The act took only minutes to carry out, but out of it arose the “WND Villain of Year” for 2012, Adam Lanza.
His shooting attack in Newtown, Conn., claimed the life of his mother along with five adults and 20 children at an elementary school. While the analysis likely will continue for years, several prominent leaders deduced the problem in seconds.
“All I can say is this was pure evil,” said longtime evangelist and prolific author Greg Laurie. “The heartlessness and wickedness of this man that did the shooting is really unimaginable.”
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy was of a similar mind, stating, “Evil visited this community today.”
The deaths make the attack by Lanza, described as a loner and possibly mentally troubled, the second-worst school shooting in American history. The attack trailed the Virginia Tech slaughter in 2007 in which Seung-Hui Cho, described on a memorial website for the victims as a “sick, evil loser,” killed 32 people, injured 29 and then, like Lanza, killed himself.
The Newtown massacre was worse than the 1996 Dunblane, Scotland, attack in which Thomas Hamilton shot and killed 16 children and one teacher at a primary school before killing himself.
Like Newtown, the victims mostly were ages 5 or 6.
Lanza topped other candidates for the “Villain” designation for 2012, including Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and American leftist George Soros.
Many of the “why” questions regarding Lanza’s decision to get up in the morning last week, kill his mother, then drive to the nearby elementary school and start destroying lives likely never will be answered adequately.
A family friend told ABC News Lanza was “not connected with other kids” and was “not well.”
A neighbor and former classmate, Timothy Dalton, told the network, “Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were 5 years old. As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised.”
A Washington Post profile of the family suggested instability – the parents divorced in 2009 – but nothing that other families haven’t handled. There apparently was a lot of money available, as the father, Peter Lanza, was a General Electric executive.
The profile describes the shooter as “extremely bright but socially awkward.”
Reporters have speculated that there were mental issues and Lanza’s fear of being committed to a psychiatric facility prompted the shooting. Media reports said Lanza’s mother was seeking mental-health treatment for her son and possibly even considering an involuntary commitment.
The London Daily Mail reported classmates said Lanza worshiped the devil and posted an online page dedicated to Satan. The National Rifle Association, which has been harshly criticized by leftist and gun-control groups for supporting the 2nd Amendment, suggested putting armed officers in schools, because the only thing that will stop a bad man with a gun is a “good man with a gun.”
The Obama administration already has promised to do whatever it can, and self-defense advocates have expressed concern about the possibility of new gun restrictions.
There have been questions about whether Lanza was taking psychotropic drugs. Some 90 percent of school shootings in recent years have been linked to antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
But evangelist Franklin Graham said, “The Bible tells us the human heart is ‘wicked’ and ‘who can know it?’”
And WND columnist Matt Barber penned a prayer for the Sandy Hook school victims, noting that “there are things so wicked we cannot bear.”
Morsi, a longtime leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, briefly gave himself dictatorial powers in Egypt, declaring his decisions free from judicial review, prompting widespread rioting.
He’s already promised that no one will be allowed the deter “our second Islamic conquest of Egypt” and that Egypt’s “Islamic framework can to a great extent control the government and the behavior of the state.”
Morsi said Christians “need to know that conquest in coming, and Egypt will be Islamic.”
Another runner-up was Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, who amid the development of a covert nuclear weapons program has declared Israel should be wiped off the map.
He has repressed Christians and other religions in Iran, arresting and torturing some. He’s led his nation’s resistance of United Nations sanctions intended to discourage Iran’s pursuit of nuclear bombs.
Kim Jong Un became the new dictator of North Korea Dec. 28, 2011, after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, and immediately set about establishing his own power. Human rights violations reportedly have continued under Kim Jong Un, including execution of defectors, public executions and political prison camps.
On Dec. 12, he ordered the launching of a long-range Unha-3 rocket and later sent a satellite into orbit, in defiance of a U.N. ban.
North Korea, where the head of state is accorded divine attributes, still ranks among the worst persecutors of Christians and others.
Soros is the billionaire funder of numerous progressive groups and causes.
As chairman of the Open Society Institute, he’s directed money to pro-abortion, pro-homosexual and other campaigns opposed by Americans of traditional faith.