Sunday, February 28, 2016

What Would YOU Do?



"Everyone lock your doors and turn on your outside lights.  Now!"

The other eve, DH and I were sitting, staring at our respective gadgets when I happened on that alert from our community's NextDoor electronic 'bulletin board.'

Shortly thereafter, we heard the unmistakable 
whup-whup-whup of a police chopper overhead, its searchlights casting crazy, erratic beams across our yard.

Turns out, there was a home invasion just a few streets away.  One in custody, two at large.

(At the time, I didn't realize - not that far away, little more than a week before - two elderly women were brutally murdered as they sat at the breakfast table enjoying coffee and the morning newspaper.) 

DH and I simply exchanged looks.  Without being prompted, I went to the bedroom to retrieve my petite revolver ... then sat with it my lap, trying to contain my imagination.


This sort of stuff isn't supposed to happen in our neighborhood: Decidedly middle class ...  50 shades of brown, sprung up from barren cotton fields little more than a decade ago.  

I had to ask myself -- were someone to force entry, would I have the wherewithal to pull the trigger?  

You see, years ago ... in a fugue state of insanity (lol) ... I co-habitated with a retired member of the NYPD.   One eve we were goofing off and he challenged my reflexes.  
Foolishly, I replied, "You're on!"
Well, before I knew it, the handgun I'd been wielding was in HIS hands, aimed squarely at my chest.
  
I'm embarrassed to admit, it's been more than a decade since I've actually fired my gun.  At the time, I thought it prudent to be legal and signed up for Tampa P.D.'s concealed weapons class ... which, somewhat surprisingly, placed an enormous emphasis on the psychological ramifications of discharging a weapon.  

Friend Diana recently asked, "You don't really think you'd shoot someone now, would you?"
...  I had to bite my tongue.
I may not know much, but I believe no-one has any business owning a hand-gun if they're not prepared to use it. 

Except, I'm not sure of my own ability anymore.  
Perhaps a can of wasp spray is better suited? 
... or a magenta-colored taser, like one of my favorite authors carries?

For the better part of my childhood, I saw my father carry a sidearm.  It was merely a tool; something to be respected.  There was no mystery to my friends and me ... no particular attraction.

Today?  Where did we, as a society, go wrong?
I've no answers, but God help us, I hope someone comes forward with a viable solution for all concerned.

Have a great week ... and keep safe, OK?


Hugs from Phoenix,
Myra















24 comments:

  1. Didn't realize those two elderly ladies were so close to you! It is scary times indeed that we are living in. I remember when we lived in the San Diego area how many nights we would hear the helicopters circling and how sometimes we would hear the notice from them who they were looking for. At the time I felt 'safe' because we had bars on all our windows and our doors and would carry a stick outside with me if I was home alone and had to take Koda out before bedtime for his business.

    I remember years ago newly married hubby (who has excellent hearing) heard some noises in the backyard of where we were living. His dog was barking a lot too. He brought out two weapons, a knife and a gun. He asked me which one I wanted and he took the other one. I chose the knife because I thought I might have used that over a gun. Thankfully I (or he) didn't have to choose what to use that night.

    I do know if faced with a situation where his family would be in danger, hubby would have no hesitations to take whatever means to keep them safe. I probably would do the same if it involved son and his precious family.

    Stay safe indeed!!!!!!

    betty

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    1. I think the elderly ladies lived in Surprise ... which, in the big picture (Phoenix metro), I consider 'close.' Sorry for the confusion!

      You chose the knife?! Brave girl! I recall hearing once that women were more inclined to use a gun, because that way they didn't have to get up close and touch the perp. Eeeew! :)

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  2. Tom took the concealed weapon class years ago and practices target shooting as you know we live unprotected back here in these hills. The constable lives two doors down and most carry weapons here. Tom would feel better if I got familiar with his weapons, but it hasn't been a priority. Hope I don't regret that. I think we all are a little paranoid because we're living in a border state after all and unprotected! Yes, do stay safe.

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    1. From what you'd said about the community in which you live, it sounds far safer than Phoenix!
      What's that saying, God helps those to help themselves!

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  3. Anybody who can logically use "wherewithal" in a sentence has my wholehearted admiration.

    Home invasions are a terrifying prospect, especially when they occur in your neighborhood. I'm glad you're armed and know how to use it, but I always wonder how much protection it would really be when confronted by a psychotic criminal. Perhaps some pepper spray would be just as effective (I really don't know.....)

    I think of all the long-ago times when my father brutally beat the shit out of me, and no weapon would have ever helped. Sanity cannot effectively challenge insanity.
    Yes, if I had a gun, he would have gotten it and killed me - as your cop friend demonstrated.

    I sometimes worry about living alone in this isolated mountain wilderness - - but, crime happens everywhere - even in "civilized" neighborhoods. I do have a gun and I'd use it if I had to.

    And yes, I do check behind the shower curtains (and in closets) for lurking murderers.

    Sorry for the long ramble.

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    1. 'Sorry' ... are you kidding? I love your meaty, thoughtful responses, Jon.

      "Sanity cannot effectively challenge insanity." Now, there's an absolute! I wish more do good-er's realized that sad fact ... and quit throwing recriminations and good money after bad.

      PS - When single, I used to check for lurkers, too!

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  4. My DH and I both have concealed weapon permits. I have a dear friend who is a retired lieutenant with the Sheriff's department. Her caution to me was - are you prepared to take a life. Don't carry if you aren't. I believe I am prepared to protect myself and/or those with me. It is a responsibility. I'm glad you were prepared. That scenario you described is scary.

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    1. Your friend's poser is sound, indeed! Faced with that decision, I wonder if more folks would decide to forego the handgun.

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  5. Years ago I took a self defense course offered by our police force and it was about carrying pepper spray not about guns. I have some handy and it works. I couldn't shoot anyone so this is best for me. Hope they caught the people.

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    1. Good for you, taking that self-defense course, Ma! I think everyone should use whatever means he/she is most comfortable with.

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  6. I'm of the mind these days that no one is safe without a gun. Then I remind myself that some people aren't safe with one, and I'm not speaking of the criminals. THEN I remember, oh yes, God is in control. Perhaps I should think of that first.

    Even so...

    Yes, I would pull the trigger if someone invaded my home while I was in there. And I may not even warn them first, other than the sound of the first bullet going into the chamber.

    More and more, "big city" crime is infiltrating the small, close-knit communities. It's a very trying time in which we live, and knowing God is in control should be all the security I need, but I still like knowing there's a gun in the house.

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    1. Laughing out loud about your warning (being the) sound of the first bullet going into the chamber!

      Thanks for the spot-on reminder, He who's really in control.
      But, like I mentioned to Mary, I believe God helps those who help themselves! .... Have I ever mentioned being a master rationalist? :)

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  7. Funny, you wrote about this today! Well, not funny, but you get what I mean. I wrote about a horrific crime that took place close to my town on Friday. I don't know if owning guns is the answer. I don't know what is THE answer. I don't own a gun and I have no desire to own a gun. I have nothing here that I wouldn't give to whomever came into my home. Nothing I would shoot someone over. Except for my grandkids, of course. But I'm not sure that I could shoot anyone. I wish all the craziness going on in this country would stop. But I don't think that it will. Please stay safe my friend. And don't accidentally shoot Tom with that 'petite revolver'

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    1. Promise, I won't! :)
      That scene you detailed is horrible, indeed. Even if the shooter's co-workers owned guns, it sounds as if they were taken totally by surprise. :(

      Prayers going out for the families and survivors, alike.

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    2. I wouldn't shoot someone over my stuff. I'm with you on that, nothing I own is worth a life. But if someone is going to barrel into my home while I am there, they probably aren't only after my stuff. If it comes down to me and my family or them, if I can help it, it will be them.

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  8. I am glad you are prepared. Traveling, ther is always the possibiity of Canada travel so only a shot gun in the motor home. I see/hear about shooters just standing shooting people like fish in a barrel. My wish was just one of the victims had a gun to defend against a perverted deranged human!

    Good post and very needed now.

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    1. Thanks, Jack.
      ... but I didn't realize it was legal to carry a shotgun across the border! Good for you!

      Your wish? Spot on! Only last spring - in one of Phoenix's nicest neighborhoods - a bystander witnessed an armed robbery/shooting at a local bank ... drew his own weapon and killed the gunman. Take that! :)

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  9. you are so ME.. even the comment about in the past during a moment of insanity fits me.. i loved this post but not the part about the home invasions. the way you write it is entertaining. Yes, I have 2 pistols and yes, i would and could shoot someone who invaded my home. yes it might effect me emotinally after it was over but i would be alive and not murdered. the world is a crazy place. at night i will say to hubby who is deaf as a post, the chopper just went over the house, is the garage door down? it is a scary and really bad world. i like the alert system you have. our PD puts out robo calls on our phones warnings for floods, police emergency's and anything that is life threatening.

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    1. Thank you, Sandra! My own hubby is practically deaf as a post, himself. I try to remember to empathize, but it's so darn frustrating!!!

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  10. Hope you are safe and I'm glad you have a weapon if needed. My husband has a collection of guns and riffles, likes to do target shooting. I don't have a clue how to use them. I probably should take a class.

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    1. Yes, I'm feeling pretty safe ... thank you. I think the element of surprise is the most frightening thing of all.

      Plus I failed to mention, we've two little 'yappers' who I'm willing to bet could hear a mouse piddling on a cotton ball! :)

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  11. I am commenting on this post for the new one because i can't find a comment box on the hodge podge post. i see other comments but no box like this one.
    i am a nervous nellie to. mine is because of a really bad wreck i had a few years ago, my suv rolled 3 times and i never got over. now i hate to be on the roads and streets. i did the Social Security thing 10 years ago and have been the happiest ever since. when i walked out the door of my workplace i never looked back..

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  12. It sounds like Blogger is bi-polar, doesn't it? :) Thanks for empathizing about driving. That awful accident? ... It sounds as if you're lucky to be alive!

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  13. My dad never had guns and we were not raised with them. Hubby spent a lot of time on his grandparents farm so he always had guns around him. He and Rebekah have guns and go shooting. They both took the concealed weapons class. This was a good post. A week ago a couple of creeps did a home invasion in Golden Colorado and it appears they went to the wrong house to begin with! But nonetheless, the gentleman, both mild mannered school teachers, was hospitalized and they were scared out of their wits! Our society is mad yet the government will gladly take your guns. My thinking on that is fine as long as your secret service will protect you too with a kind word and peace symbol! Otherwise back off! A friend of mine who is ultra liberal owns guns and knows how to use them. She grew up in Idaho where you can have a concealed weapon permit or you can carry and not have it. I think most people in Idaho remember when the FBI went to Ruby Ridge and let's just say stuff happened.....Most who live in Wyoming and Montana carry guns too. I get tired of the whiney crybabies on social media. I think if the teacher who died while hiding her kindergraden class in Sandy Hook had even a taser she might still be alive. As my hubby says, this bs doesn't fly in Israel. To this very day I am still haunted at the fact that when Columbine happened the SWAT team stood behind barriers and never went in to that school! Then the mother of one of the shooters has the gall to say she does not believe in evil. Well 13 innocent people died that day lady. What would she call it? I know the woman who lost her dad, the teacher that day. Unfortunately she thinks Hilary is going to save America! Before or after she takes our guns? Hmmm.........

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Thanks so much for dropping by! Your words are like hugs from afar.... and who doesn't love a hug!