I don’t consider myself a violent person by any means but sometimes, sometimes I have an overpowering urge to smack someone right upside the head.

Case in point…

One of my coworkers is also a former jarhead. Besides that, we have little if anything in common. In fact, we seem to be polar opposites when the topic turns to sports, politics, religion, gay marriage or any other social issue that dominates the news on a daily basis. That doesn’t seem to stop him from trying to engage me conversation though. It usually revolves around stories about his time in the suck and to tell the truth, even then we don’t have much common ground. He was an MP with an MOS 5811. As for me, I was more your traditional ground pounder with an MOS of 0311. Anybody familiar at all with the military in general and more specifically, life in the Corps, would know that those two worlds are very, very far apart.

Anyway, I think it was sometime during the middle of last week and the news had broken overnight that there had been a shooting at a mall in Portland in which two people died. Estimates are that there were upwards of ten thousand people in the mall at the time doing their holiday shopping, taking their kids to see Santa Claus or just window shopping for that perfect gift for that special someone.

At around 3:20 in the afternoon a lone gunman, wearing a mask, opened fire and began spraying bullets around the food court. The gun apparently jammed but then the shooter got it working again. During that time, people were able to escape and emergency personnel were on their way to the scene. As is the case these days, the gunman took the cowardly way out and took his own life.

Any normal, compassionate and caring person would shake their heads in dismay and thank whatever god they worship that more people weren’t hurt or injured. That’s what most of us were doing as we gathered around the cafeteria waiting for the fresh pot of coffee to start brewing.

To paraphrase…

”Hey Bob, did you hear about that shooting in Portland yesterday. How can that guy hit only two people with an assault rifle when there were thousands and thousand of targets? He must be one shitty shot. He needs to spend more time at the firing range.”

To which I could only reply.

”Hey asshole, what the fuck is wrong with you, shut the fuck up.”

Look, I don’t know if he was trying to be funny, make conversation or just trying to cast light on a tragic event. In the end, it doesn’t matter, what was said was in poor taste and I don’t really care about his motive.

As we all know by now, there was another recent school shooting on Friday. This time twenty-eight people were killed, among them 20 children. All of the kids were aged seven or under. In addition eight adults including the shooter and his mother were also killed. They included the school principal as well as teachers. Most of them had been shot multiple times. Once again, the shooter took the cowards way out and died by his own hand. It’s amazing to me that besides the dead, there was only one additional person that was wounded.

It’s now Monday and I swear to God, my kids and whatever else I hold holy, if this dude makes one fuckin’ snide comment, attempt at humor or outright joke, I’m gonna fuckin’ deck him right where he stands and to hell with the consequences that might result from my actions.

Sometimes, something’s just need to be done in order to get your point across.

My sympathies and prayers go out to each and every one of the individuals who have been affected by acts of random violence throughout the years. May you all find some degree of comfort in the days and years to come.

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