Violence begets violence. When a third grader, an 8 year old boy, brings a semi-automatic gun to school to protect himself from bullies, it is clear that our society has lost sight of the fundamental abhorrence we should have for violence. In Las Vegas, 58 people were slaughtered and 489 were injured, even though the shooter was hoping to kill all 547 victims.
In the aftermath of the worst shooting in recent history, police determined that Stephen Paddock fired 280 rounds, nine bullets EVERY SECOND, in the span of 31 seconds. President Trump and proponents of guns say that the answer to mass shootings is to have more citizens with more guns.
Now Bristol Palin and her husband Dakota Meyer have weighed into the Las Vegas shooting. There is really no issue about the Las Vegas shooting. There is no “left” or “right” position. There is only death and destruction. Everyone agrees it was an act of terrorism by a mad man. Nobody has defended the death and carnage. Nobody has been critical of the law enforcement response or the efforts made by the hotel to limit the violence that could be inflicted by a lone gun man. In fact, Americans have proudly recognized the many heroes involved. Ordinary citizens did extraordinary things to try to help and protect the victims of the shootings.
The controversy began with Dakota Meyer. Meyer slammed Dan Bilzerian for filming himself running away from the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas when Paddock opened fire. Bilzerian live streamed the video on Facebook, telling fans that he had just seen a woman get shot in the head. In his original criticism of the post, Meyer said it was ‘disgusting‘ that Bilzerian’s immediate thought was to document the tragedy on social media instead of helping the wounded. However Bilzerian responded by showing additional footage where he asked a police officer for a gun so he could fight back.
Bristol attacked Bilzerian’s manhood, saying:
I guess Bristol learned from her mother. Sarah was notorious for attacking men for being “impotent.”
She used the word “impotent” about Anthony Weiner.
Palin used the word “impotent” to describe the reporter from Vanity Fair.
Grandma Palin also described Obama as impotent.
Dakota Meyer joined in suggesting that Bristol had somehow been threatened by Bilzerian. Of course Dakota Meyer’s response to a perceived threat to his wife was to challenge Bilzerian to a fight. Meyer made a video challenging Bilzerian. He didn’t send it directly to Bilzerian. He posted it on the internet. Meyer said:
‘This ain’t an option. You just need to tell me when and where and if not we’ll be somewhere together, I’m sure.
‘Why don’t we handle this like men? You got it? You got it, Dan? I’m waiting.’
The controversy stirred by Dakota and Bristol is a transparent attempt to bring media attention to themselves. They haven’t quietly gone about the business of helping the victims of the Las Vegas shootings. They haven’t become spokespersons for sensible gun control. They haven’t even promoted Las Vegas, the sight of their engagement.
Instead they have used the tragedy of the Las Vegas shooting to promote themselves as a macho man and a woman who loves macho men.