The Sydney Morning Herald
by Julie Szego
Alas, there's no gentle way into this discussion: a mass murderer with an enhanced semi-automatic weapon does not automatically equal a "terrorist".No matter how much partisan warriors and even governments try to squeeze the Las Vegas tragedy into the post-9/11 template, the facts simply don't fit. At the time of writing, everything we know — as in, don't know — about the shooter, Stephen Paddock, suggests that noun has no place in this atrocity, even if the verb is horrifically apt, as the 64-year-old professional gambler terrorised, with chilling method, 22,000 people at the Route 91 Harvest Festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Paddock was not a terrorist, even if we acknowledge that to those left injured and grieving after the worst mass shooting in modern US history this parsing of definitions might seem an insensitive parlour...