Millions of Americans over the last few days have been offering prayers and condolences for those killed and wounded in the shooting in Las Vegas.
59 people killed, over 500 wounded in a shooting that took place during an outdoor concert.
Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
Once again we have experienced the carnage of hate heaped upon innocent people.
Once again we offer our prayers for the victims and their families.
Is anyone praying for the shooter? Stephen Paddock and his family?
We don’t know and might not ever know how he came to think that this act of evil was the only thing left for him to accomplish in this world.
He committed suicide as the police were forcing their way into the two room suite he rented in order to commit mass murder.
I don’t think Stephen Paddock was born evil.
Something in his life caused him to evolve from a wide eyed innocent child into a horrific monster.
One would think that if he wanted to leave a legacy of revolution or promote some misguided cause he would have surrendered and used the media platform to continue his tirade of hate.
Like others before him; Dylann Roof, Syed Farook, Adam Lanza, Harris and Klebold, one would expect there to have been clues and behaviors that would tell the story of his descent into a life of hatred. Some history of despair which could only be healed (in his mind) by the need to carry out this pure evil act.
Someone, family members, a girl friend or acquaintances must have had some inkling of his solitary, secrete life.
Instead they described him as “caring, kind, quiet.”
His brother was quoted as saying “This was a complete surprise to us. When you find out let us know.”
But then, he killed 59 innocent people and himself.
Since 1984, some 54 murderers have gained notoriety from mass shootings.
Some were disgruntled employees turned down for a promotion or fired from jobs. Some were students spurned by teachers or classmates. Some (or all) were suffering from mental illness. Some were avowed terrorists and supremacists.
Killing was their way to further a cause, get revenge, or get their own Wikipedia page.
There was a time that suicide was an act of despair carried out alone, away from scrutiny of the sun.
Now, more and more often it seems, people bent on killing themselves have found the need to take innocent lives with them.
By all accounts Stephen Paddock had success, money, and people who cared. He traveled, had company and for all practical purposes, seemed to enjoy his life.
So what happened that pointed to violence and death as the only way out?
How many others are out there waiting for their psyches to justify mass murder?
And should we be praying for them?