When I first heard about the shootings in Connecticut, I wondered to myself, when will enough be enough? When will politicians become lawmakers and recognise that something needs to be done? I thought of an alternative ending to that shooting incident, and it goes something like this.
A short story
My name is Scott I live in a town called Newtown in Connecticut. I’m a local hero now, and I even got a call from WXCI, a local radio station, since one of my good friends is dating a girl at WCSU. I sortof realised something -on air- while I was being asked questions about the incident.
I got the call on my cell phone, since I’m usually out on a job.
“Hello, is that Scott?” the DJ asked. “You’re on air.”
“Hello everyone, good morning,” I said. Thankfully they had told me they might call, and I had been thinking about how to start my story. I’d already told it over a dozen times, sometimes with more detail and sometimes the quick version, depending on who was asking.
“We understand you’re something of a hero around Sandy Hook, is that right?”
“Some people say that, yes, I suppose, but I’m really just a regular guy,” I said, and I have been a regular guy my whole life. I never took much interest in celebrities or being on the news. I’d rather be out the back with my buddies and sipping on a beer.
“So tell us what happened, ” the DJ said.
“Well, that Friday I had a job in the afternoon to finish up, but not much doing in the morning. I went to the baseball diamond near the elementary school in Sandy Hook to hit some balls, since I was going to be playing with some friends the next day. After school had already started, I saw a car drive up. I thought maybe it was a parent bringing their kids a birthday cake. I watched the guy get out of the car, he was young, and he had what looked like an assault rifle and some other guns on him. He was moving slow, and looking around, but I guess he didn’t see me. Right away I started walking through the cars, trying to stay low and keeping quiet. I felt stupid after all the action movies I had seen, I was no movie star. I knew something was wrong. I guess it could have been a demonstration for the kids, but that did not cross my mind. This guy did not look official and did not look friendly.”
“It could have been anything,” the DJ said.
“That’s true.. Anyway my timing was good, I ran just as he was going through the doors. I tackled him and put him face down and held his arms. I started yelling as loud as I could, ‘HEY, HEY, ANYONE SOMEBODY HELP’. He struggled but I held him. It seemed like forever, and finally a few people came running. I said, ‘Does anyone know this guy?’ and nobody did. They saw the guns. I said, ‘Call the police!’ I thought about trying to get his guns away, but I didn’t want to lose my grip, so I just stayed and waited. Finally we heard sirens. The police came in, and the guy still tried to get away as soon as I let go. They tackled him and put the cuffs on.
“There was still a bit of confusion with the school, they of course wanted to know what had happened, and the police wanted to get my statement. The police came first and then I stayed on to talk to the teachers and the principal. They were all pretty shaken and so was I. I didn’t even try to head out to the job I had wanted to finish up. I called and cancelled and went home.”
The DJ piped in, “That’s just one amazing story! How does it feel to be a hero?”
“It feels good, in a way, but there’s something that bothers me about the whole thing, even before we found out that the guy had shot his mother to death. I got the call later that night from the police telling me that his mother had been shot to death just before he drove over to the school. Clearly a disturbed individual, but then I guess all shootings are committed by disturbed individuals.
“In a way, I want to know how many he would have killed. How many kids would have died, how many teachers, how many cops when they got to the scene. I sorta want to know if he would be stopped before he could kill himself. Would we capture him alive and find out what he was after, or why he snapped? No offense, but this is just a local radio station. Most people probably won’t even know a tragedy almost happened here.”
“None taken, and I think I see your point, but surely you wouldn’t want to take back what you did? Saving those kids?” the DJ suddenly sounded cautious, and he was ready to wrap up. I got a little nervous but excited because an idea that had been just out of reach was starting to take shape while I was talking. I tried to remind myself to talk slow or else no one would have any idea what I was saying.
“Of course not, that’s not what I meant, but I have been thinking about all the tragedies that almost happen, but they don’t. Does that make national news, or even world news? Nope it sure doesn’t. It takes a tragedy before people start talking about the problem. If there’s a tragedy, maybe the President gets on TV and speaks in woeful tones, pauses dramatically, or even sheds a tear – and this country continues on. How many shootings will it take before something is done to stop the flow of guns everywhere?”
“Well, we certainly don’t want any more shootings than what we have got, but what can we do? Take guns away from law-abiding citizens and let them get slaughted by the other folks who still have theirs? That won’t work! But anyway, you saved that school. You risked your life for those kids and they will always be thankful to you. You are one of the few, true heroes.” The DJ was ready to move on, but I really wished I could make my point.
“And every one of those kids is worth it, I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time, it was like something just came over me and I acted.
“But like I said, I’m no action hero, I’m just a regular human being, and people shouldn’t have to expect to go head to head with guns every day of their life. I’m glad to save those kids.. but, who’s gonna save the next school?”