If what people do is any reflection of who they are, then Devin P. Kelley, who slaughtered 26 churchgoers on Sunday in Texas, surely was a madman.

Before the atrocity, he had attempted to sneak weapons onto an Air Force base after making death threats to his superiors, according to a local police report. In 2012, he had escaped from a mental hospital in New Mexico to which he had been sent after assaulting his wife and fracturing his stepson’s skull.