I’m hesitant to comment on this so soon after the event, and while so many things remain unknown, but there have been a few items banging around the news and commentary circuits that are just plain wrong.
The usual suspects are already screeching about gun control. But there are already troublesome facts known. For example: The shooter, Stephen Paddock, reportedly had at least one, possibly two fully-automatic rifles. These are reported to have been AR-15 pattern rifles, but it is not clear whether they were converted or manufactured in select-fire configuration. But that doesn’t really matter. Why?
If the guns were manufactured in select-fire configuration, Paddock could have obtained them legally. He was reportedly a man of some wealth, and may have well been able to afford the high price of a couple of NFA firearms. Also, apparently nothing in his background would have precluded that purchase; he is known to have purchased several other arms, legally, from an Arizona gun shop. No background check imaginable would have prevented the purchase.
If the guns were converted, then Paddock broke a Federal law in converting them. But the hard cold fact is this: Anyone with a mill, a drill press, some aluminum and enough intelligence to pound sand could produce a workable fully-automatic rifle. The only really tricky part would be the barrel, but there are literally millions upon millions of barrels around that would work for the purpose.
So no law, existing or proposed, would have prevented this.
Also: Predictable as the morning sun, Her Imperial Majesty, before the body count was even known, took to Twitter to attack the NRA and the SHARE act, deregulating suppressors. But her argument runs across the same stumbling block; if he used a suppressor purchased legally, that would be small potatoes economically next to the one or two NFA firearms he had already bought. And we have seen that he was able to pass the background checks.
Add to that the fact that Paddock apparently had explosives and arming devices in his home; that’s also illegal.
We know so little about this incident as yet, it’s hard to draw any conclusions. Apparently ISIS wasted no time in claiming ownership of Paddock and his act, but they are as full of shit as the Dowager Empress; there’s no reason to think Paddock was an ISIS sympathizer. But this is time for ascertaining facts, not wading in the blood of the victims to push a political agenda.