Carson City, Nevada was rocked to its foundation when a “nice, peaceful guy” stormed the IHOP restaurant and opened fire on the patrons on September 6, 2011. This “sleepy town” was slapped in the face with the raw reality that “it CAN happen here”.
No amount of restrictions on guns or better insight to the troubled minds of people will ever produce absolute safety. Sure, we can focus on the similarities in the assailant and others like him but it won’t entirely prevent another type of person from doing something similar. People are violent. People are troubled. People do strange things when their emotional well-being becomes unbalanced. No amount of new laws or rules or understanding will ever be able to prevent people from acting violent toward innocent victims. We don’t like to acknowledge that reality; but it is what it is.
All any community can do is try to learn from each tragedy and take away something positive. When a normal breakfast at your favorite restaurant results in the loss of life; we are reminded that we are vulnerable and never know when our lives may end. The lesson to be learned may simply be to remember to live our lives to the fullest every day; and not take it for granted.
All the precautions we can find don’t ensure absolute safety. We need to let go of fear and be thankful for our lives every day we survive. We must focus on living instead of living in fear of dying.
The close knit community of Carson City will resume to a sense of normality. It will heal. Hopefully, each of us will remember to treat each other a little better and enjoy life a little more than we were doing before the shooting.
Could there be a better legacy for those who lost their lives than to honor them by cherishing life a little more in their memory?
Hopefully we all will let go of the fear, the anger, and insecurities. Stop grieving the loss of our safety or belief that we are immune to danger.
It is imperative to focus on life, the preciousness of it and how to be a better person while you still have yours; because it is simply a part of life that it can end without notice whether by natural causes or a crazed gunman’s bullet.