A Justifiable Homicide

We had a shooting around here a few days ago.  It was the sort of shooting of which the NRA and friends would approve as justified, just the kind that any right thinking, red blooded American would take pride in.  Perhaps it will be found to be a justifiable homicide. 
A young man broke into a western clothing and outfitters store in the dark of an early morning hour.  Make no mistake, he was a burglar, he broke through the glass front door, and was helping himself to belts and buckles.  He was not an innocent victim.  The owner of the store lives in the back.  What exactly happened is under investigation, but at some point the owner confronted the burglar, fired several rounds of #4 buckshot, and killed him.  The burglar was unarmed, but who knew that in the dark of the night?
I’ve met the owner a few times, and feel a deep compassion for what he will have to endure for the rest of his life.  He’s an OK sort of guy, an older man, someone who bought into the hard core 2nd Amendment rights propaganda, including the “By God, you come into my house the wrong way and you’ll pay for it with lead” mentality.  
That puerile bravado plays well until you’ve shot and killed someone, even a bad guy.  Then the reality of what it means to have taken a life sets in.  The second thoughts, the guilt, the remorse, the never ending question about what could have been done differently.  For a sane person there is no romance in killing another human being.  There is no satisfaction in it.  There is nothing to brag about.  I hope that emotional healing will happen for him in time, and that he gets the competent help to guide it along.  Most do heal, but not all.  Some will find that something in themselves has also died, a part of their soul, leaving them with a heart less able to trust and love, a heart less able to find joy in life.  This isn’t a movie or television show.  It’s real life, and it’s ugly.  I will pray for his healing.  You pray too.
I do not know why we romanticize guns and killing.  I do not know why so many fall for that garbage the NRA keeps peddling.  

2 thoughts on “A Justifiable Homicide”

  1. The movement near the end of your post is, well, challenging, Steve. The pause that takes place in between \”I will pray for his healing\” and \”You pray too.\” I found myself asking: …me too? –Yes, me too. And then you…and you…and you….That moment of implication, where startled, I find myself just pausing in silence…and then: the sheer anger at the end where the power of fantasy stands exposed. …would that these moments could go viral….

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