In 2002 we were living in Baltimore Maryland. A few short miles away two snipers were picking off random people and shooting them to death.
There was no explanation, no specific people were targeted, just random people being gunned down from a perch a few hundred feet away.
The entire region was in a panic. Every time we went to a gas station or shopping center there was a legitimate fear of being gunned down. The feeling cannot be simply described. It was crazy.
Then they found the snipers. I will never forget how they were discovered. They were sleeping in their car in broad daylight at a rest stop. The utter stupidity of these fiends is mind blowing. They had a sophisticated system of shooting people from a distance ala Jason Bourne and they get caught in public! Ridiculous.
It seems so long ago, but today, perhaps as you read this blog post, the D.C. Sniper is being executed. Some of the victims’ surviving fmaliy will be on hand to witness it. I cannot imagine attending an execution but some people need to see justice served. But of course, it is not justice. Those who are dead will never return no matter whether the Sniper gets the death penalty or life in prison like his juvenile partner.
The death penalty is uncomfortable for many and untenable for others. There will be protests and vigils tonight as the Sniper is executed. At the very least we must consider our lives and making the most of our opportunities and choices. We should also be thankful to the justice system for preventing the Sniper from sniping again. But most of all, we should appreciate our freedom with which we live our lives in America. The freedom that John Allen Muhammad sought to take away from us all.
It is an appropriate perspective in light of last week’s shooting at Fort Hood when another man who wished to take away freedom and life from innocent people took thirteen lives.
Let us make sure that we use our freedom well and support those who protect that freedom.