Remodeling the Navy Yard building

We blogged about the phenomenon of tearing down or otherwise effacing buildings where terrible crimes were committed.  It was announced that the Navy Yard office building in Washington, D.C., the site of the recent mass shooting in which 12 people were killed, is going to be extensively remodeled at a cost of $6.4 million so as to change the interior so that it won’t conjure up bad associations. [Read more...]

Madness and death in the nation’s Capital

A man doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire on the National Mall in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.  Though bystanders, quite nobly, tried to put out the fire, the man died of his injuries.  As of this writing, no one knows who he was or why he did what he did.

The day before a mentally ill woman drove through a barricade at the White House, hit a Secret Service agent with her car (though he was not seriously injured) and started a car chase with Capital police that scattered tourists and put Congress in a lockdown.  The chase ended near the Capitol Building when the woman’s car went through another barricade and got stuck on a median whereupon she was shot dead.  It turned out she was unarmed, with a one-year-0ld child in the car. [Read more...]

Abandoning the mentally ill

Before Charles Krauthammer became an influential conservative pundit, he was a medical doctor; specifically, a psychiatrist who worked the emergency room at Massachusetts General Hospital.  So what he says about Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people at Washington’s Navy Yard, carries some weight. [Read more...]

What to do with the site of a mass murder?

The house in Milwaukee where Jeffrey Dahmer committed his grisly acts of murder and cannibalism was just torn down.  Who would want to live in a place where such evil happened?  The Amish community tore down the schoolhouse where a killer murdered five little girls.  Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, where all those children were shot, is going to be demolished, whereupon a new schoolhouse will be erected on the very same spot.

So should we do the same with that movie multiplex in Colorado or the office building at the Navy Yard? [Read more...]

13 die in Washington shootings

A gunman killed a dozen people in a Navy office building in Washington, D.C. The shooter, who was also killed, was a contractor named Aaron Alexis.  He does not seem to be an Islamic terrorist.  At first, authorities said there were three gunmen, but the word now is that there was only one.

Still, there are lots of questions about this attack.  For example, how did Alexis, with his history of mental illness and run-ins with the law, get his security clearance that allowed him to work at the complex?  How did he get his gun–some reports have said a shotgun and others an assault rifle–through security?  And how did he wreak such mayhem in a military facility bristling with armed guards?  This incident at the Naval Yard is the second mass shooting at a military installation in the Washington, D.C., area, after the massacre at Ft. Hood.  Why are our military installations so vulnerable to this kind of attack?

UPDATE:  Two members of our church work there.  They are OK, but I don’t know anything else.  That really brings it home.

[Read more...]