I saw this article under the headline:
Las Vegas shooter’s autopsy gives no clues
The funny thing is, the autopsy does, in fact, give a clue. It was a clue that I expected would be there. I almost wrote an article about it shortly after the shooting, but I thought maybe I shouldn't jump to conclusions. Perhaps other evidence will turn up. Now, after all this time, the official investigation has come up with no plausible theories. A conspiracy theorist I saw posting on Steemit had a theory he thought was obvious, but in my opinion, he had no plausible theories.
So I read the article and sure enough, there was the clue I expected. The clue is that toxicology analysis indicated that Stephen Paddock had been taking valium at some point in the recent past, but was not on it at the time of the shooting. This was determined because it was found in his urine, but not in his blood.
It had previously been reported that he had been known to have taken it in the recent past. That's one reason I expected to see it in the toxicology report. Also because he had fired a machine gun into a crowd for no reason that made any sense. No reason unless you have noticed that a large percentage -- possibly 100% -- of the people who have made headlines for senseless mass murders with no known motive have been taking anti-anxiety medications. One of the known side effects of these medications is that they can cause people to become suicidal or go into murderous rages, especially if they have been taking the medication for a long time and the dosage is reduced or they stop taking it entirely without lowering the dosage gradually. Valium is one of the drugs that can cause this kind of effect.
These side effects are rare. Millions of people take these drugs every day and do not have these symptoms. Side effects often afflict only a tiny percentage of the people who take the medication. That is true with these drugs and this effect.
I posted about this five months ago:
In the Higham School case, the shooter decided not to kill anyone even after bringing guns to school to commit a mass murder. This gives us a rare, if not unique opportunity to understand what goes through the minds of people who do that. They almost always end up dead. One of the few exceptions was James Holmes, the guy who shot a bunch of people in a theater in Colorado. What many people want to know in these cases is "why?" "WTF?" Why would anyone do such a terrible thing? Holmes claimed he could not remember the incident at all. But the Higham School shooter -- well, almost shooter -- is different. He did remember. And he explained. Read my article linked above for details. His description matches the known symptoms of an adverse drug reaction to the medication he had been taking.
Valium also can cause similar reactions in very rare cases. Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, may have been one of those cases.
Here's what the article about his autopsy said,
"The autopsy, which included toxicology tests and a brain examination, found that Paddock had anti-anxiety medication in his system. It also confirmed what authorities had previously said — that Paddock died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head after he opened fire at an outdoor concert from his 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay suite, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more."
"Amounts of nordiazepam, oxazepam and temazepam, which are consistent with the anti-anxiety drug Valium, were found in his urine, a toxicology report shows. There was no mention in the results of substances associated with alcohol."
Homocidal rage followed by suicide. After he quit taking the medication. This is the classic pattern.
Stephen Paddock's brother is quoted saying this:
“It seems that based on the autopsy reports there were no physical excuses for what Steve did,” said his younger brother Eric Paddock, who lives in Orlando, Fla. “We may never understand why Steve did this.”
We may never understand for certain, but we do now have a clue, despite what the headline on that article said.
I'm not saying anything about whether Paddock had a "physical excuse". That's not my point and the Higham School incident provides evidence that at least some people, even when they are having this reaction, can still tell right from wrong and possess the power to do the right thing.
I really do suspect that as senseless mass killings keep happening and one perpetrator after another is found to have been taking drugs known to be able to cause suicidal thoughts and murderous rage in rare cases, we should pay more attention to that. I don't know what should be done about it, but after every such incident involving a shooting, there is substantial debate about guns and whether laws about them should be changed. Maybe those are debates we need to have, but somewhere in all this, there should be some discussion about the possibility that medications may have played a key role in what happened.
I'm not offering a solution to the problem. I'm just pointing out something that may be crucial to understanding what the problem is.