Warning, this week’s column is not about the outdoors. It does not contain the warm story that can bring back memories of youth. Instead, it is one of heartbreak and terror.
Last weekend our country experienced something sinister. A lone gunman stepped into a crowded theatre and began to unload round after round into whoever happened to be in front of him. He calculated each move he made, working it to precision until his firearm jammed. At that point he ceased and waited for authorities to come and apprehend him. He did not wish to die in his brief act of evil. He walked into a building where he knew no one would be armed, while protected by armor himself just in case.
He was diabolical and heinous.
Life does not pretend to be fair. Everyone goes through something they should never have to. A parent should never have to bury their child. A stranger should never have to pay their respects to another who sacrificed the one thing they can never get back so that stranger could see live. Unfortunately this happens. It has happened before and it will happen again.
Often these situations start political feuds. One side will contest if guns were harder to get then a tragedy such as this would never have happened. The other side will counteract the argument with the premise if the gunman would have known someone may fire back that it may have deterred him. I do stand on one side of the argument, but I will not make the argument in respect to those who have lost their lives.
Again life is not fair, but is just as equally unfair to think if someone of this man’s madness wanted to make the insidious statement he did, that he would have found a way. Madness never belongs in the argument. Timothy McVeigh did not need a gun to cause the destruction of property and lives that he did. Eric Rudolph did not need a firearm to injure more than 150 people and kill two during his time at large. You cannot create enough barriers to prohibit madness from finding a way.
If there is anything that can be learned, it is this. Life is short. There is no way of knowing exactly when the end is near. We can be taken from this earth by accidents, by health, or by consequences of evil. No one knew that evening when entering the theatre that they would not see the film to its conclusion. Because life is short, we must cherish and respect every moment we have.
It is not fair what the people of Aurora, Colorado had to endure, and will have to endure in the next few months. Many lost their life; many more lost their loved one. Meanwhile, the one, and only one, responsible gets to live out a dream of being the key character in his own fantasy movie. In all likelihood, he will have a short time remaining to come to grips with his actions. Then it will be God’s turn to incorporate punishment upon the guilty. Life may not be fair, but God’s judgment certainly will be.