Bringing it close to home

Last night my lovely friend Amanda came over, with pizza, flowers, and wine in hand, meaning she was a very good guest by US standards. By Icelandic standards, she would have also qualified as a very good guest, because she also brought with her news. News related to an important current event.

Amanda's father is a professor in Arizona, and it turns out one of their good family friends, a woman they had visited over the Christmas holidays, was one of the 19 victims shot by the gunman in Tucson just over a week ago. She is fortunate to be alive: the bullet that traversed her body from front to back missed all vital organs, and she is now home from the hospital.

Although I was shocked when I first heard the news last week, and engaged in the subsequent media debate about gun control, mental health, and political rhetoric, I must say having even a tenuous link to that event has brought the sadness and human impact of it so much more to life.

Amanda was the one who deserved flowers last night, not me.

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