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Authorities who investigated fatal shootings over the weekend at a Cincinnati nightclub and on the Las Vegas Strip were quick to report they saw no indication of terrorism. The incidents were, in fact, the latest reminders that when it comes to terrorizing Americans, Americans don’t need help from terrorists. They’re perfectly capable of killing, maiming and scaring themselves — even at times and in places where people are supposed to be enjoying themselves. Ohio Gov. John Kasich noted the absence of a terror motive in the Cincinnati shooting. Nevertheless, he told CNN, “As the father of two 17-year-old girls headed to college next year, you see things like this and you begin to wonder, ‘Where it is safe to go?’" Not the Cameo nightclub, a place with a history of trouble, when gunfire erupted early Sunday amid a dispute among several men. One man was killed and more than a dozen other people injured by shots fired from several individuals, police said. Nor Las Vegas Boulevard shortly before noon Saturday, when a man riding on a double-decker bus pulled out a gun. He killed one passenger — a man visiting from Montana — and wounded another before barricading himself inside the bus in a standoff that lasted about five hours. It ended in his surrender and arrest. The standoff, which closed the famous street, was witnessed by many Cosmopolitan Hotel guests, who looked on from room balconies and the pool deck. Jitters were compounded by the fact that earlier Saturday, three people wearing formal wear and animal masks walked into a jewelry store at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino and stole merchandise. The sound of a hammer breaking glass sounded like gunshots, and for a time was reported as such. Police later said no shots were fired. After last year's mass shooting in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub that killed 49 people — the worst domestic terror incident since 9/11 — it’s easy to see why authorities want to tamp down terrorism fears as soon as they plausibly can. Those long accustomed to late-night clubland mayhem were surprised to learn that, in a 911 call before the Orlando massacre, gunman Omar Mateen swore allegiance to the Islamic State. He said the shooting was "triggered" by the killing of an Islamic State leader in an airstrike in Iraq the previous month. After invading the club, he told a police negotiator he was "out here right now" because of U.S.-led interventions in Syria and Iraq. Now, virtually any violent episode — mass shooting, explosion, transportation disaster — sparks terrorism worries. But such motives remain the exception. Since 9/11 Americans have been slaughtered at a movie theater (Aurora, Colo., in 2012; 12 dead) and a shopping mall (Omaha in 2007; eight dead) for reasons unconnected to international politics or religion. Nor was there any such cause in 2003, at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island, where a fire caused by pyrotechnics improperly set off by a rock band tour manager ignited building insulation, killing 100 people and injuring 230. And there are countless examples of random nightclub violence. Last June, Denver Broncos football player Aqib Talib was shot in the leg during a fight at a nightclub in Dallas. Last March one man was killed and another wounded when a fight broke out at a South Side Chicago institution, the 50 Yard Line Sports Bar & Grill. The Cameo club had another shooting on New Year’s Day 2015 and one in the parking lot nine months later, according to Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black. Yet people still flock to the club. The parking lot was so packed early Sunday that some emergency response vehicles had trouble getting to the door.
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