Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 1:16PM
Dave Knechel in Jason aldean, Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay, Marinade Dave, Route 91 Harvest Festival, Stephen Paddock

The Las Vegas incident has been eating away at me all week. It affected me tremendously. I’m attached to the reality of it, yet I feel detached from humanity. There’s so much conflict going on in this country and my mind sometimes wants to explode.


Some people age gracefully. Others do not. They get plastic surgery, they go on anti-aging diets, or they buy creams and lotions to stay as eternally young as possible. Perhaps, all of the above. I know that I had trouble turning 65 this year. It was as if I lost my youth in one fell swoop and became the old, grandfatherly-type guy that my grandfathers actually were. No longer could I pretend that younger women looked at me as a person of interest and, by that, I mean a man about town. I had to admit that my sporting days were behind me and felt compelled to act the part. What was it about 65? I can’t put my finger on it, really, but it hit me. For certain, I got over it after a month, everything went back to normal, and life continues to go on. Fortunately for me, that proverbial midlife crisis hit early, like in my late thirties, and I must say I’m glad I got over that, too.

Do you remember when you were young and had visions of growing up to be a police officer, a fire fighter or even president? Please take note that I didn’t write policeman or fireman, although I am a MAN. That could be one small, yet significant part of the problem today. Everything has to be packaged just right in the realm of political correctness. DON’T SAY THIS! DON’T SAY THAT! I am a man, yet I cannot publicly call myself one because it could show insensitivity to the remainder of the myriad sexes the world should now recognize. It’s frustrating. Maybe that was part of Stephen Paddock’s problem. He couldn’t handle the world as it rapidly changed all around him… or… maybe it wasn’t morphing fast enough. No one knows what caused him to explode inside and become the American monster madman serial killer of all time. Yes, he was a serial killer, not a domestic terrorist because terrorists always have a motive. In Paddock’s case? All we can do is make assumptions.

That’s what I’m going to do, but I’m going to base it on what little we do know and what I think.

One of the most interesting aspects of public digging is how much the media and public get wrong. A good example of this originated from the release of Paddock’s photo with his eyes closed. A few days later, another one emerged. He was much thinner. The mind plays tricks because a lot of people assumed he lost weight prior to the shooting, raising questions like, why didn’t anyone notice? It should have been a sign that something was wrong. Blame it on those around him. What they didn’t know was that it was simply an older photo of him. A media release timeline does not reflect the true timeline. In fact, his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, stated that he had gained weight of late. This was the sort of thing I saw time and time again during the Casey Anthony case. Assuming this and assuming that without factual information. Speculation, assumption, and confusion.

Paddock was not affiliated with the Republican or Democratic party. He was not a registered voter in his home state of Nevada, nor was he in Florida, when he maintained a home there. Therefore, we can’t really base a motive on anything political. Sadly, many people are under the impression that he shot into that crowd because they were white, conservative, Republican, Trumpians. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a misconception the media love to jump on. Some even announced their pleasure in it. Had it been a hip hop concert instead, with black, liberal, Democratic, Clintonians – it would have been the same outcome, but pure racism would have been plastered all over the news, everywhere, and that would have been the one-and-only motive. Of course, ISIS is claiming him, too, and I’m not buying into that one, either. I think he chose white people because he didn’t want to spark a national debate about race.

It had to be about him. Mandalay Bay gave him the best vantage point and it was the perfect venue to shoot up.

I’m not a gun owner. Never was, never will be. Some, you don’t know they own one. Others, you can easily tell. Or assume. With Paddock, would anyone have outwardly known? I seriously doubt it. He seemed like a safe, sane bet. Did he act like he had a chip on his shoulder? I doubt that, too, although local detectives and federal agents are interviewing everyone he interacted with from childhood on. Obviously, something literally snapped inside of his mind. When? What began as a small gun collection eventually turned into an arsenal. As for his Filipino girlfriend, they tend to be quite subserviant. It’s their culture. (Please don’t attack me for saying it.) I believe his gun rooms were completely off-limits to her and just about everyone else but his avid gun collecting friends, if he had any friends at all. My guess would be no. He was a sociable enough guy, but not emotionally attached to anyone other than his girlfriend and family. To be honest, I think he looked at his girlfriend as furniture, but he treated her right.

I’m going to make my own guess at what made him do it. Clearly, his mind changed over time, and barring any physical imperfections, like a brain tumor, I think it’s something like this…

No one wants to get old. I know some people handle it better. If something were miserably eating away at me, would I share it with anyone? No. Hell no! One of the major complaints women make about men is that they don’t open up enough. So, here I am, festering away inside, until I can’t handle it any longer. It’s been building and building in the depths of my mind. It’s my problem and has nothing to do with who or what my father was. That’s part of the problem. It doesn’t but it does. I hated my father, yet he’s still a part of me. Most wanted. Post Office posters. Bad man. Screw him. I can do better, and I have. I’ve made it in the world. Wealth. Success. Women. I’ve got it all.

But I don’t. I’m going to be 65 next April and I haven’t been able to do the one thing my father succeeded at. I haven’t made a name for myself.

My father was a gambler down in Georgia
He wound up on the wrong end of a gun
And I was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus
Rollin’ down highway forty-one

Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can
And when it’s time for leavin’
I hope you’ll understand
That I was born a ramblin’ man

Talk about a major midlife crisis, he was seen in the company of young prostitutes just before his murder spree. How long has that been going on? We don’t know yet, but a midlife crisis, on average, can come any time between the ages of 45-64. It’s a phenomenon brought about by not wanting to accept growing age and mortality. It could be spurred by possible shortcomings of accomplishments. Easily, it could produce feelings of depression and anxiety. It beckons a change in the status quo. He got that.

Undoubtedly, creepy Stephen Craig Paddock wanted to make a name for himself. He would leapfrog his father into infamy. Why he chose to do it that way is beyond comprehension. If this alone explains it, I can understand why he purposely chose not to offer up any clues. It was his own selfish business and no one else’s. He could justify it because his mony was going to go to his victims. After all, he couldn’t take it with him. And as we all know, it sure didn’t buy him happiness.  

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