Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Everyday Heroes Blog Fest.

I wrote this flash fiction piece for the Everyday Heroes Blog Fest over at PT Dilloway's blog.

Police officers ran about, running yellow crime scene tape. Red lights on the ambulances swirled and steam flowed from the tailpipes while Anna trembled in the cold. She bit her bottom lip as people whimpered and paramedics loaded stretchers into the ambulances with sheets over their faces.
Anna had thought out the situation ahead of time. She couldn’t help it with all the violence in the news. Bang! Bang! Bang! The shots still rang in her ears. Is that really shooting?

Anna thought back to the scream that confirmed her worst fears. To the right of her desk, was another small office. People often mistook it for a closet with the door was shut. More gun shots echoed through the hall, followed by shouting and footsteps. Where’s the guard?
Sue turned the corner. “We have to get out of here.” She ran the wrong way – right toward all the noise.

Anna ran and grabbed her arm. “No, in here!” She pulled her into small office, shut the door and cut the light. Only a monitor, dimly lit the room.
Sue twisted the doorknob. “It’s not locked.”

“Damn,” Anna said. The key was in a drawer on the other side. She ducked under the desk built in along the wall and pulled Sue down next to her.
Anna prayed that the shooter would simply think it was a closet because if he opened the door he would see them.

Click, click, click. Footsteps fell on the other side. Anna’s heart pounded. The knob turned. No! She got up and stood to the side of the door. She tried to control her breathing as the door opened. There wouldn’t be another chance to do this right. An arm came in, holding a gun. Sue let out a small whimper. The man stepped in and started to lower the gun.
Anna shoved the door on him using her legs and feet. He slammed into the opposite wall. The gun tumbled from his hand.

“Grab it!” Anna shouted.
Sue picked it up in her shaking hands and aimed it at him, but he kept coming. She screamed and the gun fired. The man recoiled, falling backwards out of the office. Sue screamed again and passed out.

Anna stared at the man laying face up on the floor with blood oozing out of his chest. His brown hair was on end, his eyes open with a crazed expression on his face. She turned away and cringed. A siren blared outside the building.
Anna's thoughts returned to the present. She sighed and wrapped her arms around herself as she waited to see who lived and who died. She tried to stop thinking about it.

A police officer walked up to her. “I understand you and your friend stopped the suspect.”
“Yes, but, but…where was the guard?” she asked.

The officer’s eyes lowered. “He was the first victim. It seems he got into a struggle with the suspect and was somehow shot with his own gun.”
“You mean this lunatic used the guard’s gun?” Anna asked.

“Unfortunately, yes.”

This story doesn’t mean that I think guards are necessarily a bad idea. However, it’s based on a real life incident. I knew a guard that this happened to and his life was cut short. Although, he was the only victim in that case. Just recently at the University of Floriday they found a young man plotting some sort of attack, however, he ended up killing himself. At least this was halted before another tragedy occured.


PT Dilloway, Grumpy Bulldog said...

Thanks for the great story! I agree that guards aren't the only solution because they can be taken advantage of so easily. In my high school the security guard was usually out smoking with the slackers, so obviously he wouldn't deter anyone from running amok in the school.

Briane P said...

Great story -- it felt like I was there, which was scary.

Armed guards, to me, can't be the answer to more gun violence. I won't even say "only answer." Putting more guns in public can't possibly help, and the amount of training that's required to responsibly use a weapon in law enforcement is phenomenal.

There was a comedian who said something about security guards to the effect of "I'm glad to be protected by a guy who can't pass the psychological exam to become a licensed cop."

And then when you think about the number of cops who act irrationally or irresponsibly to a situation involving potential gun violence, what makes us think lesser-trained security guards would be more appropriate?

In Madison, there is a minor furor over a cop who's got an (alleged) history of overreacting to situations gunning down a drunk guy at 3 a.m. That cop has been on the force for years, and I can rattle off four or five other situations, here in a small, liberal college town, where cops (in my opinion) overreacted using firearms.

Those are the best and brightest of our law enforcement. It goes without saying, I think, that arming people who can't meet those standards to become a cop is a bad idea.

Think about it with other professions. If someone can't manage to get into med school, do we still say "Well, you can do surgeries and give prescriptions, but only on third shift at factories or only when it's in an elementary school." If someone can't get into law school, we don't say "Well, how about if we put you through a 3-week training course with Steven Seagal and you can start suing people but only in Arizona."

No, we don't.

The answer to everything else that kills us is get rid of it: tax it, regulate it, restrict it, remove it. Drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, cars without seatbelts: when something proves to be more fatal than we'd like it, we greatly restrict its use, if not ban it outright.

Guns are the ONLY thing out there whose SOLE PURPOSE is to kill things, but because of a misunderstanding of the 2nd Amendment -- a misunderstanding that has now become entrenched through political maneuverings on the Supreme Court -- we don't ban them.

Repeal the Second Amendment and ban all guns, I say.

Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

That's a nice story.