Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The X Factor

Yesterday a gunman shot three people in the middle of the City of Melbourne during the morning peak hour rush. And once again the x factor took the life of one of those shot. The 43 year old father of three was simply rushing to the aid of a woman in trouble.

We are lucky in Australia that these types of incidents are comparatively rare and that is why there is always such outrage and disgust when these things do happen. What we muct not do is allow fear to prevent us from going about our normal business, to allow beliefs to form that result in a siege mentality. We must focus on the bravery of the two men shot and celebrate that part of the human condition that means we will rush to the aid of people in trouble.

The gunman will be caught. He will be revealed as a career criminal and thug. He will be shown to be callous and cowardly. Anyone who feels the need to beat up women, who resorts to the use of a firearm to prove he is stronger than someone else must by nature be a fool? He has taken the husband from a wife, the father from three children, the son from parents, and the friend from friends. One moment of anger? Or an ongoing testosterone boosted, chest puffing, pathetic attempt to prove manhod?

I have stepped in during situations where altercations have occured, as an ex-copper it is a natural thing to do, and I was speaking to my oldest son last night [who is in the army] and he agreed his training would ensure that he would do the same. These incidents show that ordinary people will react in extraordinary situations to respond and help if they can. I guess the x-factor means that you may never know whether your decision will be a mere ripple in the river of your own life or whether it will have lasting impact upon the lives of many.

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