Six hours from the time I am typing this post, John Allen Muhammad will be executed.
John Allen Muhammad was the mastermind behind the DC Sniper shootings.
I was genuinely scared when he and his young partner, Lee Boyd Malvo, slipped in and out of the DC area, seemingly invisible, shooting people indiscriminately. I felt like game for a hunter. A hunter I didn't understand, so I didn't know how to hide. First, there were reports of a white van at all the shootings. Of course there were; every service company has a white van. That didn't stop my heart from beating faster when I saw a white van parked on my quiet little street, however.
From my Metro stop, I had to walk through a crowded shopping area. Then my route became isolated. Abruptly. I had to climb 86 stairs that crossed a large, tree-filled park. The stairs and path were brightly lit, the park was dark and the trees provided adequate camouflage. At the top of the stairs was a road that lead to entrance ramps to three different major freeways, only 100 yards away.
It seemed a perfect location for an attack.
I stopped staying at home. I packed a suitcase and stayed at my boyfriend's.
I put my life on hold on account of terror.
This time, an execution feels personal.
I am positively sick. I do not, absolutely do not, want this man to be killed. I think it is nothing short of barbaric that we as a collective, as a government, as a people, condone killing someone, anyone.
It is no less righteous if we call it execution. It is still exerting power over another and deeming it lawful to take someone's life.
I will always believe that every life is divine and deliberate. Perhaps that is simply the stronghold Catholicism still has over me. Maybe not so Catholic, I extend this to non-human life, as well.
Obviously, I think the lives Muhammad and Malvo took were also divine. Do not think that I don't care for the families and friends who lost someone dear to them. They weigh heavy on my heart -- my soul -- as well.
Today is a dark day. I feel connected to it. I was more frightened by the Sniper than I was on 9/11 or the weeks following the 9/11 attacks. I have a visceral memory of my heart beating wildly the night I walked up those steps, and then later back down, with a packed suitcase, fleeing from my home.
Forgive us for we know not what we do.