"Why," ask both telly and radio. "Why? Why? Why?"
"But we may never know," they say next. "Let's talk about our gun laws."
"No," I say from the pillow. "Back up. There are non-terrorist killing sprees in Britain only once every ten years or so. Guns do not jump out of the cupboard and start shooting randomly. Let's go back to 'why'--or would that be too scary for you?"
And lo, this morning I check the Telegraph and discover that the Cumbria shooter was not actually a "nice, quiet" pillar of the community. He was involved in a family feud over his mother's will, he never married the mother of his children, and he apparently broke up with her because she wouldn't abort their second child. Okay, this was a man who wanted to wipe out his own unborn son, a son he had begotten on his long-term partner. Hmm.
Here follows what I found most interesting in the article, only with the killer's name removed. I have a policy that I will never name serial killers. Sometimes fame is their motive. If newspapers had a policy of calling all serial killers "X", there might not be so many of them.
X’s younger son Jamie, 16, still lives at home in nearby Lamplugh with his mother Linda Mills, 48, who has long been separated from X. They never married.
Miss Mills left X and moved to Lamplugh with Graeme in early 1994, around the time she gave birth to Jamie.
A neighbour described Miss Mills, who works as a house keeper at Center Parcs in Penrith, as ''a lovely lass’’.
One friend laid blame for the break-up squarely with X. “When Linda fell pregnant with Jamie, he wanted her to have an abortion and she refused,” the friend said.
“It put a big strain on the relationship and they broke up soon after.
“X and Linda didn’t speak at all afterwards. But Jamie spent a lot of time with his dad.”
One of Miss Mills’s friends alleged that while typically being unassuming, X showed darker moods to those close to him.
“If you saw him in the street he would say hello to you but he was always down and moody,” she said.
“He was really tight with his money, too. He would even charge his own family the taxi fare.”
Now here is the only motive being given out yesterday:
A fellow cab driver said they thought that X may have been upset after recently being teased by colleagues about his lack of success with women.
They used to wind him up because he was a really quiet lad and kept himself to himself,” the driver said.
“They would tease him about lasses and say they have had better runs than him. It’s just friendly banter, but somebody has said something to him and he has taken it to heart.”
My borrowed computer just lost everything I had to say subquent to the above. It was very brilliant, IMHO, so I am very miffed.
In short, Cumbria Single seems to have been an enormously self-absorbed, selfish and bitter man. He was also quite the foot-soldier for the Culture of Death. He got his girlfriend pregnant twice without, apparently, even asking for her hand in marriage. He put pressure on this lady to kill their second child. He fought over his mum's will before his mum was even dead. He killed his own twin brother, a 60-year-old solicitor and then his friends. Then some innocent strangers. Then himself.
Why did he do all this? Was it because of some loophole in Britain's stringent gun laws? No. It was because he was a bad man.
Are we allowed to say that? Absolutely no one on telly last night said that. But I say it. I have no problem saying this serial killer was a bad man, and that very likely the Cumbria killer is in hell, whatever hell turns out to be. Maybe if he had thought a little more about hell, he would not have killed twelve people and himself.
I know perfectly well that none of my regular Single readers are going to haul off and shoot anybody. The reason I bring all this up (other than to come up with a better explanation than Our Gun Laws Are To Blame) is that Cumbria Single is a very bad model of how to live the Single Life. He seems to have exhibited the bad qualities that I discovered firsthand are the perennial temptations of the Single Life: self-absorption, selfishness and bitterness. So, my dear little Singles, I say to you, look out.
I also encourage you to keep on fighting the Culture of Death. Mother Teresa pointed out the direct relationship between the mental capacity to have one's own unborn child killed and the mental capacity to kill, or have killed, complete strangers.** I can understand why a woman, in a blind panic, might wish to do away with her unborn baby, but why a man would... Ugh! What an utter failure of manhood.
Manhood lies precisely in this: that a man wishes to protect and sustain women, children and weaker elderly folk. (You don't have to be married to do this, boys. Every time you give up your seat on the bus, you are behaving like a real man. Every time you send a cheque to a charity, you are behaving like a real man. Every time you take your nephew or niece to the park to give your sister a break, you are behaving like a real man.) Christ was THE man, incidentally.
The Culture of Death, though, is not just the big things like abortion, suicide and murder. It is also enjoyment of violence and becoming a slave to the glamour of evil. It is one thing to fire off a gun because you enjoy target shooting. It is quite another thing to play violent video games because you think blowing off heads (with gruesome graphics) is so cool. Given the widespread popularity of such games, I find it significant that the Cumbria killer shot so many people in the head.
(How sad I am I lost my much better end to this post.)
Update: To those wondering, I now have no regular access to facebook. Sorry! It's because my computer died, and BA's computer is a work-controlled one.
**Update 2: Mother Teresa said this over and over again, including in her acceptance of the Nobel Peace prize. Here is one version--and remember, I do sympathise with women who are in an utter panic: most of the world is not kind to pregnant women in distress, even if that distress is only feeling sick on the bus and no-one will give them seats--If we can accept that a woman can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill each other? Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.
And that's my last word, my dears. Although I am pro-life, this is not "a pro-life blog" per se. And this is not a post about abortion: it about a man on the island where I live who yesterday killed twelve people and wounded 25 others. I seek to cut through the "He was the nicest man; he just snapped" crap.