What Happened in Vegas?


A gunman in Las Vegas has murdered over fifty people, and seriously injured many more, in an hour long shooting rampage, apparently using a high-powered, high-calibre machine gun, perched 32 storys above the ground (well above 500 feet), picking off concert-goers like they were targets in a video game. But this was no game, nor no teenager, but rather a 64 year-old retired accountant, with some kind of obscure grudge. Perhaps it was just his utter emptiness, with the Devil prowling around looking for somewhere to perch his bony claws. As the Gospel says, if a demon finds an empty abode, he goes and finds seven devils worse than himself to come and make their home. As is usual in these things, the gunman turned the gun on himself before the cops could find him, honing in on the smoke alarm set off by the cordite in the maze of rooms in the massive Mandalay.

God rest the souls of the victims, speedy recovery to the wounded, and grant mercy to the gunman, should he have sought such in that final moment.

And here in Canada we have another apparent ‘lone wolf’, a Somalian refugee running down a number of people, including a police officer, before stabbing him, then leading other officers on a high speed chase before being captured, alive. So far, no one has died, praise God.

The 2002 film-noir Minority Report, based on an earlier novellete by Philip K. Dick, takes place in the year 2054, when they have the capacity to predict crimes before they happen, and arrest the would-be perpetrators before they carry out their mayhem. In the story, the police rely on Pre-Cogs, mutants whom they keep in captivity who can ‘see’ the future.

In real life, there is no real way to predict and prevent such evils. As I pointed out a while back, there are far more guns in America than there are people, so that cat is out of the proverbial bag.

And who is to say which of the millions of Muslims will decide one day to take the Koran a tad-too literally, even having a swerve-inducing ‘illumination’ of sorts while driving, say, his multi-ton U-Haul down a street in Edmonton? All it takes is one or two jihadi prophets to create a whole lot of misery.

On second thought, there is one way to strive to prevent such evil, and that is to have a more integrated, cohesive Catholic Christian culture, filled with goodness, love, laughter, songs, children, books, music, fine food, families, all within a solid liturgical, sacramental framework, founded upon a clear theology, living life as though one is destined for eternity, and must live in such a way that he will be found worthy of God.  Then there will be few, if any, empty souls.

But that, dear reader, would not be ‘diverse’ enough, I suppose.

So we will have to live with more unpredictable mayhem, as our culture quite literally dis-integrates, with each one doing what he thinks right in his own eyes. It was at just such a juncture that the Lord in the post-Exodus Old Testament sent the Judges to judge Israel, just as He may soon render judgement upon us, a process that seems already to have begun.

Then again, we do have the Guardian Angels, those mighty and gentle spirits whom we honour today.  So call upon them, for their task is to lead us to eternity.  And fear not, for his Angel will go before you, so that you will not even strike your foot against a stone, at least in the spiritual sense.