Lanterns: Shadow Lands


Shadow Lands

In a time when we have access to more information, instantly than at any other time in the history of mankind, it yet seems, we know even less than ever before. 


We all know what happened in Las Vegas just a few nights ago, and I’d like to begin by stating my own personal views are reserved, and I am merely opening the dialogue on questions I’ve seen all around me on a dozen and one Facebook timelines. 

I haven’t formed an opinion yet. I purposely waited to write this because I have no desire to write out of ignorance, before first listening, and trying to learn.  

It bears mentioning that in the course of this article, in no way, do I indict the performance of law enforcement and first responders in any fashion. I believe those men and women on the ground performed their duties with the highest regards to their fellow citizens and acted with the utmost in professionalism, speed, competence, and devotion. 


A man, 65, or so, with no report of military background experienced a mental break, took a number of firearms, semi-auto, full auto, or otherwise, busted out the windows from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, and proceeded to efficiently murder some fifty people, and injure hundreds more. 

There are a myriad number of questions of a practical nature, as to which types of weapons were used, numerous other shooters, the means by which he altered or arranged his room, even the number of weapons used. Each and all would be articles unto themselves, and it only serves to deepen the mystery of the event itself. 

What weighs most heavily in my mind, is the WHY.


Why target a mass group of concert goers and then simply leave no explanation as to a motive? Targeting a group like that indicates a desire for notoriety, and yet, you seek none? Doesn’t make sense. 

Most people that mentally snap, act with immediacy, and they still have some particular target or group of targets in mind, i.e. if he had gambling debts and said to hell with my wife, my job, society, etc., and he hauls his gun out of the trunk, marches into the casino where he lost the money, and starts spraying bullets. If he loses his job, he targets his workplace or boss. There’s usually some familiarity with his intended targets. And if there’s not, that usually indicates some other motive at play. More especially if he’s shown premeditation which as we understand it, he did. 

Additionally, premeditated or not, there’s usually a social media fingerprint and more, especially if he’s targeting a group of people he has no relationship to. If it’s premeditated and terrorist in nature, i.e. he has some inherent social grievance or agenda, in his mind,  and these people deserve what they’re getting, then he’s going to say so. He’s going to release some type of statement, make some note, write a missive, or leave some social media statement vindicating himself. This is especially true if, by his actions, he’s clearly showing no desire to live through the event. But we haven’t seen any of this. In fact, we haven’t seen any social media presence from the shooter at all. 

And broadly speaking, that lack of any mention in the media of any alleged political affiliations is indicative too, because, as has been documented, the media leans in a particular direction when the wind blows. And when motives don’t jive with that narrative, it doesn’t get reported; it gets scrubbed. 

There simply isn’t any indication at all of motive, and the explanations being offered us, simply don’t add up.


What’s more, it seems even that a particular narrative that we’re all too familiar with is being pressed, namely, a single madman, acting all alone, perpetrated the act. The “ongoing investigation” isn’t three days old and there are too many questions to be answered, yet many have made up their minds. Most typically, law enforcement doesn’t make a statement like that, they don’t jump to conclusions. Usually, they simply say they won’t comment. 

In closing, and with all this being said, one thing we DO KNOW, is that the left, seized upon gun ownership, and immediately Twitter and other social media outlets lit up almost instantly with cries for gun control. Some political figures even went so far as to specifically name right-wing entities like the NRA as possessing culpability in this tragedy. 

Furthermore, many even went far and beyond the pale as to not only show a malevolent lack of empathy for the victims but to even wish for more of them, specifically, to be right-wingers. 

It is no wonder so many are left with very real, lingering doubts. And this is doubly troubling in light of the casualties. Real people lost their loved ones— real, innocent people are dead. And grieving loved ones, a grieving public, feel like they aren’t getting the real story even to the point of being intentionally misinformed by parties, and even reasons, unknown.  

It is no wonder so many feel like they are living in the Shadow Lands where conspiracies, half-truths, and lies, thrive. 


Written by Ben Coleman

Freelance author, historian and Navy veteran. Find him at

2 Responses

Exactly where we're living, the Shadow Lands! I think that's why I love my small rural community of "regular folk." It's only in the larger, often cyber, communities I'm exposed to a whirling cyclone of bullcrap!

I so appreciate what Julie just said...its true . I know how much I dont know. I hope you add on to this and do part 2.

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