I’m afraid I’d have been melting down into a puddle of goo after crapping my pants. The video doesn’t even tell the whole story. According to the wiki page the gunman had already killed three people on his way into the chamber. Jalbert spent four hours alone with a well-armed lunatic who’d just killed 3 and wounded 13 more. I guess three decades in the army can make you into an entirely different species of human – sometimes even in a good way.
I love the “How are you doing”? The whole scene seems almost comical. Jalbert has kind of a Columbo vibe with that cigarette and coat. “You don’t mind, do you sir, if all these people would leave so we could just talk about our army days a little”?
There’s a lot more detail in the wiki for the killer, Denis Lortie. Among the ironic facts, he was enraged at “politicians” but the three victims were all just bystanders as he’d screwed up the timing and entered the chamber well before the parliament was to meet. He had two machine guns and a pistol and the crime was blamed on the ease of access of these weapons (sound familiar?). Remarkably, he only served ten years and is now working in construction.
It’s refreshing to be reminded of cool and calm bravery under rather extreme duress. Sometimes it is just those who have actually been in the heat and horror of actual battle who understand that a ‘full frontal assault’ is NOT always the best way to resolve such a dicey situation.
Mssr. Lt. Jalbert displayed conspicuous bravery and calm which undoubtedly spared further bloodshed and he richly deserved the honours subsequently bestowed upon him.
I also see there a man who understands what death is and that he, like all others, will experience the end in its time. I hope there is a time that I can accept that basic fact so well. For now, I admit I have too strong a desire to stay alive. I would run from such a madman, and likely be one of those to die ignominiously as a result.