Not a good morning.
Not good at all.
I was preparing the notes for two business ethics seminars I’ll be running today when the news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas came on HLN. There are several items I had planned for today’s Warm-Up, but they all seem trivial right now. 50+ dead, and over 200 wounded, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Random thoughts, as I simultaneously watch reports:
1 The shooter has been killed. His name is Stephen Paddock. Are you relieved that he doesn’t have a Muslim name?
2. It sounds like the gun used was no ordinary automatic weapon, but possibly a belt-fed machine gun. I wonder if that fact will restrain the inevitable politicization of this tragedy, as it once again sets off the anti-gun ownership activists.
3. President Trump tweeted out the obligatory condolences. I assume he will make public statement in person. Twitter has the advantage of being quick, but there is something off about tweets as official reactions to such deadly national disasters.
4. I have believed for some time that the relentless escalation of 24-7 anger, political hate, fear-mongering and vicious partisan rhetoric in the news media and social media are creating an environment that risks driving the weak, the ill, the stressed and the vulnerable over the edge. Of course, this shooter may have had a brain tumor like Charles Whitman; the shooting may have no political connection whatsoever. Still, this is not a healthy culture right now. It can’t have helped.