The stepfather of a young man killed at Columbine finally used the e-word. He said on Fox that the Columbine shooters there, and by implication the shooter at Virginia Tech, were evil. Geraldo came on a few minutes later and said that the shooter had been referred for counseling. “I don’t know if it did any good,” Geraldo said vapidly. I’ll hazard a guess that it didn’t. It occurs to me, watching the Virginia Tech story, that we no longer have the vocabulary to deal with people who do heinous things because they want to.
Michelle Malkin rejects the e-word for the shooter, preferring the m-word (for madness) but makes some great points about our current inability to defend ourselves from madmen. Sending them to counseling just doesn’t seem to be enough.
John O’Sullivan ponders what makes one hater (such as the Virginia Tech killer) go on a rampage, while others hate in a quieter fashion:
“Might not the Virginian murderer be seeking…fame through iniquity? It is hard to believe that someone could murder for such a modest reward which, anyway, he would not be around to enjoy. But I suppose that even such a trivial motive cannot be definitely excluded.
“Even so it doesn’t explain enough. Herostratus was only burning down a building; he was not extinguishing the life of someone in front of him. Surely that must require something more fundamental than desire for public attention, a perverse moral courage for one thing, and perhaps also what has been called ‘radical evil.’ This is the desire to do something wicked precisely because it is wicked. It is an almost satanic moral choice…’Evil, be thou my Good.'”