Five times in my life I've shot a man, and not once did I think it was the wrong thing to do. And I'm not the kind of person who doesn't believe in regrets. I regret that I never had a chance to say goodbye to my Ma before she died, and I regret that I didn't kiss Heather Woods in the 10th grade that time we went to the homecoming dance.
So sure, I regret things.
But the people who I shot ... those seven bastards deserved what they got. Every one of them was a bad person. And I can't feel sorry for doing what needed to be done.
The first was a mistake, a bad twist of fate. Some punk trying to steal enough to score picked the wrong guy. One dark alley, one threat, and I warned him too. But when he pulled the knife and advanced on me I did what any red-blooded American properly armed would do. I put two in that fucker's chest and left him there drowning in his own blood.
Okay, so maybe that's not the proper way. My Grandfather took me out to his farm back when I was a kid, to see the fresh air and learn about God's land in thorn and claw, as he said. One day one of the farm dogs got caught underneath the wheel of a tractor. It was all broken, limp as a wet dishrag, and my Grandpa had told me then that you never let an animal suffer when you could put it out of its misery.
So leaving that sorry fucker there in the alley to suffocate on his own tainted blood was bad form on my part. I made up for it. I went to Grandpa's grave and told him that I had done it wrong and learned my lesson and if--and God forbid that it come to pass--I had another chance to do the right thing, I'd make sure that I never left a broken living being behind me.
The 2nd and 3rd were another bit of bad luck. I seem to be one of the unluckiest men alive. But that's okay. Common sense and preparation can make up for a whole mess of bad luck, I've found. And I do my best to wield both. So when the two bums came in through my kitchen window looking to do Heaven knows what, I tagged them both. The police might have been suspicious at how neatly I had done it, one of them hit once in the chest and once in the throat and the other one neatly betwen the eyes.
I couldn't really tell them that the 2nd one, upon seeing his comrade fall, had gotten down on his knees and begged me to let him go, that he had made a mistake. But he was so helpless. I couldn't just let him run back out into the world. It was a hard winter that year, and he looked half-frozen as it was. I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy. So I did the decent thing and put him down proper.
Thank god he had booze in his system and his friend had a cheap old gun on him. I was acquitted without delay. Nobody condemns a man for minding his own house. Not even in these awful times.
The fourth time was a good work. Driving through the seedy side of town, as I did from time to time, I spotted a pimp beating up on his hooker. Or maybe it was just a husband who had gone too far laying hands on his wife. I'm not sure which it was, to be honest. You can't tell one from the other with those kinds of people. But the woman was screaming for help and nobody walking the streets in that part of town lifted a finger, scurrying into hiding and onto stoops where they could deny they saw a damned thing.
I was not as cowardly. I didn't even have to stop the car. And all those people who were looking the other way obviously saw nothing. Nobody looks too hard for people who kill those types of monsters. The woman was simply grateful. No harm done. My good deed for the day achieved.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, because the last time I shot a man was probably the last time I'll ever get away with it. I don't regret it, per se, but I understand that there are some things people don't look kindly upon. Like how my friend Chris from work didn’t look kindly upon my confession that I had shot four men while we were sharing a few 12 packs of beer.
You should have heard the things he accused me of when I detailed what I laid down before you here. He called me all sorts of names. Monster. Psychopath. They were unfair things. I’m just a man who protects what’s mine. It’s a carefully honed skill, the ability to defend. I am especially good at it. So when he threatened me, intimated that he would call the cops, I defended the thing most important to me without thinking.
So poor Chris is dead now. But he was always a bit of a pompous ass. So … there we go. I regret nothing, but I can’t exactly hide this one. I can’t think of an excuse that the police are going to like. So I’m simply going to tell them the truth, in as calm and composed a manner as I can. Which is why I write this. Five men, a drop in the bucket. Tyrants and patriots kill exponentially more every day.
I only did what was necessary.