Look at this smirk:
He looks like he's just accomplished something wonderful, doesn't he? Something that's left him giddy and proud. He might have just given the winning answer in a spelling bee. He might have just won a scholarship to a prestigious university. His girl might have just accepted his proposal of marriage. He might have just shaved his head on a lost bet with his buddies.
But no, none of those is the case. This is the smirking, smug grin of Jared Loughner, whose achievement in life is that he just murdered six innocent people, and wounded thirteen others.
Why so smug? Why the smirk?
Of course, it could be that we're looking into the eyes of insanity — whatever that is. We are surely looking into the eyes of an evil man, one who boasted "No! I won't trust in God!", and who lived out that creed by assaulting the image of God in a score of his betters. He couldn't get his hands on God, so he did next-best. If we call that "insanity," we mustn't do so in a way that removes the moral responsibility for this rebellious subject of the holy King.
So why the smirk?
In a just country, assuming that there were at least two witnesses to his murder of even one (let alone six) of the victims, Jared Loughner's remaining days would be very few. Guilt would be established, he would be offered a last opportunity to hear the Gospel, and he would be put to death — in a just country (Genesis 9:6; Acts 25:11; Romans 13:4; 1 Peter 2:14, etc.).
However, sadly, Jared Loughner does not live in a just country. Jared Loughner lives in a country that has left its roots in justice and truth far behind. Already Jared Loughner — who as far as we know accomplished not one praiseworthy, noble act in his entire life — has seized the nation's attention. He has temporarily thwarted the will of voters who elected Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (whose physical and spiritual health should be in all our prayers). In fact, Loughner temporarily thwarted the will of the entire nation, as Congress decided not to pursue the undoing of legislative tyranny for a week, in unwitting honor of this disgraceful man. Further, our liberal overlords are doing what they always do, exploiting sin as a reason to rob the law-abiding of yet more rights.
But that is not all.
The odds favor that Loughner can expect his victims to pay for his room, board, and healthcare for the rest of his long life. He can expect to remain a subject of interest and attention by our depraved media. He can expect proposals of marriage, books, perhaps even a movie.
And what's worse, this reality not only sullies the innocent dead and the innocent wounded, not only wounds their families — it harms the society Jared Loughner has already harmed (Ecclesiastes 8:11).
Well might he smirk.
And all the more should we pray, speak, and act. We should pray for Loughner's conversion, and we should pray for justice.
Only in the Cross, and as explained in God's Word, can both meet.