The question of evil
Since last Friday I've had the horrific events at Sandy Hook in the forefront of my thoughts. I've tried to come to grips with the nature of this event in an attempt to make sense of it. It's an impossible task. Unless you add into the mix the white elephant in the room that nobody in the media is talking about: evil.
That evil exists in the world there is no doubt. As a life-long student of history, with a special emphasis on World War II and its causes and aftermath, I have confronted the history of evil in the twentieth century in its most base and banal state. The Holocaust, particularly, is an event that defies explanation unless you factor in the effect of evil in the world. The Nazis by all accounts were excellent administrators and scientists and engineers. But to what purpose did many of those hard-working educated people put their professional knowledge? Death camps, where the slaughter of millions was undertaken in the most efficient and cost-effective way for the Reich.
We can try to explain away the senseless slaughter of innocents -- a phenomena that, sadly, is not new to our world -- with arguments of whether mental illness, or bullying, or isolation, or lack of medication, or whatever else you can come up with to explain the event, had anything to do with why this monster killed his mother, twenty children, six adults and then himself.
All of those factors may have played a significant role in his action. But the simple fact that Lanza, before the killings, destroyed his computers with a special emphasis on his hard drives, tells me that this is no ordinary crazy person. This is a person devoid of a conscience and lacking empathy for others acting with pure premeditation. This is a person missing that gene we all have for love. Sadly, that leads us to straight to the pure evil that directed these acts. And there isn't a law they can pass that can deal with it.