There's a scene in a bathroom where two highschool girls are sneakin' a smoke and discussing the importance of popularity related to the coming future. I never smoked, wasn't particularly popular, and don't remember ever having such discussions with anyone in highschool, but... What really grabbed me about that scene was how one girl desperately needed the popularity and would do just about anything to get it; the other told her something to the effect of "I'm going on to bigger and better things, this isn't all there is for me."
Looking back, I may not have consciously known it then, but somehow, on some level, I guess teenage me (previous "shooter" reference here) must've figured out that something bigger and better was coming and that the school system and what went on there wasn't all there was. Somewhere between that, the Baptist upbringing, "Thou shall not kill," knowledge of the Death Penalty, and possibly the lack of small guns in my house, I got outta there without shooting up the place.
Don't get me wrong, I still had a list in my head of people I'd like to put holes in, or at least bruises on. I carried a half-size spiral notebook with a Parker Vector Rollerball pen (which I still Love) clipped in the spirals, it was always with me in case I needed to vent -- one particular bit of that venting involved a very descriptively written piece about goin' batshit with a baseball bat on someone I'd managed to corner in her back yard. Getting a good hard beating in seemed far more satisfying than pulling a trigger; and I guess I'd think the same way now, 'cause there's not much of anything more satisfying that pickin' up a lug wrench and takin' bash after bash at a windshield. Anyhow... I was kinda proud of the odd grin it elicited from my best friend, the only person I ever let read anything from my little notebook -- I was definitely not proud of the shock it put on My Mom when she snuck a peek. That's called "learning the hard way," and after that, I was a lot more careful where I left my little notebook.
For all the rotten things that were yelled at me.
That guy who kicked the shit out of my shin with his damn cowboy boot.
The principal I talked to about the incident who said I needed to "be a little more thick-skinned about things like that."
That girl who was so relentlessly mean to me, and then the following year, didn't recognize me and started in on telling me what a horrible bitch Debbie was. She found me on MySpace a couple years after the ten-year reunion and couldn't figure out why I "didn't like her very much when we were in school."
That guy who asked "what'cha listenin' to?" and then took the CD out of my DiscMan so he could pretend to read the top while he scratched the back.
That guy who would not leave me the hell alone in that Math class.
That guy who would not leave me the hell alone in that Art class.
That teacher who sent me to the principal's office for standing up to that guy who would not leave me the hell alone in Art class.
That teacher who said he liked my shorts and would give me an A if I'd wear 'em every day.
I could've been a school shooter way before school shootings were all over the news...
Some of it finally came to a stop after one afternoon in tenth grade. I was in my truck waiting for traffic to clear so I could back out and leave when one of those guys stopped right behind me and just stayed put even though the other cars were moving on out of the parking lot. He just stayed right there, with the passenger door of his shiny burgundy Cutlass Supreme lined up with the back bumper of my truck. I could see him in the mirror, just sittin' there starin' at me. I wouldn't dare back my truck into anybody's car, certain things are sacred regardless of ownership, but hey, it was a gravel parking lot back then...
I gave him a little time and he still didn't move, so I put it in first gear and eased the clutch out ever-so-slowly to creep up against the concrete bumper; then I pushed the clutch back in. I waited just a little bit longer and that smartass was still sittin' there staring at me. Cars had cleared out and the space straight across from me was empty -- so I revved it up just a little and let the clutch out just a little harder than was really necessary. I don't know if he had the windows down or not, but he was gone pretty quick once the spray of gravel started. I pushed the clutch back in and let it idle down; not one to quit halfway through things, I let the clutch out a little easier and drove on over the concrete parking curb anyway.
I guess it's that concept of certain things having their own degree of a sacred nature that kept me from doing any real damage... Much like the difference between wedging a truck bumper into a car door or just flinging a few rocks; I chose to fantasize about getting a few whacks in with a baseball bat instead of carrying a gun to school to blow somebody away. I like how Ron White explains the Death Penalty; "If you kill somebody here, we will kill you back."
Through the magic of FaceBook, I've seen that several of the people from my own personal "Bullet List" are actually still alive, and out of all of 'em, that girl who found me on MySpace is the only one who's on any of my "Friends Lists" now -- partly because when she found me, I wasn't interested in putting forth the effort of a long hearty "Fah-Q" type of e-mail, and partly because I thought maybe neither of us was the same girl we were in seventh grade. Maybe someday she and I might discuss it all a little more at-length. Maybe. The rest of 'em can suck it just like Alex Trebek.
All the times I dreamed of just getting away from all of it, those dreams came true with College, where everything was different and I didn't think about beating the life out of people anymore.
Where was I going with all this?
Well, I really don't understand why there's so much concern over this guy getting a "fair trial," especially when he didn't even consider what would be "fair" to any of these people who didn't even do anything to him personally.
I say let him stay (guarded, of course) in the hospital until all of the injured victims are well healed and back on their feet. When they're good and ready, then let each victim, each person he shot, each person who lost a loved one in that shooting, let each and every one of them line up and take a few whacks at him with a baseball bat.
Then put a bullet through some minor artery so he can die nice and slow.
We salute you, Fort Hood, and pray for you in your time of need.
Happy Veterans Day.