I had a good laugh this morning. Pulling up to a red light in the center of Rome, I was very quickly surrounded by motorbikes. Besides the two or three cars in the other lanes - although no one pays attention to the lanes here, about ten scooters came up to the front swerving around cars and coming to a stop on either side of me.
I imagined myself carrying a gun and determined to be responsibly aware of any possible danger or false moves around me. Most of them kept looking straight ahead, apparently waiting for the light to turn green so they could get the jump on the others. But, being extremely attuned to my environment, I realized that could all be an act. I nervously scanned the small crowd for telltale signs and they were everywhere. The guy just a few inches to my left was fidgeting. One of the guys outside my passenger side window went for his cell phone. I would have had to draw down on both of them.
All this while I was distressingly aware of the ones just outside my peripheral vision and those directly behind me.
In the end, about the time the light changed, I laughed out loud at the foolishness of the gun-owning situationally aware guys. Talk about living in a fantasy world, one in which you possess incredible intuition and super-sensitivity. Like ten-year-olds they play pretend and imagine themselves saving the day with a gun.
The sad reality is they make themselves and everyone around them less safe.