You may not catch a lot of random breaks. I don’t either, the way I see it. In fact, I often assert that I never gained anything in this life that I didn’t have to claw from between the slavering jaws of unwilling fate. Here, though, is a wee dose of perspective.
When ex-Marine Ian David Long marched into the Borderline bar and grill in Thousand Oaks California Thursday night, armed with God knows what military hardware he chose from the buffet set out for him by the NRA, and proceeded to punch fatal holes through 12 helpless people, there was a terrible twist that made it just that much more awful: numerous patrons inside had been there in Las Vegas on October 1 last year, when Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded 850 more.
A bunch of people sitting there, eating wings and having a beer, were about to experience their second mass killing.
One of those Las Vegas survivors, Telemachus “Tel” Orfanos, didn’t make it through his second tour. A little over a year after he managed to crawl out from under the withering fusillade pouring down from Mandalay Bay, Ian Long put an end to him at the Borderline. Have a care for poor, desperately unlucky Tel. How horrible that moment of realization, when he understood it was actually happening again. Or perhaps fortune smiled upon him just enough that he never knew what hit him.
Sorry. This is what passes for a pep talk in my neck of the woods.