Yesterday, I went to attend a tutoring group where I've been helping immigrant children with math. "Did you know," one of them said, "there was a shooting at our high school today?"
I already had some idea of the details of the shooter before this morning, even though I know almost no one at that high school. I knew that the shooter was a white male whose learned pathological narcissism and monstrous sense of entitlement had been threatened by the presence in this world of other people - people different from and independent from him. But I did not know until today that the shooter was a devout Mormon from a gun-packing right wing military family who had gotten upset a week before when his fellow students disagreed with him about a speech he had made concerning Adolf Hitler.
The shooter is typical of the sort of young people many right-wing Anglo-American families are producing nowadays - people who feel monstrously threatened by the emergence of a world which they no longer control, which they can no longer dominate, and in which they will have to exercise the sort of politeness that goes with an accurate estimation of their real place in the world. In response to the loss of their imagined specialness, these people kill and destroy indiscriminately, proving that they are not special, but worthless.
There's a lot that can be said about malignant Anglo-American narcissism at the tail end of the American empire, but I don't have time to say it. I'll just say this: Jared Michael Padgett - an all-American, a patriot, a gun nut, a Mormon! is dead of a self-inflicted wound after indiscriminately killing an innocent young man. Now Jared knows how wrong he was about life, about his cult church, about his place in the world, about his relations with his fellow human beings. Try as I might, I can't feel sorry for him right now.