Our View: Killers have lost empathy

Spree killers may have different motives, but they are all cruel, small people.

The attacks in Edmonton and Las Vegas differ in their method and the level of fear, death, and injury unleashed.

But they are alike in their goal – to strike terror.

In Canada, Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, has been charged with five counts of attempted murder after he ran down a police officer and then tried to do the same to a number of pedestrians.

In Las Vegas, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock killed at least 59 and injured hundreds more.

We don’t know what motivated Paddock yet. We may never learn why he opened fire and killed scores of people, including four Canadians.

It doesn’t matter.

In Canada, we’ve seen terror attacks and massacres motivated by a wide variety of causes: by allegiance to radical Islam or by Islamophobia, by anti-government rhetoric or personal grudges, by hatred of women or other races.

In the end, it always comes down to the same thing.

The shooter, the bomb maker, the man gripping the wheel of the rental truck, has decided that someone else deserves to die to make a point.

They kill because they have lost the capacity for empathy and compassion for their fellow human beings. They are consumed with hate.

There are many solutions to these attacks, from investigatory tools to gun control.

The solution also lies in the reactions we see after every attack – bystanders and first responders who help, who save others, who show bravery and compassion at great risk. These ordinary people will have an impact far beyond that of pathetic, cruel killers.

– M.C.

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