In The Crosshairs?

In the wake of the beyond-horrific slaughter of concert-goers in Las Vegas this week, as live music lovers, and festival and concert attendees, we may be in for not only some ticket sticker shock but a huge change in how events and festivals are managed.

Event and concert promoters have insurance for their events, but no one could have possibly predicted that a sniper would kill and maim almost 600 concert attendees at the Jason Aldean event on Sunday evening in Las Vegas.

What concert promoter has “sniper insurance”?

Concert, festival and event promoters, and venues, all carry liability insurance. They are required to provide for the safety of the people who attend their events. The Vegas shooting is going to raise the bar for everyone who hosts the public at an event, whether it be an outdoor festival, a concert, or even live music in a club. We are probably going to have to pay the price for more expensive insurance.

I can see the plaintiff attorneys lining up to create a class action suit for reparations for the deaths and injuries. But who exactly is responsible? The promoters? The concert promoters (Live Nation) used a festival grounds venue on the Vegas strip for the show.

The hotel? The grounds were in the line of fire from both the Mandalay Bay hotel as well as the Luxor property. Hotels don’t regularly check their guests for firearms (I’ll bet that’s going to change pretty soon; prepare yourself for searches in hotel lobbies). Who would think that the maniac shooter would be able to walk in with multiple suitcases of deadly firearms and ammunition? How can security people and police deal with a situation like this?

The answer is that they probably cannot. To make things even more problematic and potentially devastating, when a shooter is above a crowd, it’s much more difficult to stop them without massive damage occurring first. The damage—especially from an automatic weapon (or one that’s souped up to act like an automatic weapon)—can be carried out in a very short period of time.

Think about it: What if a sniper rented a room at the Hyatt New Orleans and decided to take out a window shoot into a crowd attending a concert at Champions Square? Or went into an office in the building located adjacent? It’s a similar scenario. How about a crazy sniper renting a room in a high-rise downtown hotel during Mardi Gras?

People, this could happen. God forbid it ever does. But now we have to think about it.

In the first scenario, who would be responsible for the safety of the crowd? Champions Square? The concert promoter? The hotel? The office building? If this is the case, do you think that all of these entities are going to be buying massive insurance policies “just in case” this happens again? Who do you think is going to ultimately pay the price? We are. Ticket prices for outdoor events—and maybe even indoor events—are going to go way up to cover the costs of catastrophic liability insurance in case there’s a maniac armed with a gun.

What about all the city’s free festivals that are held downtown or in the Quarter, where there are dozens of high-rise hotels, any one of which could inadvertently harbor a nut-job sniper? Like Mardi Gras?

We’re already aware of the serious issues with criminal gun violence in New Orleans, particularly in tourist areas. How do we stop it? The police can only do so much.

As long as this country is brainwashed into thinking that it’s perfectly okay to carry a gun, to be able to easily buy guns, rifles or automatic weapons; ammunition; and legal devices that can convert a standard rifle into a high-powered automatic weapons, this is not outside the realm of probability.

I just don’t understand why Americans put up with this. I just don’t get it.

We have been blinded by the weapons lobby that has successfully convinced a very large proportion of the American public (and its government leaders whom it supports financially) that to oppose weapons and to promote gun control is somehow unpatriotic and unconstitutional. It sickened me to see Congressman Steve Scalise—himself a victim of gun violence—once again advocate the unfettered right to own firearms. It’s no wonder that incidents like Las Vegas are bound to happen again.

Always remember, lobby organizations like the NRA exist to promote gun ownership and use, because they represent the weapons manufacturers and gun sellers who want to sell more guns. Tying gun ownership to the US constitution was purely brilliant. This is serious genius marketing, you must admit, and it worked like a charm. To America’s detriment.

I can hear it now: “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” I can guarantee you that those 600 folks in Vegas may not feel that way. If shooter Paddock—who appeared totally sane and who apparently had no motive for his rampage–had not had access to the weapons, the ammo and the automatic boosters, we’d have 600 alive and healthy people today in Las Vegas. A crazy person with a knife may be able to damage a few people. A lunatic with a gun, and especially a souped-up firearm—can kills hundreds, from a distance, very quickly (Paddock’s rampage and damage to 600 human beings was estimated to last only about 10 minutes).

Is it worth it to keep promoting gun ownership and culture? No, it is not.

Not only are we going to have to pay for this self-destructive mentality, we’re also going to have to live with the anxiety we’ll now all feel when we go to a club, a music concert, a festival. Maybe even if we step outside our front door.

It just doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of offering “sympathy and prayers” for the dead and injured, when are politicians—and the American public—going to have the guts and sense to stop this insanity and step up for gun control?


  • Ghost of Chico Salmon

    Your comment about the NRA really being nothing more than a lobbyist for the arms and ammo industry is spot on. The organization has succeeded in perverting the Second Amendment, thanks to a right-wing Supreme Court that the NRA and its allies (e.g., Koch brothers, DeVos family and countless other billionaires) have made possible through donations and expenditures on behalf of pliable candidates for public office (like Rep. Scalise).