It is a question that millions of people are asking and quite a few people are trying to answer even though everything they say is speculation at best based off of the smallest amount of facts.
I was listening to the news yesterday in the hours after the massacre committed by James “Jimmy” Holmes at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora Colorado. He killed 12 people and wounded 58 more in the attack. It was well planned and coldly executed. He had 4 weapons, an AR-15, two Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic pistols and a pump action shotgun. He had some kind of smoke or gas grenades. He had bought over 6,000 rounds of ammunition. He had purchased large amounts of materials that were delivered in bulk to his apartment. His apartment was rigged with explosives, possible chemical agents and bobby trapped with trip wires to set the materials off. He was wearing full tactical gear. A Kevlar Helmet, Body Armor that included a tactical vest, neck and groin protection, bullet resistant leggings and tactical gloves.
We know a bit about him. He came from a well off family. He did not come from a broken home and his family was described as normal and “churchgoing.” Holmes is described as a loner, quiet and brilliant student. A “normal” guy. Others who knew him in high school and college described him as “very smart” and “always at the top of the class.”
We know that he graduated from High School in 2006 and graduated from University Of California Riverside in 2010. We know that until June that he was a Ph.D. Candidate in Neurosciences at the University of Colorado until June 2012.
People in the media, bloggers and even some politicians have rushed to give the reasons why this happened or provide connections to groups that they think might be linked to this terrible pre-meditated and coldly executed mass murder.
One reporter on ABC initially labeled him as being part of the Tea Party, but got the wrong guy and the report was rapidly withdrawn and the correction made. However less reported have been the remarks of those on the political right who have blamed this on the lack of prayer in public schools and political liberalism as well as a host of other reasons mostly connected with their political-religious ideology. Some left-wing bloggers have speculated that he might have been a follower of right wing talk radio.
The problem with all of this is that we do not yet know anything about James Egan Holmes. What we know are the vaguest details and speculation. To make wild suppositions based on what we know know is the worst form of ignorance. The highly religiously and politically charged prejudicial statements by idiots of all extremes trying to place blame do not help matters. Eventually they will look like fools, especially if the truth reveals that which is the exact opposite of what they proclaim and I am sure that will happen.
The probability is that there are a host of complicated factors that make up the truth about James Egan Holmes and his reasons for committing this heinous act of mass murder. Regardless of what the reasons are they all still add up to an act of evil and violence. I am sure that as the case unfolds we will find out the truth. I also believe that this may take us to some very dark places that we don’t really want to face. However I also believe that when it is told it should give all of us some reason for pause and reflection.
My prayers are with all of those victimized by this brutal crime.