58 Confirmed Dead. 9 to 11 minutes of mayhem. 527 Injured. Las Vegas, Nevada. October 1, 2017. Families, friends, co-horts, officers.
47 firearms confiscated. 10:08 p.m. Tuesday evening, October 2. Bump stocks = war zone firing speed and range for shooting. Silencers. DO I, A POTENTIAL VICTIM, HAVE ANY SAY in this MADNESS? Our country has run amok with guns!
FOR GOD’S SAKE!!! What has this country come to? Legal and illegal firearms available for the asking. Weak gun control laws made by our representatives in State legislatures, and Congress. The NRA out-of-control spending on their favored Congressional fools. Proven complicity between the NRA and Congressional Senators and Representatives and the most dangerous gun corporations. Money, Money, Money being used as power plays by the NRA and gun manufacturers to get their way with the full cooperation of certain elected Congressional players. Guns which can perform this kind of mayhem. We are not a rationally ruled country! It is TIME to turn this kind of mayhem on it’s head, and vote the screwballs out of office who keep saying that this is not the time to talk about gun controls! IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
You are likely wondering why I am so perturbed by this latest incident of mass killings along with mass injuries of those lying in hospital beds at the time of this writing. Well, because……..I was almost in their shoes, and by the Grace of God, go I.
It was a relatively warm, for December 12, day in Spokane, WA. I was on my way to Costco to do some monthly shopping. I even had my front side windows down in the older Ford Explorer we had brought with us from Indiana when we moved back to the Northwest in 2000. I was in the left lane of a four lane street on Francis Avenue, in northwest Spokane. Something prompted my attention, to look to my right. In that moment, as fast as a brain can comprehend danger, I found myself starring down the barrel of a 9 mm semi-automatic, propped up on its stand, likely sitting on the top of the armrest of a nice looking later model gray two-door sports-like car. Behind the gun, sat two beautiful teenagers, male and female, likely vying for membership in a gang (the Spokane police told me later in my living room). From my viewpoint, I was almost not comprehending what I was seeing because it seemed so bizarre. I had already noticed, right behind me, a dear elderly couple from our church, in traffic, right behind my vehicle. I prayed for their safety as well as mine.
Then, suddenly, a voice from inside my car (not my own voice!): “Take your foot off the brake, and pull forward out of harm’s way!” As if automatically, I did what I was instructed to do. It saved my life! I was able to pull up behind another vehicle, out of harm’s way from that dastardly gun pointed straight at my head! I hoped against hope that our parishioners were not going to pull up where I had just been, and felt so fortunate when they did not. They were not going to be targets, thank the Good Lord, like I had been so close to being, but rather me than them!
After I pulled up out of harm’s way, this young couple in the car where the gun was displaying its power, honked and waved at me to pay attention to them and stay right where I was—-within their firing range. Looking out of the corner of my eyes, I will never forget the looks on their faces when I pulled up so that I was not within their shooting range. As I pulled into the safe zone, my mind then went blank! How I got to Costco to do my shopping is anyone’s guess, but probably because I knew the way by heart, I would repeat that motion, without any memory of how I got there.
As I pulled into the Costco parking lot, I finally breathed a sigh of relief. I was now out of danger. I gathered my purse, and headed straight for the door of Costco, picking up a cart as I went through the doors. Where should I go? What should I do? Who should I talk with? My mind began racing again, along with my heart beat.
All those answers became apparent when I walked over to the Optical Department, and I don’t even know why I ended up there. A man behind the counter, with a kind looking face, said to me, “Are you OK? Can I help?” And the tears came streaming down my face, blocking any comprehension of what I was going to say in the next breath. He kindly took me by the elbow and said, “Let’s go talk with our manager.” On the short distance to his manager’s office, I told him that I had almost been shot by a drive-by shooter. And then a flood of tears and an inability to talk effectively. He ushered me into the manager’s office, who was there to find a chair for me, and to have me tell her what had just happened.
Between the fear I felt, and the sense that I was now near a helping hand, the experience I had just lived through, all came together, rushing down my face as if a waterfall of grace was about to overcome me. I asked the manager to call my husband, first and foremost. She did, and explained to him that I was in her office, but she didn’t know much about what got me there. She handed me the phone, and oh, a familiar voice, one who loved me for all these years of my life, took hold of me while I explained what had just happened. He said, “Stay there, Honey. I will be there as quickly as I can get there.” Whew, another bridge crossed safely.
Next, the manager called 911. The operator wanted to talk with me directly, which only made sense……except that she kept interrupting me as I was trying to tell her the story. The manager was becoming more and more visibly upset with the operator and was reaching for the phone when, finally, to the 911 operator, I blurted out, “Damnit, will you just let me tell my story and stop asking me all these questions!” It worked. I told my story without interruption for the next several minutes. The female manager smiled a big broad smile at me. I had insisted I be listened to in a fair way, and the female manager was right in my corner.
I heard the manager’s office door open, and there stood Bill. I leapt out of the chair, and into his loving arms and then dissolved into a bucket of tears, and fear on his big barrel chest. The thankfulness I felt for his care of me, his spouse, was so enveloping. His presence calmed my terrified spirit. His arms held me strong enough for both of us. I sobbed into his shoulder as if I had never been in this situation, because I hadn’t!
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
If everyone who has experienced being within gun shot distance of a killer on a mission, you know exactly what I am talking about. You know the extreme fear, the dry mouth, what must have been the highest blood pressure reading I have ever experienced in my life. You know the “life passing in front of you” horror, coupled with the fear of the unknown, or worse yet, the known. This is what it feels like to be “under the gun”.
How many of you reading this want to experience this horrific, endless, time/space continuum? If you don’t ever want to be in these circumstances, then get out there and use your political where-with-all to resist your elected Congressional senators and representatives to demand that they stop this nonsense and pass sensible gun-control laws! Do not wait another day. Do not think that you don’t have a voice…..YOU DO HAVE A VOICE……so use it! Contact your local, state, and Congressional members and let them hear your voice, loudly and clearly.
As a disclaimer, I want you to know that I do not want to stand in the way of sincere hunters of water fowl or deer who enjoy the sport. It isn’t my sport, but it doesn’t kill innocent bystanders, people who go to a concert expecting to come home and enjoy a beer. It doesn’t kill those of us who choose to go to a concert for the sheer enjoyment of hearing our favorite music. It doesn’t kill those of us who are in attendance at a venue because we enjoy socializing with others while we listen to music.
But without a doubt, we don’t want to have this be the last concert of our lives; or the last day we attend school; or the last evening with our loved ones; or the last evening of our lives, because some nutcase has decided to do a number on as many as he can get his bullets into. So many of those who take the lives of others in such cheap fashion as the Las Vegas killings, then take the chicken’s way out, and shoot themselves so they don’t have to pay for their sins on this earth by going to prison for the rest of their lives, or die in the electric chair, or by injection that doesn’t always work well.
Make your voice heard in favor of sensible gun control laws. And don’t shut up until it happens in your state. Keep the pressure on your elected representatives that you do not agree with their nonsense about gun laws run amok. Do it for you, for your children, for your grandchildren, for your husband or your wife. JUST DO IT!
If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey: From Abuse to Empowerment.” If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read. Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it. You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com. Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book. You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers. Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.