With the raging debates of public policy, cultural tolerance, political correctness, and all the other arenas that suck up the oxygen of what our media and attention tend to be saturated with, we seldom have the chance to see with such clarity the separation of truly what is good, and the horrors of absolute evil.
Friday morning at 12:39am Colorado time was one instance in which the curtain was pulled back and we were given that unfiltered view.
The troubled sketch that has been revealed of the shooter from that event is filled with conflicting stereotypes. He was described by officials from his undergraduate school as the "top of the top" academically. Friends from his high school years described him as someone who was very much involved in his church's youth group. His own mother--when initially confronted with the crude facts of the shooting--responded somewhat instinctively, that authorities, had "the right person" when suspecting her own son of such violence. He felt lonely, even desperate with a profile on an "adult" hook-up site. He loved science. He often rooted for the bad guys in comic book stories--likely emulating one in this very attack. And like so many, regardless of his intellect or his qualifications, struggled mightily to find work in the current economy.
There were also things about him that defied the stereotypes. He had no criminal past--his worst previous offense being a traffic violation. He even legally owned or purchased all of the firearms used in the Friday morning attacks.
In the end, we may yet find out a great number of additional things about the struggles, hurts, or inadequacies of his life. Yet nothing we will learn will answer the question of why he chose--this evil outcome--to inflict suffering and carnage on so many. (Some of which we are still figuring out. He gave up without a struggle, suggested to police that they go look for his other stockpiles in his apartment--fully expecting them to walk into his booby-trapped home and perhaps blow away an entire city block.)
Given that he injured and killed 71 people at the theater, with a goal of blowing up perhaps hundreds more, practical issues of justice emerge. I'm sure most decent Americans would have a hard time arguing against the death penalty for someone who was guilty of all this.
Other practical questions also haunt us. Questions like, "If theaters weren't considered a gun-free zone, would more people have survived?"