The contortions we go through to exhonorate ourselves and our fellow human beings never cease to amaze me! The most recent example is found in the treatment of the story of the Las Vegas shooter.
Even before the crime scene was cleared, people began asking some of the dumbest questions on the face of the planet. "What kind of insanity would drive a man to do such a thing?" "What sociological, political or religious influence radicalized this man to wantonly slaughter innocent people?"
Only in tangential manner did anyone get to the heart of the issue by mentioning the only real issue at work here: evil. The simple reality is this- we cannot admit human evil (even in such an extreme case as this), for to do so is to somehow indict ourselves.
The Las Vegas shooter did not slaughter becasue he had guns (he could have used any number of modalities to accomplish his task). He did not kill becasue he was maltreated or somehow oppressed or disadvantaged. He did exactly what he wanted to do becasue he made a series of evil, selfish, cowardly decisions. He lived his miserable life as a totally consummed narcissist who imagined himself as the center of a universe populated by beings less than himself.
The only difference between the Las Vegas shooter and the rest of unregenrate humanity is a matter of degree. This is the hard reality of our choice to embrace evil over the righteousness of God.
Granted, the vast majority of people will never go to the extremes of the Las Vegas shooter, but as the popular saying goes, "If looks could kill..." they would be credited with far more murders over the course of their lifetime! This is exactly why Jesus Himself said that the intent of our hearts is equal to the murder of our hands.
We need to be very careful here. As we rightly condemn the actions of the Las Vegas shooter, we need to digest their real cause- the personal choice to evil. Furthermore, we need to clearly admit to ourselves that we too are subject to the same moral malady.
Our only hope is found in regeneration through Jesus Christ. It's why He said we must die to ourselves (and our choice to choose evil) before we can follow Him.