Of Sound Mind Mass Murder

In Columns

The cyclical nature of mass murder in America has become commonplace. Somehow we are starting to get numb from the constant mass destruction of innocent life. How we got here has become an endless debate that goes nowhere. The same ole arguments circle around the culture drain and flush through our collective consciousness.

We struggle to understand why or what factors are pushing this to the forefront of our modern society. We hear the gun control advocates spout out their misplaced ideologies. We listen to reasoning pointing to mental health, post-traumatic disorder and our lack of infrastructure or support for that community. I’ve heard reports that point toward video games and the desensitization of a culture of death. Heck, I heard and believe that a big part of this is driven by the Millennial Generation. However, none of this fits with America’s biggest mass murder in Las Vegas. This murderer came from the Baby Boomer Generation.

The strange part of this latest mass murder is that this does not fit any profile that anyone is aware of. The man had nothing in his background that would point to the fact that he was capable of such an evil act. There seemingly is no political, religious or workplace anger that would trigger anything like this. It was not a crime of passion, it was very calculated. So why did he do this?

Is it possible that this man did this of sound mind? Of course, one would say or think that nobody is of sound mind that would commit mass murder, but maybe that axiom is wrong? Possibly, in this case, we have a man who knew exactly what he was doing, had no malice against any particular group and just wanted to do this act.

I am reminded of the character in the book Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky named Raskolnikov. In the book, Raskolnikov contemplates that all the men in history that landed up to be great and remembered, killed people. He ponders whether or not he himself could be great without murder. Then he goes off and kills an old woman with an ax. Maybe this nut in Las Vegas just wanted to feel what it felt like to commit mass murder? I think maybe we will have to think outside the box to get to the bottom of the motive of the deadliest mass murder in American history. One thing is for sure, he will be forever remembered now. His name is Stephen Paddock.


C. Rich
Author, Blogger, Poet

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