Veni, Vidi, Ventus --
The randomly chaotic and crafty scribblings of a deranged, wannabe artist allowed too many colours in her Crayon box.

Surgeon General's Warning: Some content of "From Pooka's Crayon" may not be suitable for: work, blue-haired little old ladies, the politically-correct, rabid moonbats, uptight mothers, priests, chronic idiots, insurance claims agents, Democrats, children, small furry quadropeds from Alpha Centauri, or your sanity.

Saturday, September 16, 2000

The Sounds of Violence

There was an Incident yesterday afternoon at a Dallas high school. Several kids got into a tussle ... and apparently one called an older friend (not in school) who showed up with his car.

He promptly drove that car up onto the lawn and ran over at least 12 kids. Ran Them Down.

Thing 1 was watching the news. It scared her. "Mommy, is that going to happen at my school?"

I don't blame her for being scared. The problem, unfortunately, is that it can happen anywhere, anytime.

In 1994, an airman discharged for psychiatric unsuitability returned to Fairchild AFB with an automatic weapon and walked into the base hospital. The hospital was outside of the gates, so there was no check point. The hospital was full of civilians, dependants ... children.

One of the first to die was the man that had helped me out of a horrible post-natal depression. Imagine having the one person you're used to calling being on the list of the dead.

My husband worked in that hospital, in the pharmacy. He was shot at repeatedly (and luckily missed) as he bailed and went to help the wounded. A little girl died in his arms as he and other techs tried to save her.

Thing 1 (1 year old at the time) and I were supposed to be there at the hospital, and would have been in the lobby at the time the gunman had walked through if I hadn't had a weird feeling and cancelled our appointments for that day.

I, along with several other wives with spouses at the hospital, sat glued to the television in horror. My husband was lucky enough to sneak a call out to me to let me know he was alive, so I had the only information from the inside among us.

For months afterward, we couldn't sleep in the same bed. His nightmares were so bad that I would wake up with bruises all along my side from his thrashing around. He totally dropped out of life. Full blown post-traumatic stress syndrome.

This was 1994. I'm just now getting him back. The sound of a car backfiring would send him to the ground. After a while, it did it to me, too.

People don't remember this shooting, unless they were involved. When I explain my reactions to certain things, it always gets a shocked expression in response. News coverage of these events has drastically changes in the last few years. Now everyone hears about them.

Every time another story hits the news, I cry. It's hard, when it's happened to those you know. When it happens to others, you share the pain, knowing what they're going through. It scares the hell out of you.

It makes you angry.

Desensitized, my ass. I'm more aware of it now than ever, because it DID happen to me. You can't forget, it's just not possible.

It hurts, and it's stupid, and it makes me mad.

You go on for the children, hoping and praying that you can all make a difference so that it doesn't happen again.

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