So far, the dead in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs massacre number 26, with 20 wounded.
This atrocity will, no doubt, devolve into a debate about gun control. Democrats will label the NRA evil, and the Republicans who support the Second Amendment as a bunch of knuckle draggers. Never mind that it seems it was good man with a gun who put a halt to the killing spree.
Gun debate aside, let me propose a few simple measures that the media should adopt in the wake of a mass killing.
The Torah teaches that we should forever remember what Amalek did to the children of Israel in the desert. Furthermore, the Torah commands us to wipe this evil off the face of the earth.
Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God. Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget.
What was Amalek’s great evil?
They attacked the stragglers, the oldest and the youngest, the lame and the blind, those who were at the rear as the Jews marched through the desert on their way to the promised homeland, the Land of Israel.
Amalek is still with us.
Amalek comes in the form of a lone gunman who opens fire on innocent people for no apparent reason. The police and the media desperately look for a motive.
If it’s an IslamoNazi, we know the motive. It’s in the Koran.
But for the Las Vegas killer, or the Sutherland Springs killer, where Islam is not the motive, we can only assign rational motives to the act because we are rational people. Or we speculate about mental illness.
But these killers are not rational as we define rational. And the vast majority of people who are mentally ill are not killers.
These killers are evil. And we should not reward their evil deeds with a lengthy narrative of their pathetic lives, their multiple grudges, and their self-serving victimhood.
We should not name them. We should not query their motive. We should not analyze their various life traumas. They should be publicly ignored. In private, investigators will do their work and compile a profile that might help in the future. But in the public sphere, these wretched little men should be ignored. And their dead bodies should be burned and their ashes flushed down a toilet.
What we should do is write about the victims and their families. Their narratives are our only concern. Their stories are the only public legacy which should be preserved.
Because that which is rewarded is repeated.
And my gut instinct tells me that these mass murderers crave the twisted kind of celebrity that only comes to a serial killer or mass murderer.