I've been purposely avoiding cable news over the holiday, but when I signed on to put a couple of posts in the queue, I saw the horrific story about the -- psycho Santa who opened fire in his in-laws' Covina, California home, killing 8 (a ninth person is missing). I'm sure you all have seen the massive coverage of this by now.

Deranged 45-year-old Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, who was otherwise known as a "nice guy" was incensed over a divorce and job loss. In a clearly premeditated act, he goes to his in-laws' house on Christmas eve and does this:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/o4lRR4EmN8w&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1 expand=1]

He showed up wearing a Santa suit and bearing what appeared to be a present. An 8-year-old girl inside the residence, perhaps having a natural reaction to the sight of Santa bearing a gift, opened the front door. That was when Pardo opened fire, shooting the girl in the face. She was, fortunately, said to be among the survivors.

Pardo then entered the home, firing his handgun all the way. And inside the "present," police believe Pardo carried what the Times termed a "a home-made pressurized device" that the killer used "to spray some kind of flammable substance."

So the house eventually erupted in flames. In spite of emergency services flooding the cul-de-sac where the tragedy occurred, Pardo got away. He showed up again around 3:30 Christmas morning, some 25 miles away in Sylmar. Bruce Jeffrey Pardo was dead from a bullet to the head.

Among the missing and presumed dead are Pardo’s ex-wife and her parents Joseph Ortega and Alicia Ortega.

An article also noted that Pardo was a devout Catholic, btw. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything other than to point out he seems to have forgotten about "thou shalt not kill," or that the civil divorce (there's no report of an annulment, so by his own faith, he was still married in the eyes of the church) somehow sent him over the edge. Or is the idea that he was a practicing member of his church cannot be reconciled with the fact that he was an amoral tinder box ready to explode?

Pardo, as in the past, had volunteered to serve as an usher at midnight mass on Christmas Eve but he never made it to Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. Jan Detanna, head usher at Holy Redeemer said, “I’m just–this is shocking. He was the nicest guy you can imagine. Always a pleasure to talk to, always a big smile.”

CNN also reports that a pipebomb exploded last night in a rental car used a day earlier by Pardo.

I'm really tired of the conflation of religious faith with morality and all sorts of virtues; being a church usher has nothing to do with having morals,principles, empathy or stable mental health. Do you think religious faith would have been mentioned by the reporter if he had been Muslim, for instance, or an atheist, or a member of the FLDS, to name a few?.As one of my readers noted:

Straight Male "lifestyle"

Every time some asshat fundie starts talking about how horrible life will be if LGBT people actually achieve equality, we need to bring up sh*t like this. Every time we hear some claim about AIDS being a gay disease and showing how horrible gay men are, let's bring up "men" like Pardo. Let's bring up all the straight men who beat and abuse (physically or psychologically) their wives and girlfriends; then, when those women actually get the courage to leave, treat these women as property to be reclaimed or avenged or destroyed.

How many times a month do you read in your local paper about some guy who kills himself and his ex? How many such "murder/suicides" occur on an annual basis? How can anyone claim that LGBT people are a threat to civilization when the bullsh*t myth of masculinity that is spread through our society continues to create results like this? Almost all murders, rapes, robberies and physical attacks in this country are at the hands of straight men and I, for one, am sick of being told that I am somehow less than these violent felons.

by: CPT_Doom @ Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:23:56 AM EST