The Las Vegas shooting of last year left 58 dead and many more injured. To many, it was an act of terror. However, it does not actually meet the FBI’s standards of terrorism, which requires violence for the sake of the “furtherance of social or political objectives”. This is because the investigation has been closed without any ascribed motive. Stephen Paddock, the shooter, is considered to have suffered from mental illness and his motive still remains unknown, with guesses including the apolitical and irreligious shooter simply acting out of boredom.
The investigation team of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Force have released a 187-page briefing of the 10-month long investigation into the shooting, with no clear motive determined for the shooter’s heinous crime. It is believed that the shooter worked alone and refused care for his bipolar disorder. There is a key takeaway here: the lack of a motive.
Why is this important? The shooter utilized the Mandalay Bay, a Las Vegas casino and hotel, to open fire on a music festival in October. The parent company of Mandalay Bay, MGM Resorts International, had over 2,500 people file or threaten to file lawsuits connected to the shooting and the suffering it caused. On July 13, MGM Resorts International filed a lawsuit denying any liability for the shooting. Their case? The SAFETY (“Support Anti-terrorism Fostering Effective Technologies”) Act.
MGM Resorts International used the Department of Homeland Security-certified Contemporary Services Corporation for safety precautions for the music festival, and under the SAFETY Act, MGM Resorts International would be granted certain protections from liability for terror attacks. But therein lies the crux of the issue: the Las Vegas shooting was not a terror attack as it lacked a “social or political” objective.
Regardless of the crime being labeled an act of terror, MGM Resorts International would still be liable for any actions taken independently of the Contemporary Services Corporation, though it is not confirmed that any such actions did, in fact, take place.
The declaration of the Las Vegas shooting as not being an act of terror means that the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting will remain the biggest act of terror in American history, with the Las Vegas shooting being the largest mass shooting. The results of the Las Vegas investigation come at a time when America has nearly as many incidents of mass shootings as there are days, and the prospect that shooters may act out without any real motive may be alarming to many.
Caiman Cotton is a Lead Contributor to theDailyLead.