John Allen Muhammad is dead. Do you feel any better?
It's a sad day when you wake up and the first news you hear is that a human being has been murdered, especially when the state of Virginia did the killing. The execution of DC sniper John Allen Muhammad qualifies in some books as "justice," but to me it is yet another moment in the eye-for-eye approach to violence that will leave us all blind.
Unfortunately, violent retribution is an addiction we seem unable to kick, and even the tragedy at Ft. Hood led me to wonder if our violent reaction to the violence of 9/11 didn't somehow lead to the deaths of a dozen soldiers in Texas. Whether motivated by some misguided religious passion or overwhelmed by his constant contact with traumatized soldiers, I have to wonder if, in the final analysis, Maj. Hasan's rampage wasn't just another symptom of a disease that we are unwilling to face: We have put our faith in violence--war abroad, the death penalty at home--and it is killing us.