“She met him the night before at the bowling alley, brought him home and slept with him while my siblings and I slept in the next bedroom.
She knew nothing about him and yet he slept over. The next morning I met a stranger in our kitchen.”
“It starts somewhere. It starts in the home. I know what a mass shooter can look like.”
First time I saw him, I was 13. The sun wasn’t even up yet and I was wearing my track uniform. I poured myself a bowl of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, turned and there he was, sitting at the round pale-blue Formica table reading the newspaper and drinking a cup of coffee.
“He was a large man. Wavy hair and beard intertwined with strands of black and white. Blue-blue eyes. A department store Santa. He smiled at me. Introduced himself. I was late for practice. So I told him to wash his dishes before he left.”
“She’d been looking for a man for a while. She was a mother with three little girls. She did not have a job. That was a lot to take on for anyone. Her second marriage had ended a year earlier. He started sleeping in her bedroom every night after they met. A few weeks later, I woke up to find them both gone. It was Christmas Eve morning. She’d left a note. They had gone to Vegas, a four-hour drive. Watch your two younger sisters, please. They’d be back that night.”
“According to Everytown for Gun Safety, the majority of all mass shooters in the United States killed an intimate partner or family member during the massacre or had a history of domestic violence.”
Somebody out there, right now, knows the next big mass shooter. Somebody out there is getting blamed, screamed at, beaten up.
Somebody out there wants to believe that he’s sorry, that he’s changed and that love means giving him a second chance. Even if that second chance means giving him another bullet because he missed the first time.”