America woke up to yet another tragedy Monday as a gunman killed 58 people and wounded over 500 at a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada late Sunday night. Denunciations of his horrific actions have been swift, as have words of condolence and sadness. Also swift was the same debate that always rages in instances like this.
Was it actually terrorism?
Law enforcement on the scene seems to disagree.
“We have to establish what his motivation is first … it will be a matter of process,” Sheriff Joe Lombardo— Dana Loesch (@Dana Loesch)1506949283.0
The key words here are "lone wolf."When a white supremacist drove a van into a crowd in Charlottesville, he was called a "lone wolf." When a man attacked the congressional Republican's baseball practice in July, he was called a "lone wolf." When Dylan Roof killed nine people in a Charleston church, he was a "lone wolf."
Why are these words problematic? It all goes back to the definition of terrorism.
According to NV LAW, Stephen Paddock is a terrorist. #vegas #shooting https://t.co/uenQcfLVkN— Demetria Obilor (@Demetria Obilor)1506943880.0
But according to law, motive is key in deciding what is a terrorist act.
Whether Las Vegas gun slaughter is “terrorism” depends on Paddock’s motive. Over 15K murders in US per year, few fi… https://t.co/KSgzRQtgVK— Moe Davis (@Moe Davis)1506942329.0