By now, we're sure the vast, vast majority of you have heard about the havoc and bloodshed this afternoon down at Fort Hood, where a very disturbed Army Major shot and killed 13 of his fellow soldiers, while wounding another 31.
One of the wounded is one of my longest acquaintances, someone whom I've known for as long as I can remember. The good news is that her injuries aren't life-threatening; she was shot straight through her lower left arm, and she awaits reconstructive surgery once the hospitals can handle her. Eventually, she'll be something approximating okay.
The bad news, of course, is that she--like over 40 of her fellow soldiers--was shot.
We'll skip the "this puts it all in perspective" bullshit; it's a tremendous insult of one's intelligence to think that they need a horrific mass murder to be reminded that sports aren't life. In case you couldn't tell, we don't take much of anything at BHGP very seriously. At all.
But when this, the most frightening and evil of human expressions happens (and hits so close to home), there are some things I can't help but feel and express. Apologies if this rambles or whatever, but I'm not trying to win a Pulitzer here.
I feel for the families of the dead whose grief is inestimable. I feel for the wounded and their families as well, whose lives may never be the same. I feel for the family of the gunman, who must have been mortified beyond belief. I feel for the Muslim members of this country who have never wanted to kill a soul but now have to catch shit for this. I feel for all the soldiers who were preparing for a third or fourth tour of duty, only to see this happen on their own base. I feel especially for those at the scene who were suffering from an undiagnosed case of PTSD, who are now likely plunged into an incomprehensible mental hell.
I also feel enormous anger and frustration that this would ever happen and that's impossible to definitively prevent from ever happening again. Regardless of your thoughts on warfare or the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan--rest assured, this is neither the time nor place for any of that in either direction--it's plainly obvious that something has gone very, very wrong here, and I hope whatever breakdown led to this mass killing never happens again.
Further, I hope the kneejerk solution isn't to assume all people--active military members included--are potential murderers unless proven otherwise, and I hope that such trust isn't abused like it was today.
And I sure hope my old friend ends up okay, physically and mentally.