CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The cruel bombing at the Boston Marathon is another reminder -- although none was needed -- that humanity includes a few vicious savages who want to massacre defenseless strangers, for reasons that normal people cannot fathom.
Some mass murderers do it for twisted notions of faith, such as the 9/11 suicide volunteers who flew airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Others are driven by paranoid hatred of their own government, such as Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the Oklahoma City federal building, killing multitudes.
Still others seem impelled by sheer madness, such as the crazed young man who used an assault gun to slaughter first-graders in Connecticut.
So far, police don't know whether the Boston bombing was faith-based, politics-based, insanity-based, or all of the above. They don't know whether one madman acted alone, or whether it was an international plot by many. Authorities are pleading for photos and videos taken at the marathon finish line, in hope of spotting the murderer.
Average Americans simply cannot grasp why anyone would want to kill innocent victims like the little boy and young woman who died at Boston. The homemade bombs were packed with nails and BBs to create shrapnel to hurt as many bystanders as possible.
If this horror eventually is attributed to McVeigh-style "patriots," perhaps insight can be gained from a recent Los Angeles Times editorial, which warned:
"There are, in increasingly frightening numbers, cells of angry men in the United States preparing for combat with the U.S. government. They are usually heavily armed, blinded by an intractable hatred, often motivated by religious zeal. They're not jihadists. They are white, right-wing Americans, nearly all with an obsessive attachment to guns, who may represent a greater danger to the lives of American civilians than international terrorists."
However, it may turn out that the Boston bombing wasn't done by such home-grown militants, but was instead committed by 9/11-type suicide fanatics -- or by some other zealots not yet identified.
Actually, it hardly matters which motive impelled the Boston tragedy, because all sorts of mass murderers are equally abhorrent. They're something incomprehensible to decent folks.
All we can say is, we hope police swiftly discover the warped reason for the hideous act, and bring the killer or killers to justice.