...an active shooter...
Somewhere between 9:15 and 9:30 last Friday night, as I neared one of the three entrances to the gym parking lot, I saw five police cars at the side entrance I had intended to use. Insted of turning in, I continued up the block and turned right (thinking perhaps something had happened at the hotel next door to the gym) and headed for the main entrance to the parking lot. Along the .25 mile drive into the parking lot there were four more Plano police cars lining the drive. And an additional police car in an adjacent parking lot and five more police cars in the immediate parking lot along with a fire rescue truck.
I paused, disturbed by the realization that whatever was happening was happening at the gym. Backing into a parking spot, I sat for a moment and watched people enter and leave the facility unfettered. After a few minutes, I got out of my car, grabbed my gym bag and headed in.
”What’s going on?” I asked the guy behind the desk as he scanned my membership card.
”Oh, don’t worry about it, someone crank called the police that there was an active shooter here.” He responded with a calm yet kind smile.
Returning his smile, I responded to his reassurance with a bit of humor, “Oh, okay. I thought maybe it was the Lord saying: ‘it’s okay Novia, you don’t need to do your workout today. Go home and Netflix until you fall asleep.’”
The guy behind the desk laughed, “No such luck girl, it wasn’t the Lord, go do your workout.”
While I chose humor in the face of what could’ve been a horrible situation, I’ve lived through this before. When I lived in Washington DC, I lived through 911, anthrax attacks and the DC sniper. I remember driving my car a couple of times until I was running on the fumes of fumes because I was petrified of stopping for any length of time at a public place. I even resorted to having PeaPod deliver my groceries. I was really afraid. As an employee of the then Office of Homeland Security, I remember sitting in a couple of threat assesment briefings for my boss and hearing all the gory details concerning the absolute total depravity of man. Things that to this day, still haunt me.
That same depravity drives the ruins, rampage and wreckage of human life we see on television and read about on the internet. It destroys lives, hopes, dreams, villages, towns and sometimes, it crashes into buildings and fields sucking all the oxygen out of the global community and causing a great nation to weep while lamenting, “this isn’t supposed to happen here.”
That’s the way I felt Friday night. My gym is an upscale gym in an affluent part of town.
Doesn't matter, depravity is no regarder of socioeconomics.
Still, the question remains, here?
It shook me.
Thankfully, it was a hoax. But even now a week removed, a disquiet remains.
Why do I share this with you? I have no political agenda. Rather I just want to remind you to take care of yourselves and those around you. Be cognizant of your surroundings. Maybe turn the jams in your earbuds down a bit and remove your face from that phone you’re currently engrossed in.
Can you prevent something like an active shooter from happening. Reasonably, no. But be alert nonetheless and take care of yourselves and those around you!
Much love and honor to the men and women of the Plano, TX police department out on the streets keeping me safe both indoors and when I’m on the streets training. There’s a VERY thin line between order and anarchy and you defend and hold that line with valor. For that I am beyond words grateful.