Does it matter why?

What’s the world to do?


Other than to decry the predictable liberal outcry against guns I saw no reason to add my uninformed opinion to the torrent of uninformed opinions, immediately following the Aurora movie house tragedy.

The parade of lawyers and psychiatrists as far removed from the scene as the reporters interviewing them, continue to give us free, ad lib-analysis of the killer’s every movement, ad nauseam. Numerous reporters and TV hosts broadcast from the site days after the event, as if by being there they could sense and relate the full impact and aura in the aftermath. In my opinion it is in bad taste to sensationalize a sensational event, where lives are taken and hearts are broken.

We have all been subjected to innumerable interpretations of the Colorado law concerning the insanity plea; suffice to say the burden of proof is opposite to most states and there is no need for me, a layman, to repeat what I’ve heard or been told here, lest I find myself guilty of the very behavior I find annoying.

But I can’t resist adding my own analysis with the advantage of hindsight and facts since-reported by authorities. I’ll be brief because I am a layman and to go on would be presumptive and overbearing. I admit I like role playing; sometimes I play lawyer and today I will play psychiatrist and investigator, judge and jury, not to be presumptive or overbearing.

If you have a tendency toward obsessive compulsive behavior, dwell on troubling thoughts of depraved acts, (most people have fleeting ideas of causing mayhem), and perhaps at a low point fall into a fit of manic depression, either chemically induced or by a natural imbalance, you may trigger an unfortunate formula for a tragic, anti social behavioral event.

We now learn that the killer fantasized his role, organized a strategy to commit the murders, drew a diagram of his plans in a notebook and provided evidence of his deranged state of mind to a professional. That’s called reaching out. I believe this is where the defense will focus. Unfortunately the professional didn’t open or receive the notebook in time to preempt or intervene in the acting out phase. It is possible that the failure to have his brilliance (confession) acknowledged further exacerbated the rage or impulse.  So much for my psychobabble.

The point is that there can be no justice when misfortune strikes with devastating force affecting a community and specific residents. Just as there can be no “justice” in the aftermath of a hurricane or any natural disaster, it happens in the blink of an eye and then it’s over, leaving a trail of ruination and inconsolable loss.

The closest we, as humans, can come to justice is to provide a speedy trial with the singular purpose to identify the perpetrator positively and put him away permanently. This is one of those times when we should acknowledge our limitations and not be overly concerned with the precise motive or state of mind; it’s done, he did it. A legal determination of insanity or just plain depravity will not bring back the dead or comfort the living. An extended trial is an opportunity for a shrewd lawyer to find a way to spare the defendant as much punishment as possible and too often provide the freedom to repeat a heinous crime in the future. It prolongs the suffering of the survivors.

In cases of natural disaster blame is assigned to Mother Nature but if it is humanity gone berserk I say identify the perpetrator, lock him up and throw the key away. His support for the rest of his life will be the burden society must bear and a reminder that we are imperfect and not all knowing.

Personally the only objection I have to the death penalty is it prolongs the agony for too many years. Some inmates have been on death row for more years than their age at the time they were committed and outlive their accusers. Have innocents been put to death? No doubt…Have the guilty gone free? Far more frequently.

When the country is restored to a functioning Constitutional Republic I would expect an overhaul of our legal and penal system; to do so now would only compound our short comings.

I pray that the city of Aurora and the victims find peace with the passage of time, sooner rather than later.



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