involved.

Shooter Identified: Who Was Stephen Paddock?

Police have identified Stephen Paddock as the mass murderer in last night’s Las Vegas shooting. Paddock was found dead in a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino on the Las Vegas strip after the shooting. Paddock’s death was an apparent suicide.

Who was Stephen Craig Paddock and why would he want to senselessly slaughter scores of people who were peacefully attending a concert?

Paddock, 64, was a resident of Mesquite, Nev. Mesquite is a small town about 80 miles to the northeast of Las Vegas on Interstate 15. Multiple sources report that police there had never had any problems with Mr. Paddock, but NBC has reported that he was “known” to authorities. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that Mr. Paddock bought a 2,018 square foot home in Mesquite in 2015 for $369,000 and lived there with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley.

Danley was originally considered a person of interest in the attack, but seems to have been cleared of involvement at this point. NBC News reports that Paddock may have used her identification, but that she was out of the country at the time of the shooting. Police have reportedly already spoken with Danley. The Daily Wire, citing Facebook posts, claims that Danley may be married to a man named Geary Danley.

The Telegraph reports that Paddock had previous addresses in Reno and Henderson, Nev. as well as Melbourne, Fl. and several locations in California. NBC reports that the family grew up in Sun Valley, Calif.

Another brother, Bruce Paddock, told NBC that Stephen had earned a living as the owner and manager of apartment buildings. He was not a military veteran per The Telegraph.

Contrary to some reports, Mr. Paddock apparently did not have an active Facebook page. Heavy.com notes that the photo of Mr. Paddock holding a shot glass was actually taken from Marilou Danley’s Facebook page.

Paddock’s brother, Eric Paddock, 55, of Orlando, said that the murderer was “just a guy” without any serious health or money problems. Eric Paddock said that Stephen lived a quiet retirement life and would often go to Las Vegas to play poker and slot machines.

Stephen Paddock is also reported to have had a pilot license. NBC reports that the last time that he was known to have flown a plane was in 2010 and that he had owned two airplanes.

Authorities report that 10 guns were found in the hotel room with Mr. Paddock’s body and that guns and ammunition were also found in a search of his home. So far, there has been no indication that any of the guns were illegal. Paddock is known to have been a hunter with an Alaska hunting license.

The Associated Press reported that Islamic State claimed that Paddock converted to Islam several months ago. The AP notes that ISIS did not provide evidence of the conversion and authorities say that there is no known connection between Paddock and international Islamic terrorist groups. His brother said that Paddock had “no affiliation to anything.”

Thus far no motive has been established in the killing spree. Most recent mass shootings have been perpetrated by either Islamic terrorists or people with untreated mental illness. As of this writing, there is no indication that Stephen Paddock fits into either of those categories.

“As they drill into his life, there will be nothing to be found,” Eric Paddock said of his brother.

Hillary Clinton Comes In First For A Change

After coming in second to Donald Trump in 2016, Hillary Clinton has apparently decided to come in first place when it comes to politicizing the mass shooting in Las Vegas last night.

Dispensing with the formality of waiting for actual information to come in, the Smartest Woman in America deployed the same razor sharp instincts that made her such a force on the campaign trail when she tweeted the following:

So far, so good—but then she couldn’t leave well enough alone, and had to indulge in this dark little fantasy:

Yes, imagine, she said, rubbing her hands together with ghoulish delight.  Too bad her understanding of how suppressors work comes straight out of a Michael Bay movie, but never mind.

Hillary wasn’t finished, though:

Put our politics aside—by injecting politics into a tragedy for the purpose of pushing gun control?  Either the person who runs Hillary’s Twitter feed is completely bereft of irony, or Madame Secretary has been hitting the Chardonnay a wee bit early today.

My advice would be to put the phone down and give it a rest.  The country doesn’t need any more reminders of why she blew an election that was hers to lose.

I Was Wrong. President Trump Gave a Great Response

Earlier today, I criticized President Trump over his morning tweet in response to the Las Vegas shooting. I was wrong to jump to conclusions.

This morning, everyone was raw, emotional, and in many cases, numb. I suppose the president was searching for words that would soothe, in 140 characters, as the whole world waited for his tweet. He missed the mark, but I overreacted.

Trump’s well-crafted speech just now hit the right tone. He quoted Scripture. He called evil, evil. He cast no blame and only reassured those who were affected by the attack. He was, in a word, presidential, and in another word, compassionate.

Speaking from the White House, Trump also announced that he will visit Las Vegas on Wednesday, when he will meet with first responders, law enforcement officials and the families of victims.

This was the best Trump, The considered,  calm and–well, coached–Trump (hat-tip to Gabriella Hoffman for that) is the man at his best. The itchy-trigger-finger, early-morning tweet Trump is him at his worst.

I was consumed with reporting a terrible, awful story this morning, and Trump at his worst hit me at my most vulnerable, and I pounced. I do wish the president would be a bit more considered and less of a hip-shooter on social media, but he made up for it in this morning’s appearance.

Maybe we should all take a few breaths before we pounce next time.