July 15, 2004

This is a challenge response for the photo on Erin’s gen Martinfanfic list.

Shoot. Don’t shoot.

That’s the drill. That’s the question.

But the answer?

Each year I qualify at the range. The firearms instructors shout out their commands, “Ready on the left! Ready on the right! Ready on the firing line! Fire!”

Of course I fire. I shoot. That’s about ninety percent of the day spent at the range – shooting. Getting my “center mass” configurations. Or the head shots.

The other ten percent? Bullshitting with the guys, taking long lunch breaks, cleaning our guns… Not shooting, but still not… not shooting.

Yeah, back at the academy we went through the “Shoot, don’t shoot” drill in “Hogan’s Alley.” The little, fake, flat, wooden cutouts of the bad guys and their guns interspersed with the little kids with their balloons, or the old ladies with their shopping carts, all programmed to pop out on you as you go through the little, fake, flat wooden town.

An old cop friend of mine told me that the first person to take out on “Hogan’s Alley” was the cameraman; to take the deduction. George was a good guy, but I didn’t take the shot back then.

Maybe I should have.

Things aren’t so black and white. There’s no defining line between evil and good. Between shoot and don’t shoot.

So where does that leave me? I don’t fucking know. All I know is that I’ve got some guy with a knife in front of me, threatening to kill the guy that kidnapped and raped his sixteen-year-old daughter.

Shoot. Don’t shoot. Shit.


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