17 April, 2007

Armed and Dangerous?

During the workweek there is usually at least one point every day that I feel a twinge of something akin to fear. It happens when I arrive for work during the "busy time" and end up in a modest (usually rolling) line of cars waiting to get on base. I can never encounter that line without wondering how hard/easy it would be for someone with American murders on his mind to wreak havoc.

But not this morning.

I spent my commute listening to news/talk about the shooting at VA-Tech. I didn't realize it at the time, but as I drove a knot of tension and anxiety was building in my stomach. I think that I was subconsciously reminded that none of us are really safe from someone who wants to hurt a lot of people in a public place.

But then I slowed down as the road turned toward the base. I looked up to see the MP standing guard in my lane. He snapped a textbook salute toward the vehicle ahead of me, and my eyes fell on the sidearm tucked into the holster on his hip. My gaze then darted to the "guard shack" on my right that I knew contained other tools of his trade that helped assure my security and that of every other occupant of the base.

The knot in my stomach that until then I hadn't noticed instantly dissolved. I held my ID out the window and received the customary "Have a good day, Ma'am" from a familiar face as I tapped the gas and rolled onto a very special piece of real estate--a place of peace, calm, and security... one of the most heavily-armed and profoundly safe pieces of real estate in the metropolitan area.

And the problem at VA-Tech was too many weapons...?