Jim Duffy: Vegas tragedy exposes America's blind spot - itself

What does the United States do when there is no enemy to pursue except one within its borders, asks Jim Duffy

People run to safety from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. Picture: Getty
People run to safety from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. Picture: Getty

There’s a brilliant Razorlight song that I just love. It’s called America. The video is good too. There’s a line in the lyrics that reads: “All my life watching America. All my life, there’s panic in America.” And I now know why the band wrote this song and what it truly means.

Let me play out a scenario for you all. But be prepared to think and be open minded.

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Imagine if you will that a follower of Islam had perpetrated the Las Vegas massacre a few days ago. You know exactly what I mean. The type or stereotype of a male with sallow or black skin, sporting a long bushy beard.

He may have been born and bread in America. Or he may have migrated there a few years back. He has worked in low-level jobs and maybe has been on the American version of universal credit. So, this follower of Islam kills 59 people at a concert and injures over 500 others. To finish off the imagery he was heard allegedly shouting “Allahu Akbar”. These reports have yet to be confirmed but are gathering pace. So, what happens now in America?

You can bet your bottom dollar, the sh*t would hit the fan.

President Trump would be all over the media and his infamous non-fake news Twitter account condemning Moslems and looking for someone to point a missile at.

The American navy would be put on standby and the department of Homeland security would be on the TV talking about increased security check at airports. Add to this a moratorium on anyone with a beard entering the country and you almost have the perfect answer to how America would panic and react.

Ordinary Americans would be shocked and horrified, even more than they are now. They would unite in a hotbed of “us against the world” and “God Bless America”.

Church leaders would condemn the act as evil, while there were would be numerous random raids on Moslem families and people associated with them.

You know, people who had a barbecue and invited their Moslem neighbours over.

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America would be pitted against the world again and its mighty intelligence services would put the squeeze on the rest of the world to come up with more answers, so it could exert some force.

OK, that’s the fake story over – now let’s get real.

A man did indeed kill and massacre 59 people and seriously injure over 500 more.

But this man was a white man. Not only that, he was 100 per cent American and had lived in the USA all his life.

He was a business man who had made money and could buy what he wanted and live the life he wanted, he stayed in a local neighbourhood, he was not young and dumb, but in his sixties and appeared normal.

It is reported he had more than 50 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition. He planned what he was going to do and boy did it have maximum impact.

But, what I don’t hear from America and what really bothers me is this: who are you pointing your wrath and missiles at as a result?

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And herein lies the problem with America. It loves to have an enemy, to be perceived as the world’s policeman, and to make big interventions in others lives and affairs.

But, when it comes to dealing with its own internal problems it hits a wall all the time. In short, America has a blind spot. The blind spot is called America.

There is no baddie to go after globally on this one. The baddie lived within its own borders and community. There are no laws to change so that the focus can be on, for example, banning Islam.

The laws to change are internal and relate to firearms. And there is no race element to hype up as the shooter was a white American defending his right to the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. So what do they do now? A big fat zero.

There is trouble in America as Razorlight suggest in their song.

The trouble is that America and Americans are so self obsessed with their right to rule the world and dictate their own version of freedom and liberty that they get blindsided with incidents like the Las Vegas massacre.

They cannot see that their own freedoms result in episodes like Las Vegas. And with no-one to blame or go after for vengeance, they accept the result as they have been indoctrinated at school on the first and second amendments. And let us not forget the fifth amendment where if you are lying you can plead the fifth and get away with it.

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I came home this week after spending two weeks in Las Vegas on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday.

It was great. I stayed three nights in the Mandalay Bay hotel complex on the 29th floor. So, seeing the TV pictures was pretty sore and indeed made me feel emotional.

But, I just can’t help feeling that if America wants to move on, then it needs to pivot its mindset away from looking for bogeymen abroad and start to seriously re-purpose its thinking on how it operates and behaves internally.

God rest their souls, but I fear it will not be the last.