Stephen Paddock: A Suggestion of a Profile
I’ve been both fascinated and baffled by the confusion that people seem to have regarding Stephen Paddock and the horrific mass murder he committed. And as the FBI and others try to piece together how this “seemingly normal” man could deliver such a calloused, and undoubtedly, evil act, I wonder if they are thinking too much within their own narrow profile. I wonder if most people are too narrow in their focus.

I would like to throw in some factors that perhaps are not being carefully scrutinized. These are just hypotheses, but may have bearing into a discovery of the overall mindset of Stephen Paddock.


For what do we use guns? Some would say that we use guns for protection. Some would say guns are our second amendment rights as Americans, protecting bus from the tyrannical takeover of a rogue government. However, regardless if you are a gun owner or not, you must realize that guns are made to kill. This is not a political debate, nor is this a diatribe against the NRA. It is simply a fact of what guns can do. Guns contain the machinery to kill.

Now, would most gun owners commit mass murder? Certainly not! Are most gun owners responsible with their weapons? I don’t have the data on this, but my guess is that, for the most part, they are responsible owners of a dangerous weapon. Now here’s the trick question… what percentage of legal gun owners are killers?  This is a tougher number to extrapolate, for the sum would have to include murders, suicides, and kills by hunting, not for food, but for sport and cruelty. Hunters? Yes. This will become a significant point below regarding Steven Paddock. On a conservative level, over 80% of deaths (the ones listed above) are contributed by legal gun owners.

Still, guns are only a small part, no pun intended, of any attempt at understanding the mindset of Stephen Paddock. Paddock, just like the rest of us, was a complex three dimensional man whose intentions cannot be grasped by any singular life event.

Does a difference in moral equivalence exist when it comes to killing animals vs killing humans? I am certain that many would say that one does exist. Theoretically, for me, I would like to believe that one does not exist, but I see my actions and know it tells a different story. Still, my point can be made.  What if one gets used to killing animals? Does it follow through that there will eventually be a devaluation of human life, as well?

I once had a roommate who was an artist. He had a painting  that hung on the walls of our apartment. It was a painting of mice in airplanes, dropping bombs down to the earth . I remember asking him, “What does this painting mean?” He replied, “If we can justify killing even the smallest of creatures, we will eventually be able to justify killing each other.”  We were roommates over 24 years ago, but his words still haunt me today. I’ve never looked at the killing of anything the same since. We live in a society where we condone the killing and mutilation of certain beings, but not other beings. Does this eventually lead to a society where we will accept the killing all beings? I have a hunch that Stephen Paddock’s fiery, murderous assault on trapped animals was a skill honed many years ago in other culturally approved killings.


On a psychoanalytic level, guns are phallic instruments. Though in this case, their ejaculate is not life-giving, but rather, life-taking. Did Stephen Paddock’s obsession with guns increase because of a decrease in his sexual functioning? Were there E.D. issues that popped up, (all pun intended), in his recent history, feeding the rage that he suppressed? And though doctors are bound by confidentiality, were there any recent diagnoses that were terminal in their course, especially any that involved the prostate or testes? Was he molested or raped when he was younger? Was he impotent?


None of us want to leave this planet without knowing that we have left some type of impact, whether great or small. Regardless of financial success, none of us remember people if they’re only contribution was that they made a lot of money. Would any of us know the name Stephen Paddock had it not been for his horrific act? What if Stephen Paddock had everything except a meaningful legacy? Could this, in combination with other factors, have affected him?


Again, it is important to emphasize that no singular event or situation would justify or explain what happened on that dreadful night because of the actions taken by Stephen Paddock. These are just ideas of contributing factors that taken by themselves would mean nothing, but added to the entire profile could offer a sensible profile.

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