Those with a death wish have, most sadly, always been with us. We pray for them. We wish them well. We would point them to professional help. And we wish they could feel all the joy of life that we do, and cling to the God-inspired wisdom that this, too, shall pass.
But we also wish they’d stop trying to take others with them.
We don’t know why Augusta’s alleged Twin Peaks arsonist Roland Evan Croyle – faced afterward with the guns of both an unnamed armed citizen and law enforcement – submitted to arrest and chose not to act on his stated death wish.
But he and we are just dumb lucky he didn’t impose that death wish on anyone else when he chose, with premeditation, to ram an SUV into the restaurant Monday and start a gasoline- and propane-fueled fire.
He did so, pointedly, over the lunch hour – when the former, reportedly disgruntled and despondent employee well knew there’d be other human beings in his path.
Thank God no one else was even hurt.
And thank heaven an armed citizen was nearby to interrupt and hold the suspect for quickly arriving authorities, perhaps preventing further damage or potential injury and death.
Along with other accelerants, the 45-year-old allegedly had “wet towels or blankets that we think had kerosene on them,” a Twin Peaks employee told the media. He also had a large knife.
He clearly had given this attack sufficient forethought. He gave innocent bystanders no thought whatsoever.
In that way, however ineffectual, fruitless or foiled this incident was, how was it any better, any morally superior, to the many Islamic radical attacks we’ve seen in this country and across the world?
This, in short, was an act of terrorism: a potentially fatal attack on innocents and on civilized society, and to no other end than to make some twisted point. Charges of arson and aggravated assault, such as have been brought in this case, don’t quite tell the tale.
To those who might likewise harbor some self-destructive grievance with life or the cards it has dealt them, we’d argue that there is always something to live for, always meaning to be seized in every moment. Please, please, seek help and the comfort of others.
To those tragically unable or perhaps unwilling to, we’d plead of you: leave the rest of us alone.