The song was written about the public suicide of Pennsylvania state treasurer R. Budd Dwyer. Dwyer had been convicted on bribery charges in December 1986, Professing his innocence and decrying the legal system, Dwyer shot himself with a .357 Magnum during a press conference.
Life is short; that insight is passed on to us throughout our lives but we only begin to take it increasingly more seriously as we grow older. How old before the preciousness of our time on Earth begins to sink in? Of course, it varies from person to person, and even in each person, our thoughts on it can vary from day to day.