I see far more good than evil in the people I meet each day, and when I do encounter evil, it is of a fairly mundane and pedestrian sort, a corner cut or a brief moment of selfishness. The CT shooter gives us all a chilling brush with a deeper evil. We seek some explanation or Truth to make our vicarious horror have meaning. Not enough gun laws, too many gun laws, video games, insufficient system for justice or mental health, not enough prayer. Take your pick, or create your own response to this bloody inkblot test. My own Rorschach answers below the orange.
1) The shooter was deeply ill.
2) He manifested what can only be described as evil. Describing the wanton murder of innocent children as evil does not validate a personification of ancient religious dogmas (nor does my hedging preclude the possibility). If such an act cannot be described as evil, then there is likewise no meaning for the word, "good."
3) In my experience the mentally different are no more prone to evil than those outside the mental health system - they are typically less adept at controlling the manifestations of their darker impulses (as well as their lighter ones).
4) If we wish to ensure that these kinds of devastations continue, we will insist that our favorite aspect of the status quo is blameless & the fault lies elsewhere.
5) If we wish to avoid national hauntings from future Columbines, Auroras, Tucsons, & Sandy Hooks, we will discuss how to make them less likely with more concern for our fellow man than for our preconceptions.
6) If you are of a mind, watch the following and picture yourself not as Thomas More, but as Richard Roper:
This is not a plea to abandon deeply held principles, but rather to imagine that there will not be a single policy response to protect the innocents and that the pragmatic set of tools or laws we "plant thick" must address an array of issues.