Why don’t we know anything about the Vegas Shooting yet?
It’s been three and a half months since the worst mass shooting in modern American history. The shooter killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others, and we still have no clue why he did it.
Why hasn’t a flood of information hit the public by now? In this day and age, when leaks to the media drop almost daily, and yet we still haven’t even seen security camera footage of the shooter inside the hotel. The only thing law enforcement seems sure of is that they can’t seem to nail down an accurate timeline for the attack. This is bar-none one of the strangest investigations in modern history.
New court documents were unsealed on Friday, and – rather than clearing anything up – we’re all left more confused than ever. The motive is still a mystery, and much of that has to do with the elaborate steps the shooter took to keep everything secret. The FBI said that the shooter planned the attack quote, “meticulously and took many methodical steps to avoid detection of his plot AND TO THWART THE EVENTUAL LAW ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATION THAT WOULD FOLLOW.”
Now why would he do that? The shooter used multiple email accounts to plan the attack, and not one but three cell phones were found in his hotel room. One of those phones was so well protected that the FBI never figured out how to unlock it. If there was no motive for this attack, if it was just a deranged man with gambling debt, who was he talking to via multiple email accounts and secret burner phones?
After this new dump of information, the explanation we’ve been given so far doesn’t fit the profile. Assassins that do these types of attacks never worry about the follow up investigation. To the contrary, they want their motives known. This suggests the shooter was protecting someone. Was it his girlfriend? The court documents revealed for the first time that she actually helped the gunman load some of his magazines. She also deleted her Facebook page right after the attack.
Did she know this attack was going to happen? Who else was involved? These answers may lie within that locked cell phone. Will we ever learn the truth?
The Desirability Bias
I’ve got some good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?
According to researchers at the University of London, it doesn’t really matter which one we hear first, because we’re more likely to believe the good news. It’s called “desirability bias.”
Desirability bias is when you consider information more credible because it pleases you. It helps explain the whole social media-fake news phenomenon – we believe something more when we like that thing and want it to be true.
Researchers at the University of London set up a study just before the 2016 presidential election. They surveyed 900 voters who supported either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. The voters disclosed which candidate they supported and predicted who they thought would win.
Researchers then randomly separated the voters into two groups. They gave the first group polling results that indicated Trump would win, and the second group results indicating Hillary would win. With this new information, participants were asked to update their prediction.
The result of the study was clear: desirability bias changes people’s minds. People believed the polling results that they were given only when the poll indicated their candidate would win.
So, if you were a Clinton supporter who thought Trump would win, and you received polling results suggesting Hillary would win, you were far more likely to change your prediction to Hillary winning. That is desirability bias – letting the outcome you actually want, affect your belief about something.
The lesson for politics is pretty clear, and it’s something that seems to be a lost art on both sides of the aisle – if you want to persuade people, you have to find a way to get them to want to agree with you. Ronald Reagan largely understood this art. He was called, “The Great Communicator” and he won 49 states in the 1984 election. We can’t fathom a candidate appealing across the aisle even half that much today.
We saw Obama supporters blinded by desirability bias for eight years, and now we’re seeing the same thing with Trump’s base. We must move beyond this concept of the presidency as the ultimate bully pulpit. That is not what the executive office was designed to be, and it won’t help heal our division.
The Department of Homeland Security has begun processing applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program aka DACA again.
And I believe it will continue to operate long after a deal on the program is reached later this week.
This shouldn’t be a huge surprise to anyone.
Why? Because both Republicans and Democrats want DACA.
And so does the President. Trump, after all, has a big heart, as he has boasted on more than one occasion.
Last year, he said, and I quote: “We’re going to show great heart. DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me…They are here illegally. They shouldn’t be very worried. I do have a big heart. We’re going to take care of everybody.”
Trump may have also said he would immediately terminate DACA, but that was sooo two years ago.
DACA is dangerous to both political parties because they are legislating based on emotion, when it should be based on the Constitution.
It’s not the children of illegal immigrants’ fault. They are innocent, but their parents are not. There needs to be consequences for breaking the law, or we don’t have laws anymore. Plain and simple.
When it comes down to it, DACA is Amnesty.
We have to make the decision to accept or reject amnesty.
Apparently, we accept it.