The dreadful shooting sprees of the past few months, which claimed dozens of innocent lives, shocked and unnerved millions of Americans. The specter of some heavily armed madman turning a theater, a temple, a mall or a school into his personal battle zone has become all too real and terrifying.

The latest episode still unfolding in Southern California implicates, oddly enough, a former Los Angeles police officer, 33-year-old Christopher Jordan Dorner, who allegedly is seeking redress for perceived mistreatment by the LAPD. Dorner was a member of the department for three years before losing his badge in 2008, reportedly for lying about a fellow officer. When he was unable to win back his job, murder became, as a manifesto attributed to Dorner put it, “a necessary evil” for him to prevail in the face of racism and injustice.