I write what I am about to write in the hope that no one thinks I am making fun of suicide. Suicide is not inherently funny and what I am motivated to write is about a particular person who chose to end his own life, not the action, itself. He seems to have had other problems besides decision making so please, pity him in the appropriate measure. But this is not about suicide per se so, if you wish to accuse me of insensitivity, please do so realizing that I am generally insensitive, and that this one post is not the best example of that insensitivity.
An article in the newspaper caught my eye this weekend. Sadly, a gentleman in Indiana, feeling he was wronged in a financial matter, went into a real estate office, took hostages, released them and then killed himself. This is not all that news worthy (though there are hundreds of articles about it online, and I'm sure that the families of the hostage taker, and of his hostages, and everyone in Valparaiso, Indiana who have to realize that their small town needs something to put it on the map, would see this as a real news article). But something in the article really got to me (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/26/us/indiana-hostage-taking-ends-in-suicide.html) .
Read it and then come back. I'll wait.
OK, then, did you catch it? I'll quote the problematic paragraph:
"Chief Michael Brickner of the Valparaiso police said the man shot himself twice in the head. "
I don't know much about suicide but it seems to me that a guy who shoots himself in the head twice is either incredibly committed to the cause, or has the worst aim, ever. I can only imagine (and I hesitate to do even that) what must be going on after that first shot -- wouldn't ANY shot to the head bleed profusely? Wouldn't it hurt like heck? Wouldn't it make someone think twice about firing again, if he even still had the capacity to think and pull the trigger?
Isn't that idea of "two shots" usually what lets the TV cop know that this wasn't suicide and he has 46 more minutes to figure out whodunit before the local news comes on? I'm not even making any jokes about this because (ok, here comes a little one) I just can't wrap my brain around this.