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EDITORIAL - 86,400 seconds

opinion editorial stock

WESTLOCK - Not that anyone should have to be told, but hold your children extra close today, and every day, every chance you get.

Tell your family and friends they are loved, because you never know the next time you will see them again. Anything could happen during the course of your day, or theirs.

There are 86,400 split seconds every day, each one an opportunity for something unexpected and tragic to happen.

We don’t want to start 2020 off on a sour note, but this is part of wishing everyone health and happiness for the new year, instead of the fear and dread one experiences looking down the wrong side of a sawed-off shotgun, as some of our neighbours did last week out at Half Moon Lake.

As most have heard by now, if they haven’t read the story on the front page, residents at Half Moon Lake had a run-in with a gun-toting Edmonton man with ill intentions last week, and even though the best case scenario played out, one can’t help but wonder what would have happened if it had gone the other way.

Make sure to read the story when you have the chance, but the long and short of it is two men in their mid-70s were held at gunpoint as a man demanded the keys to a vehicle.

One of the gentlemen took it upon himself to try to save the day, which probably isn’t advisable, but his logic was cogent in his own head, in the heat of the moment. He was going to save his friend.

“So when he came around, I figured I only got one friggin’ chance, I’ve got to grab this gun, but I couldn’t grab it. Then he pointed it at me and I was just waiting for the bang, that’s all,” said Ray Gagne.

Watching the surveillance video, you’ll audibly gasp at one point as Gagne lunges for the gun, but misses, struggles with the subject, stumbles briefly, and finds his back against the car for a short time before he gets out of range.

It could have ended much differently. Fortunately, Mr. Gagne lived to see his 75th birthday the next day.

While there are 86,400 split seconds every day, each of which could put us face-to-face with challenges we think could never happen, but it’s also 86,400 chances to do something kind for someone or tell them how you feel, before it’s too late.