Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Shooter (A Fictional Tale)

I counted twelve weapons. I am certain there were more. It was as much a gun show as a political rally.

They were all white, almost all men, mostly young, or youngish. They were a powder keg waiting for the right accelerator, all swagger and testosterone.  Many dressed in red, white and blue, patriots all. They loved this version of America, their vision of America.

They were cordoned off in their designated pen. These hundred or so awaited the beginning of the coronation that was to commence later that evening. 

I had come as witness, to watch and report on this year's version of the greatest show on earth. I was decidedly opposed to virtually everything the gun toting crowd held dear. I was as angry about their lack of understanding of the fundamentals of governing as they were about anything and everything about me.

All that stood between us and uncivil war was a cordon of cops, a covey dressed in blue, their faces shielded from view, their purpose serious, their demeanor unmistakable. They were tasked with protecting not merely the gathered, but the very safety of this country. 

I stood maybe fifty yards removed from those who believed I was not their opposite but their enemy. We were all there exercising our Constitutional rights, of first Amendment assemblage and free speech and, for them at least, their interpretation of a second Amendment that permitted them to form their own version of a well regulated militia.

We stared at one another in uneasy truce. One, maybe in his early 40's, about six feet tall, blonde and blue eyed, seemed to fix his gaze and his intentions upon me. I could almost feel his breath, even half a football field removed. I was as uncomfortable as if he was standing beside me, poking me with deliberate belligerence. I stared at the ground, hoping to deflect his focus, but I could sense my ploy was useless. 

It was but a minute later that the inevitable voices of conflict began to rage. It started from our side of the equation, from among our righteous two dozen or so. It mattered not the words but merely the tone, condescending, belittling, full of vinegar and spit.

The fire was returned in rapid order, the biting sounds piercing through the air as arrows streaking toward their target. The men and women in uniform were keenly aware that this could quickly escalate to dark places and they warned, in clear and concise language, that inciting to riot would not be tolerated. 

The verbal attacks ebbed and flowed over the next few minutes to a kind of standoff. One insult parried by another. Calm in direct mouth to mouth combat with anarchy. Not only our universe, but the entirety of our nation readied for what was certain to come next.

Was this what was envisioned twelve score years ago when we were birthed? This union might have been conceived in liberty but was this its definition, this its intention, this its destiny? I wondered how Abraham Lincoln might have orated were he to give grave review of this assemblage. Could he have considered that his party would have chosen as its standard bearer this version of man's inhumanity to man? 

And then I heard it. The unmistakable sound. A blonde hair blue eyed piercing scream. A piece of his face gone missing. The blood streaming everywhere and in a fraction of a second he was down.

 "Shooter, shooter, shooter." And it was only then I realized that I had pulled the trigger.

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