By now, almost everyone has heard about the shooting at the Living Church of God service at the Sheraton in Brookfield. It was a terrible act by a man whose troubles we may never know, but who found an evil and violent way of taking his own life. The latest update in the Journal Sentinel tells us there is no suicide note.
After a minute, a man who had known Ratzmann for years confronted him by name and said, "Stop, stop. Why?" police said. Fellow parishioner Ella Frazier identified the man as David Mohr of Hartland.Mohr's question may go unanswered. Speculation about job troubles or a dissatisfaction with the church may never reveal the answers.
Some are wondering about the nature of the church and whether it drove Ratzman to his murderous rampage. The church, meeting on a saturday at a hotel, with a possible fundamentalist view of the bible, seemed alien to most commentators including many of those calling in to talk radio today. But this type of church has a prevalence far more than most people are exposed to. It's as Christian as the local Lutheran Church with message of faith in Christ just as old.
Some may wonder about the job pressures. Some may wonder about his family. Some may wonder about the prevalence of guns in our society. There are many of us everyday who suffer tremendous strains from all aspects of our lives yet don't pick up a handgun and start killing people. That there are as many guns out there without this type of incident as a regular occurence should reassure us the majority of gun owners in America are stable, law-abiding citizens. Many of them face the same pressures and troubles as Terry Ratzmann.
But it was Terry Ratzmann who killed. It was Terry Ratzmann who, for reasons we'll probably never know, took out his anger by murdering his fellow Christians before he took his own life. Despite any external reason we can come up with, it is only Terry Ratzmann who is responsible.