I had a gig on December 14.
Nothing could be more normal…
Nothing more normal than a Junker gig at the Union Club on a Friday night in the middle of December, post-finals for lots of students but pre-holiday exodus from our college town.
But I felt anything but normal, because that day a young person wielding intense modern weaponry had shot his way into an elementary school and moved down the halls, finding 20 six year old children and pulling the trigger. He must have looked at them, and my brain shuts down if I try to imagine what he saw, the madness that could possibly turn tiny gap tooth children into targets.
I stood on stage feeling as strange as I have felt standing on stage in almost twenty years of standing on stage.
I felt like everyone should be grieving.
I felt like I should have insisted on paying a moment’s notice to this completely wrong, wrong, wrong day.
And for the first time in my life, standing on stage and looking out at my beloved Missoulians having all different types of evenings out…. for the first time, I wondered who was packing heat.
For the first time, I imagined what would happen if someone whipped their trench coat to the side, revealed some terrifying weapon of death and started firing. In the Union Club.
The bar was armed, I realized.
I was utterly sure that there were people a stones throw away who were carrying guns.
And it made me feel… not safer at all.
The scene that unfolded in my imagination included many concealed weapons coming out and the chaotic result was horrific.
I continue to read commentary about what “could have happened had someone at Sandy Hook been armed” — that kind of Sunday morning second guessing makes my stomach hurt.
Since that night, I have had these flashing images over and over. Walking home alone from work and realizing I am almost certainly walking amongst people who are carrying concealed weapons… is that supposed to make me feel safe? Am I supposed to get my own concealed weapon and spend my precious time and energy learning how to use it in the deadliest of fashions, so that if, like a lightning strike, somebody else pulls out THEIR deathtool, I can somehow, and against all evidence, pull off, amid my terror, some kind of Dirty Gracie manouever??
That is crazy talk. It is egoism and superhero mentality and plain crazy talk.
Those arms don’t hold me. I am not safer because of your gun.