Another shooting. More people hurt. More people’s lives cut short. Just weeks after the shooting in Nashville, a city I lived in for 16 years (read my reaction here). It’s not fair. It’s not right. I can’t imagine being in that parking lot in Allen, Texas yesterday. The sound of the weapon. Cars screeching out of the parking lot. Nearby, traffic going this way and that, unaware of what’s happening just a few hundred yards away. I’d like to think I’d do something heroic if I had the opportunity. But then there’s a thought I keep coming back to. In movies, usually it’s easy to learn who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. We have the luxury of seeing the whole story from a birds eye view. Sometimes I think to myself why people who are passing the bad guys on the street don’t just tackle them in the cross walk? Pin their car so they can’t get away? Or if there’s a van carrying a kidnapped person, why don’t the other cars on the highway do something? The reason that never happens is because the other people don’t know. They don’t know what we know, that the bad guys are RIGHT THERE, just do something!
But that’s just a movie script. In Allen, Texas there was a truck that peeled out of the parking lot and it was caught on a different car’s rear camera. People are calling out the driver of this truck for not mowing down the shooter. Certainly he or she could’ve. Here’s a screen shot from a dash cam in the parking lot, showing the truck.
Knowing what we know now, it’s easy to say what that driver should’ve done or could’ve done or what we would’ve done. But just imagine for 5 seconds being in that driver’s situation. They have no idea what’s happening. Is it a terrorist situation? Is it a mass shooting in progress? What if it’s an undercover cop shooting at someone with a weapon? An off-duty officer taking out a threat? Let’s play it forward and say the truck rams the shooter. Maybe it’s heroic or maybe they injured an officer because they acted before they had solid information. That would be embarrassing and not heroic.
It’s impossible to know, in the moment, what we learned after. So I don’t blame the truck driver at all. Like I said, I’d love to say I would crashed hard into the shooter, taking him out with pain and severe injuries. But I don’t know that I would, and to be honest I think I’d screech out of there just like others were doing.
We also know this shooter was a bad man. It’s so unfortunate he had access to guns. But still, guns aren’t going away. It’s just not going to happen. At this point, I believe the only way these tragedies end is when bad people become good. I support some kind of gun reform. But it has to start with the bad guys with guns. More laws aren’t going to fix anything. It will probably just make things worse because only people that care about the law (the good people) will obey it. Gun-control activists need to stop hating the NRA, stop hating conservatives. They need to start making bad people good. That’s the only way this changes. Once criminals give up their guns, then there will be progress because it seems like we Americans are so forgetful: murder is already illegal. Do you really think somebody hell-bent on inflicting this kind of horror is going to suddenly obey a law which carries less penalties (unlawful gun ownership) when they are planning to break one that has more severe penalties (murder)?
I think liberals have their heart in the right place but they forget to use their heads. It should be said that conservatives use their head but should balance that with more compassion.
At the end of the day, politicians aren’t going to save us. No one in Washington, D.C. has that power. Lyrics in one of my favorite songs from The Avett Brothers sum it up best…
When nothing is owed or deserved or expected“Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” The Avett Brothers
And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected.
If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected,
Decide what to be and go be it.
-Out of the Wilderness