The Colorado Atrocity

In the wake of the Colorado massacre Seraphic Secret has a few thoughts.

The media consistently refer to the massacre as a tragedy. As our son Ariel ZT’L observed after 9-11, “Why do they keep calling it a tragedy? It’s an atrocity.”

Death caused by flood, fire, earthquake, tsunami, traffic accident, these are tragedies. But murder is an act of evil.

And mass murder is an atrocity.

Halliburton. Bain Capital. Tea Party. To the mainstream media these names are simply narrative devices to slander and destroy their political opponents.  Thus, when Brian Ross of ABC does an “investigation”—code for using Google—and then links an Aurora, Colorado resident named James Holmes (a 50 year-old Hispanic) to the Tea Party, Ross,  George Stephanopoulos and ABC invent a plot whereby Tea Party members are, at the core, mass murderers.

Ross and Stephanopoulos are not journalists. They are cold-hearted political operatives for the Democrat party.

New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the usual suspects immediately call for gun control, in fact, a ban on private gun ownership.

Never mind the Second Amendment, let’s figure out how this works. Guns will become illegal and obviously every criminal will say to himself: “Whoops, can’t buy a gun because it’s against the law.” In this way murder by gunshot will be abolished. Much like outlawing the Big Gulp will save countless lives.

Makes perfect sense.

Of course, Washington D.C. passed  draconian gun  laws and violent crime increased ten-fold.

You know what happens when law-abiding citizens are not allowed to own guns? The criminals corner the market and we, honest people, become helpless targets.

Did Timothy McVeigh use a gun? How about the 9-11 IslamoNazis? The Khmer Rouge used plastic bags to suffocate one million innocent souls. In Rwanda, the Hutu committed genocide against the Tutsi using machetes. Let’s ban fertilizer, box cutters, plastic bags and knives.

Opponents of capital punishment characterize themselves as compassionate.

What happens, they argue, if the state executes the wrong person? This is a valid question. I have a counter question. Do we stop arresting and sentencing thieves because we might charge an innocent man? How about rapists and pedophiles? Should we stop sending them to jail because we might make a mistake? I know this is something of a shock but we live in an imperfect world. Besides, no one has ever named one person in America who was executed by mistake. Executing an innocent man would be horrible. But we know who committed the mass murder in Colorado. What’s compassionate about keeping him alive?

Veronica Moser, a six year-old, was shot to death in the movie theater. Does a compassionate society feed, clothe, house and educate the man who murdered this child for his entire life? If that’s compassion, then the word has no meaning.

The next argument is: “Oh, he’s mentally ill.”


Were the Nazis mentally ill? How about the Japanese who committed mass rape, torture and murder during World War II? How about Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood and the millions of Muslims all over the world who openly call for the genocide of the Jewish people? Are they mentally ill?

The Colorado mass murderer is evil.

As were the Nazis and the Japanese, the Khmer Rouge, the Hutu, Timothy McVeigh, the KKK, Major Nidal Hassan.

Evil exists.

There is no magic cure.

The state that refuses to recognize evil, the state that seeks to create utopia becomes that evil and invariably creates hell on earth.

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  1. kgbudge
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I respectfully disagree, Robert. At this point, there isn’t enough information to know if this is a tragedy or an atrocity.
    What I mean by this is that we don’t have enough information yet to know how deluded the gunman was. He apparently told the police he was the Joker, which suggests a rather extreme detachment from reality. Other news reports suggest he was a bright, promising, fairly normal kid until fairly recently, then went downhill rather abruptly, as if something suddenly went haywire in his brain.
    My point being that we don’t know, but it’s possible, that he was so off his nut that “evil” just isn’t a meaningful label. If that”s the case, then I rather agree with the essay <a href=””>here</a>.
    If it turns out he was sane enough to understand what he was doing, whatever other mental problems he may have had, then I’ll happily join in demanding that this be called an atrocity or a massacre rather than a tragedy.

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    • kishke
      Posted July 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      There are lots of crazy people around. They don’t go around killing other people. If a crazy person massacres people, I’d say there’s something wicked there to begin with. Furthermore, if a person is sane enough to make careful plans, and make them work, and to go about his daily business and interact with other people with no one ever suspecting he is crazy, then he’s not crazy enough to have his actions excused. In other words, I think you’re setting the bar for insanity way low. This was an atrocity. Death is too good for this terrible, evil person.

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  2. Bill Brandt
    Posted July 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Robert – I have come to think of evil not in some abstract way but a very real way – something that inhabits certain people and compels them to – do evil things. And I have learned first hand – for every human being who dies by evil – there are 10-25-100 people in that person’s circle who will never be the same. 
    This Holmes is truly evil – as to the MSM I think people are catching on based on their declining viewership.

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  3. Siwan
    Posted July 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I think you’re wrong here.

    A tragedy can be helped or avoided, that is exactly what makes it a tragedy. A tsunami, a fire, flood or a car accident are maybe catastophes, but not tragedies. 

    In the arts a story requires personal faulth or flaw of character to be a tragedy, see for example for a number of definitions. 

    So this makes it possible, allthough it’s unusual, that something is both evil and a tragedy at the same time, if you see evil as willed harm.

    Just a thought…


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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted July 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Our son died at age 22 of complications from cancer. That was a tragedy.

      Colorado and Fort Hood and all mass murders are also tragedies. This defies common sense and makes a perversion of language.

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      • Siwan
        Posted July 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Words do not always mean what we think they mean, and common sense is not so common afterall, I guess. 

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        • Robert J. Avrech
          Posted July 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          Words do not always mean what we think they mean, and common sense is not so common afterall, I guess.

          That is what’s known as a tragedy.

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  4. dafauman
    Posted July 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Dear Robert:
    As usual the Talmud has the last word.
    “To be kind to the cruel is to be cruel to the innocent.”
    Dovid Fauman

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    • Bill Brandt
      Posted July 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      There is a lot of wisdom in the Talmud

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  5. Johnny
    Posted July 22, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Dave Kopel had an online debate with people from the Brady gun control group in USA Today. Like Bloomberg and other true gun control believers, they talk about sensible regulations to prevent people like the shooter (I refuse to mention his name unless absolutely necessary) from doing this.

    Now, the guy had no criminal record, apparently never had any interaction with mental heath officials and acquired his weapons in a legal manner. So just what are these ‘sensible laws and regulations’ that would have prevented these deaths? No one can say. Should everyone wanting a gun be required to be examined by a psychiatrist? For how long? And woe to any doctor that says this guy is good to go but this guy is too whacked to own a gun. Frankly I don’t want to live in a country where people are not free to buy or sell a gun and ammo.

    They talk about an assault weapons ban, a totally useless move we made under Clinton and was thankfully repealed since it dealt with cosmetics and not the actual uses of certain guns. Bloomberg must only have smarts when it comes to business because he is stupid about guns.

    Waiting periods are fine for liberals when it comes to a right spelled out in the constitution but not for an abortion, a word you’ll never find in the document. Liberals will never be happy until we are just like the ‘sophisticated’ Europeans. Bah on that! 

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted July 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink


      I took the liberty of posting your articulate comment on my Facebook page as part of a response to a reader who calls for a ban on weapons.

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    • Bill Brandt
      Posted July 22, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      Johnny – I think the guy who did the killings at VA Tech aqlso had a “clean” record.

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    • Abigail
      Posted July 23, 2012 at 2:57 am | Permalink


      I think part of the reason liberals stubbornly keep banging their heads against the proverbial wall is rooted in their moral ineptitude, that is, in their failure to realize that acts of evil are not a function of psychosis but of free will. This appears to be of a piece with their overall denial of the existence of free will, since recognition of the same would entail a drag on their conscience. Since social liberals tend to espouse loose moral values, the concept of free will is an inconvenience at best. I think this is why they fail to grasp the basic idea that further restrictions on gun ownership will never prevent an exercise in choosing evil over good, but will only serve to endanger moral law-abiding citizens.

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    • Abigail
      Posted July 23, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink

      On second thought, maybe a more simple and straightforward explanation of liberals’ insatiable calls for more gun control laws is their subsconscious desire to wield control over the people, to turn us into pawns in the hands of a all-powerful government.

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      • Robert J. Avrech
        Posted July 23, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink


        To quote Thomas Jefferson: “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

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      • Shyla
        Posted July 23, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        Many people, when they hear the words “gun control,” “rent control,” etc. focus on the wrong word, when the real focus should be on “control.” There will always be tyrants among us who believe they should be able to boss everyone around.

        C. S. Lewis said, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may Sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.” 

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