In one of those ironic life moments you just can't script, I was sitting here with my iPod on shuffle when Johnny Cash's "Hardin Wouldn't Run" came on. What an awesome tune. It starts off with telling a story about John Wesley Hardin losing his money shooting dice in a saloon, then pulling a gun and demanding his money back. As I was enjoying Mr. Cash's sad song, I pulled up the Rocky Mountain News on my 'puter and saw this headline:
Lone gunman opens fire in Vegas casino; 3 wounded
My first thought (well, second thought after, "How ironic") was how amazing it was that no one was killed. What a failure that guy was!
In all seriousness, how exactly did it become fashionable to get a gun and shoot at random people because you're not happy with your life? I just can't fathom it. I can grasp wanting to take out someone who had a direct impact on your life. I can grasp getting so distraught that you decide to take your own life. (though, of course, I neither condone nor recommend either of those things) But I can't for the life of me grasp the desire to take out completely anonymous strangers.
What is it about the world... about the United States... that poisons people so much? Yes, this happens in other places, but nothing like here. It's akin to terrorism, of course, but it's not the same. Terrorists are part of a larger machine; they believe that what they're doing is serving some greater purpose. For all intents and purposes, they've been brainwashed.
These shooters here are loners. There may be a couple working together, like the Columbine kids, but they're not part of anything. They're on the outside looking in. And at some point, their hatred of those on the inside grows so great, their whole view turns red with blood.
And then they start shooting.
Kids. Adults. Upper-class. Middle-class. Lower-class. Educated. Uneducated. Family men. Drifters.
That's a pretty wide range there. About the only constants are that they're men, and they're pissed.
I gotta tell you, while I'm certainly conscious of the threat of terrorism, I'm not nearly as fearful of it directly affecting my life as I am one of these psychopaths opening fire somewhere my family happens to be.
Shit, whether you agree with the policies and methodologies or not, there are at least governments out there trying to keep terrorists from attacking us. There are lots and lots of people studying and planning and counter-planning, all to end the threat of terrorism.
Who's studying and planning and counter-planning to end the threat of the angry fucker with a gun?