Since last Monday, I have been wondering how a guy can kill so many people with only a pair of handguns. I have avoided reading a "play by play" of what happened, so I am perfectly ignorant. This ignorance is important to what I have to say next, because I want to make perfectly clear that I am not only not judging the people at Virginia Tech but completely incapable of judging them. Remember, I blame the shooter.
But here's my troubling thought. Every time something like this happens, I, probably like most of you hypothetical readers, think about what I would do if somebody started shooting in a public place. I find myself repeating the terrible maxim "I don't know what I would do, but..." This is a terrible maxim indeed, because it makes cowardice the default position.
I need to think proactively, not passively. Think Flight 93 instead of the Ecole Polytechnique Montreal Massacre. And don't just think about mass shootings. How many of us feel like spectators in life? How many of us enjoy that feeling?
If I am going to run the gunfire (actual or metaphorical) when That Day comes, I have to think about it now. So, instead of saying that I don't know what I will do, let me say only that I know what the right thing to do is.
And knowing is half the battle.