A Christmas Concert

imageMy daughter’s college held a Christmas Gala last week where she was a member of the chorus. It was a beautiful show celebrating the season’s good will toward men (and women). The audience was filled with festively-dressed folks, many of them smiling seniors. Was it wrong for me to be thinking about radicalized violence?

A Christian event drawing over a thousand people could be a prime target in these particular times. Once seated, I discreetly checked out the tactical options. Should something go down, where were the exits people would attempt to funnel through? What would constitute cover and/or concealment? How could an attack unfold, given the layout of the venue?

I dare not get into the Christmas spirit until I had all the angles worked out in my head. It is an occupational habit to assess for a potential critical incident, even when off duty. Decades of SWAT have corrupted my focus. Sometimes I wish I were a normal person.

My concealed carry was a Kahr PM9 and spare mag. The thought, “Battlefield pickup,” came to mind. In short order, I was able to enjoy the musical. I was surrounded by people who should not have to worry about their safety at a concert event. Most didn’t, I’ll wager.

Yes, the show went off without conflict. My concerns for the day were, fortunately, unfounded. But I cursed my professional paranoia, while simultaneously acknowledging its modern practicality. Were there other white hats in the audience who were also armed and observant? I hope so, but I’ll never know for sure.

The kids’ performance was wonderful. Once I had contingencies committed in my head, I thoroughly enjoyed the night’s songs and skits. A few moments of sober assessment followed by a couple hours of holiday spirit. Yeah, it was good.


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2 Responses to A Christmas Concert

  1. JeffD says:

    On Saturday this weekend I took my 5 year-old to his first Nutcracker Ballet performance, along with his mother, her mother and my elderly parents. I did the exact same thing and thought the same thoughts you did. I am glad I am not “normal”, and your post made me feel that what we do is “normal” for people of the similar inclination. It was an absolute fine time, my boy loved it more than I thought he would, and I was able to enjoy it all the more knowing that I could take appropriate action should the worst pan out. Hopefully all that are capable remain prepared and vigilant to prevent and/or end the next active shooter event that unfortunately will surely come.

    • Randall says:

      Thanks, Jeff. I’m happy to hear your son enjoyed The Nutcracker. My kids loved it when they were small. Seems like back then, the world was a different place.


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