Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A SHOT IN THE EVENING

Tuesday evenings are hectic here at the Whittle household.

The boys and I all have something on the go in four different directions at pretty much the same time.

Aidan's venue is the MUN School of Music. When we dropped him off last evening the campus was live with students shuffling to classes, residences and parking lots.

A typical evening of organized chaos. We waved Aidan off, so familiar and secure that there was no need to watch him enter the building.

An hour and half later, I received a text message from my brother about a shooting on campus. Thousands of parents, husbands, wife's, brothers, sisters, boyfriends and girlfriends probably reacted similarly. Were their loved ones safe? What was going on? Gun violence on the MUN campus!

In the vacuum of time, with few details, I experienced some anxiety about the safety of my son. Who fired the shot, what was going on? Was any one hurt? The safe environment that I took for granted was shattered, shots fired on campus, multiple police vehicles perusing unknown suspects. It was a lot to process.

As details filtered out, mostly via Twitter it became clear that the incident occurred near the Field House and the threat was no longer on campus. The shot was fired by police.

It just felt so serene and unreal.

The gun culture depicted on the Republic of Doyle is fiction. bad guys are not running around the city of St. John's with guns, or are they?

Has the gun culture taken hold with the wave of drug fuelled crime? My mind flashed back to a fire fight a few years ago on a Canadian Tire Parking Lot, to the daily news reports of drug busts and the typical pictures of narcotic filled bags, neatly stacked piles of cash and few guns.

We may be living on an isolated rock out in the edge of the North America's continental shelf but we are not protected from from crime and gun violence than anywhere else.

A daunting reality of modern day life.

I cuddled in with my 14-year old last night as he silently slept. I scratched his back, kissed his cheeks and just took in his gentle breathing.

Life is precious.

We take so much for granted.

Sometimes it takes a little shock to the system to put it all in perspective.

 




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