Mass Murder: America's New National Pastime
As a writer, it's difficult to react to something like that without "making it all about you." Or at least have a few dozen people accuse you of doing as much.
Undoubtedly, there's something to that.
At the same time, however, there's something to be said for expressing your emotions, using whatever connection you have to what happened, during times of tragedy. I appreciate reading the personal takes of relatively unscathed others, even though the dead, the wounded, the folks who ran for their lives, the TSA agents and airline employees who had to go back to work the next day (or sooner) belong in what is, by and large, a supportive nation's collective thoughts.
As a not-so-aside, have we read anything about the TSA and airline workers who have been unable to return to work? And might have a difficult time doing so anytime soon and, in some cases, ever? The psychological damage something like this can inflict has got to be out of this world.
In any event, I hope you'll accept my mix of storytelling, humor and absolutely all-kidding-aside seriousness as an honest attempt to work through the emotional side of yet another mass shooting in America.
It Could've Been Me (Or You)
I flew out of Terminal 3 at LAX last Tuesday morning like I do, at a minimum, once a month. My flight took off at 10:35 a.m., therefore I was headed through security at roughly 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, October 29, 2013, the time the shooting rampage started this past Friday, November 1, 2013.
The same exact security checkpoint. The same Terminal 3. I'm there dozens of times every year.
Remember this image from the terminal after the shooting stopped. Even though I wasn't there when it all took place, I know I'll never forget it:
Because of what the media, Virgin America and others keep referring to as an "incident," I could not fly home, from JFK in New York City, on my scheduled Friday night flight. I headed out Saturday morning.