Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Truth about Nothing

Yesterday while eating breakfast at a local IHOP, several Nevadan military members were shot, along with at least one civilian. So far four people are dead.

The shooter? Dead as well – due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

As you can imagine, that was big news here in Nevada. It happened in Carson City, also known as our state capital. When I first heard the news, I was horrified.

Can you imagine meeting with your friends and/or family at the local IHOP, with nothing on your mind other than ordering those glorious potato pancakes, or a stack of decadent chocolate chip pancakes, and then all of a sudden realizing that a gun was going off and people were dropping left and right?

Some news reporters are calling it a “massacre.” By definition a massacre is “the act or an instance of killing a large number of humans indiscriminately and cruelly.” So, are four people dead a “large number”? I guess that’s subjective. If you spend all your time watching shoot ‘em ups on TV, then I guess four people seems like a small amount. But, if you lead a fairly insulated life, then yes, four people is a large amount.

As for me, I’m still wrapping my head around this. It’s horrifying to think that one minute you could be doing something so very innocent (like ordering breakfast), and the next minute be lying on the floor from a gunshot wound.

Some locals are stating that it’s incidents like this that should incite citizens to buy guns and get their CCWs. But I’m not convinced. One patron interviewed stated he was carrying a pistol – but that was no match against the altered AK-47 the shooter had. In the very little time he had to assess the situation, he decided against brandishing his pistol.

I can’t say I blame him. He would have had to figure out – very quickly – if he could take the guy out, if he had a clear shot, if he could grab the weapon before the shooter noticed… etc., etc., etc. And that’s a heck of a lot of information to figure out in a high pressure situation like that – heck, this guy wasn’t trained to make those sorts of decisions.

So… yes, carrying concealed might have its advantages in some situations, but not when faced with a lunatic unloading an AK-47 in a roomful of people.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life and the end of life. This incident just put all my thoughts into overdrive. We like to think we have a tenacious grip on life, when in all actuality that’s more illusion than truth.

Life can be taken from us at any time – in any way. But instead of worrying about that, I suppose we should focus on the time we have left and make the most of that.

I’m trying. Perhaps I’m not succeeding, but I am most definitely trying.

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