The Vegas Killer’s Obvious Addiction

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While motives behind the Las Vegas massacre still​ remained very much in doubt, liberal pundits rushed out​ to blame the killer’s fascination with firearms for pushing an ordinary man to mass murder.

Actually, Stephen Paddock nursed another obsession far longer, and far more intensively, than he ever indulged an interest in guns—and that dangerous obsession has largely escaped condemnation in discussions of his horrifying crime.

For more than a decade, Paddock devoted most of his time and energy to compulsive gambling and—along with six million other American adults and a half-million teenagers—qualified as an obvious “problem gambler.” More than three quarters of those so afflicted suffer from clinical depression, and the problem impacts low income households far more commonly than it harms rich retirees like the Vegas killer.

Rather than encouraging gambling by promoting lotteries and casinos, government should try to limit damage from a devastating addiction that costs Americans $150 billion in annual losses.

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  1. Ed Norton  •  Oct 4, 2017 at 7:13 pm


  2. Al in CA  •  Oct 5, 2017 at 12:56 am

    I only get to listen to your outstanding show after work by downloading the podcast so I never have the opportunity to try and call. One of your last callers on Monday deployed a common, but misguided, canard while arguing against guns. He made the statement, "We don't allow people to own just any sort of weapon such as rocket launchers, grenades and tanks." While this may be somewhat true (a tank can be purchased from surplus, many old vets do so) he was mistakenly conflating "arms" as dictated in the Constitution, with "ordnance", commonly defined as artillery, and other explosive-type weapons. Obviously, the framers did not see a need to allow the people to maintain cannons and other heavy weapons on a personal basis.

  3. Warbunny  •  Oct 6, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    The illogical, deluded, gun control advocates and mainstream media completely ignore the fact this evil man was a millionaire….do you think laws of any kind have much effect on criminals and/or millionaires? Laws (or disarming the public) only affects people who feel obligated to obey laws….or don't have enough money to elude them….

  4. Pat Allen  •  Oct 6, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    I agree totally with Mr. Medved, government should quit promoting gambling and try to curb it. Outside of Nevada most gambling is by tribes and because of white guilt about how the US treated the tribes in the past the democrats have entered into an unholy alliance to actually promote, or at least not attack gambling. All the while the poor that democrats claim to represent are spending their small paychecks on a slot machine that is guaranteed to steal your money every paycheck. The one value that democrats adhere to strictly is that they have no values.

    • Ty  •  Oct 6, 2017 at 11:26 pm

      You'll have to add a segment of libertarian tax cuts uber alles folks to that immoral tide. One of the big proponents of gambling and lottos and casinos is Grover Norquist, he likes it because it raises revenues for services in a voluntary way and, at least in theory, allows for lower tax rates. That the money gained from gambling hits the poor harder is secondary.

      And I think gambling is a useful object lesson, especially for conservatives. Much is made about allowing business and people to be free, getting rid of government regulations and minimizing taxes is always a better direction to move towards. But conservatives are quite happy to restrict the Freedoms of private companies and men when it comes to gambling, or strip joints near schools. Quite happy to have big government with the power of the state to dictate where and how, if at all, a company can put a casino. That, is not a free for all. Most conservatives do not truly want a free for all. I just wish more of them would connect the dots and imagine that the same restrictions they are comfortable with, might lend some credence to some of the restrictions that liberals want. Just because a liberal wants something, does not mean it is bad.

      Just because a regulation exists, and restricts the freedom of a company or the citizens, does not make something bad for society, we might prefer the trade off of freedom vs the general welfare. Like pollution controls. If we did not restrict emissions, our air would be much dirtier.

      So the next time you hear, and you WILL hear it, some goober on talk radio (caller or host) ranting about the evils of big government, I want you all to identify that rhetoric for what it is. Demagoguery. Using government is not some INTRINSIC evil. It can be a force for good. Liberals understand that implicitly, one day, a healthier conservatism might do the same.

      Or, more of you can surrender to the libertarian free for all crowd, and let freedom reign. Without government to stop it, this is what many of our cities would look like.

      And because China is beginning to crack down on pollution, it will one day be much cleaner.

      Remember conservatives. Government is not evil, or good. It is a tool. Same with redistribution. Don't agree, then you can go advocate for the abolition of social security and medicare. Rescind the laws requiring hospitals to treat people at the emergency room for acute care.

      • kmeechan  •  Oct 7, 2017 at 12:26 am

        Ty, you make some (uncharacteristically) reasonable points but you misunderstand the arguments against both gambling and big government: Michael and myself at least are opposed to GOVERNMENT RUN and promotion of gambling and lotteries (which disproportionately impact the poorer among us). Being a libertarian/conservative I don't want to limit anyone's right to gamble, view porn, drink alcohol, etc. I just think government should be neutral rather that promoting gambling and profiting from it. I'm Not familiar with Grover's stance on government lotteries so I will take your word on that. And there is a difference between regulation of casinos or strip joints (i.e. zoning) and prohibition, just as there is a difference between regulating abortion (no third trimester or partial birth) or firearms (concealed carry permits, no automatics) and banning them.
        And you misunderstand the typical libertarian (I am not aware of any that want no air pollution controls), the idea is not a free for all but rather "limited" regulation: the question should not be "why should someone be allowed to do this" or "prove your need for this" but rather "why is this the governments business" or "what is the compelling need" for this regulation"? And if there is a need for government involvement it is often better addressed locally than federally. I don't have the space to explain the concept of Federalism here but it is worth revisiting. And individual liberty should be the default position as much as possible. Unfortunately many on the left are perfectly content with trying to regulate and limit free speech and religious freedoms (at least of conservatives) and this will not end well, these are fundamental rights, a Catholic charity should not be forced by the Obamacare to provide or fund contraception and the new trend of rioting/blockading/shouting down conservatives on campuses disgusts me.

      • Rizzo  •  Oct 7, 2017 at 10:35 am


        Brilliant comments. Thank you for your contribution. It is so refreshing to hear from people WHO GET IT, people who UNDERSTAND, APPRECIATE, and VALUE American CORE PRINCIPLES!

        Be well!

      • Rizzo  •  Oct 7, 2017 at 10:46 am

        Ty… Moron…

        The last time I checked, Beijing is part of The People's Republic of China aka The Communist Party of China.
        Wow… You mean the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-caring centralized government of China allowed this to happen?
        Chalk-up another failure to leftist dogma.

  5. Fungah!  •  Oct 6, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Gambling should remain a state and local issue. I don't recall a specific mention of games of chance in our constitution.

    I don't like the idea of government (at any level) telling people what they can or can't do with their money. We have to stop trying to save people from themselves via government mandate. This never works and usually ends up with undesirable consequences. The lessons of prohibition just aren't retained.

    Government sponsored gambling also sets the wrong tone. It would be far better if the government just stayed out of this sort of thing.

    The government's primary concern should be protecting people from other people.

    I'm failing to see the connection between gambling and mass murder. Correlation is not causation.

  6. PolyGuy 78  •  Oct 6, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Well said, Michael. In Oregon, our state government willingly picks up the tab for the 'treatment' of gambling addiction, while happily gleaning the monetary benefits of video poker, lottery, and other gaming. Legalized gambling seems to now pervade every inch of society. While the damage done to household economies is certainly devastating, the complete loss of trust within marriages and families is often irreparable. Addiction, be it gambling, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, is truly 'the devil' and state government's dependence on its revenue is a very sad commentary on the society we live in.

  7. Dan Humfreville  •  Oct 6, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Michael… Your contention is correct. I only wish to add to it on the basis that this monster also shares one other VITAL trait with so many men of terrible character. He grew up totally absent a loving involved father. In fact, as has been revealed, his own father was a psychopathic felon who served a good number of years in prison. Paddock had even worse than no example of how a responsible man conducts himself. He had an anti-social criminal monster of his own. How much anger and hate must he have harbored over a lifetime completely devoid of a caring dad? We will never know, but the example is clear. The vast majority of male criminals in prison are from broken homes, usually missing the father. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called this issue out a generation ago. Tragically, Paddock's toxic life turned him into far worse than just a "common" criminal. He became the embodiment of evil. Our society is paying a horrendous price for the collapse of so many families. And simple-minded "feel-good" additional gun controls will not deter those intent on wreaking havoc.

  8. Ruben Lopez  •  Oct 6, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    We've been so immunized, normalized gambling that we have accepted that there's no down side to it. Aside from its potential sin side, we don't even consider its pathological sick side. Though Las Vegas would like to think otherwise, Stephen may have turned his up and down winnings and loses against Las Vegas into I'm going to make you pay, even at the expense of innocent fellow creational sisters and brothers.

  9. Tom Steger  •  Oct 6, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I agree. And soon we will see legally sanctioned sports betting.

  10. Nani Tavares  •  Oct 7, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    I was just wondering when we became so obsessed with the plight of the poor to the point where everything done is excused as long it's for the poor. They can steal our money, interfere with our conscience, dictate our beliefs, and limit our free speech as long as it is for the "poor". And WHERE does the definition of "good" and "right" and "kind" and "tolerant" come from if there is no God and America is a country in need of a complete overhaul?

  11. Rizzo  •  Oct 7, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Nani… Brilliant Point!
    The term "poor", "rich", whatever economic stratification the left wants to apply, is ABSOLUTLELY MEANINGLESS in America.
    What does it even really mean to be "poor" in America?
    The left will continue to slice, dice and divide our country into as many disparate slices as possible. All as a means to identify "victims" and to justify the further transformation of America.

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