Sunday, July 22, 2012


July 22, 2012

When the guillotine blade dropped, Parisians crowding into St Jacques’ Square would raise an enormous cheer, and it wasn’t: “Vive le mécréant!” because they’d just seen him separated from his head.
At Tyburn in London there’d be boisterous rejoicing as they watched their own miscreant dance that grotesque jig of death; same as in Tombstone when they stretched some lowdown polecat’s neck.
These were the entertainments of the time. And at this present time I catch myself wondering whether public execution might not be the answer today. Civility aside for a moment, make him suffer. Fry the bastard on primetime TV. Sautée him slowly or boil him in the tears of his victims. Let those affected by this crime take solace from his screams. And that means all of us.
Society’s sweet revenge, and of course this is my rage talking.
They’re still delving into the reason James “The Joker” Holmes massacred those Batman theatergoers and I’m not interested. He had no friends? Was failing in his studies? Career was on the rocks? Couldn’t find a job? So bloody what! All over America folks have had their hopes dashed but they make the best of it. They don’t go on a killing spree just because they feel bad.
So a pox on the guy. I don’t care he was down in the dumps. I only know he slew a dozen innocent folks, wounded several dozen more and then “calmly” surrendered to police. Calmly.
Knowing what he’d just done did the police then “calmly” take Mr. Mass Murderer into custody? They didn’t first give him a solid rodneykinging - wrestle him to the ground, then kick his butt till his nose bled? If they’d beaten him bloody for once I’d say job well done, officers.
I know it’s wrong to feel this way. Am I alone in  this? It’s un-Christian, right? Vengeance is the Lord’s. But then there’s the eye-for-an-eye business and I’m also thinking it’s not enough to end just his one miserable life in payment for the many he snuffed out.
It wouldn’t even suffice to execute him if he’d wounded nobody and killed only one person because there are many more who deserve justice: friends, relatives...
And other victims like you, me, society as a whole, decent human beings with their freedoms restricted, compelled to live fearfully in a world of barriers and safeguards. People now venting a mixture of anger and hatred. And how dare he trigger in us these wickedly vengeful feelings that are so alien to our warm American character. I could kill him just for that.
Was a time when villains far less vile than this guy would be hanged drawn and quartered as a warning to others, their heads displayed on a pike. Or they’d be gibbeted, left to rot in a cage hung from a yardarm, as befell the pirate Captain Kidd. The Romans preferred crucifixion. Barbaric? Uh-huh, but effective. 
Execution is all so clinical now. In 1957 Colorado gassed its other mass murderer, Jack Gilbert Graham, who’d killed his mother and all 43 others aboard United Airlines Flight 629 by placing a bomb in her suitcase,
Today, as in Georgia, that state zaps Death Rowers with a quiet little injection. How humane. What a nice, gentle exit for this pink-haired ratbag – that’s if the lawyers don’t get him off on a “temporary insanity” plea. And madness, as we all already know, is going to be his big excuse.
Innocent until proven guilty? Without even seeing him there clad in black body armor, Holmes’ mother vouched: “You’ve got the right man.”
Oh the bleeding hearts will be out there all right, whining that it wasn’t his fault. He’d lost his mind, he wasn’t himself. Well if he wasn’t himself then he won’t know who it is we’re executing. Maybe he won’t even care.
Like other psychopaths he’s a cancer. It matters not if he’s crazy – he’s diseased. The cure for a diseased body is to cut the cancer out. In Nature the rest of the pack will dispense with the “odd” one. And anyway, what do you do with a rabid animal?
The Colorado shooting may incite copycats - and there are other assorted crackpots like congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) who immediately blamed the slaughter on “attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs”. Huh?
I’ll eschew the fierce debate about gun control, but I will say this: Homeland Security turned my wife into a steeplechaser simply to renew her driver’s license yet this maniac bought an AR-15 assault rifle with the 100-shot drum magazine effortlessly. Didn’t even need to register.
So the evildoers score another victory. We can expect metal detectors in our movie theaters now, as we already have in government buildings and at airports. Most recently Delta Airlines were serving up needle sandwiches thanks to some terrorist in Amsterdam who laced the bread with pins. They’ll catch that culprit, as they will the gypsy pickpockets from Eastern Europe infesting London’s Olympics.
But none of this rivals the carnage wrought by this fiend. If I lost it several paragraphs up and wanted him torn to pieces by ravenous lions I should be sorry. Maybe in time the sentiment will subside.
When they hanged the gentleman pirate Stede Bonnet in Charleston in 1718 they gave him a nosegay: he drew his last gasping breath from a bunch of flowers. No such tussie-mussie for Mr. Holmes, or if so, then just a plump bouquet of poison ivy.


© 2012 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.