I was 14 and worked at Little Caesars in Cary. The city was on Forbes best and safest city to live in that year, and ridiculously high up there; at least to me it seemed. I had finished all my closing duties and was sitting on the cutting tables waiting for 10:30. That was closing time. Only one other person was with me, the manager, she was in her 40’s, and she was involved with paperwork.
Probably around 10, I saw two guys, all in black, walk by the store quickly, left to right; I’ll never forget it. They didn’t have masks on yet. When they ran back around the corner, and straight into the store, they were in black from head-to-toe. I remembered they were both young and white.
One stood just after entering pointing a gun at my face, the other jumped the counter and made for the register, but it had already been cleared of all but a few bucks. Something happened in those moments though that completely changed my life; something that told me something about myself. I heard his keys hit the floor when he jumped the counter. They had their driver park behind the store, and took the car keys; they didn’t trust she would remain, I suppose.
I was present at 14. I already knew what I would do if I was alive when they exited that store. Can you imagine? The athletic fella was unhappy the register was near-empty and asked for the safe to be opened, but we told him we’d already made the deposit, but we’d open it. He panicked. I could see it in his face he knew he had to get out. He was terrified. Then he scared us to death. He made Robin and I lie face down on the floor. He put that pistol in the back of my head and shoved it a bit. I remember my teeth hitting the floor lightly. He wasn’t so tough after all. But I’ll never forget that either. Then, he said, “if either one of you get up, I’ll kill both of you” then he ran out like a coward.
As God is my witness, I followed his coward ass out, and locked that door behind him, without thought, I just knew I had to. As I turned to get back to the phones, Robin was up and dialing 911, then he ran back up pointing the gun at me through the door as I was pivoting. I ran back behind the door to the back area and waited agonizing minutes for police to respond. It took a while too.
I decided after that I’d never be in that position again if I could help it. I know first hand it’s on you in these types of situations, and it always will be. Arming yourself can be especially empowering after living through something like that, of this I can assure you. It will change the way you view the world, and it will remove fear entirely.. After training, or just life experience with a gun, it becomes, ironically enough, just like your car, you become one with it and can use it safely without much situational thinking at all. However, I choose not to carry unless I’m going somewhere I have had issues with in the past. I could tell another story about confronting 9 illegal fish netters on the Cape Fear by myself last year, and that a good buddy, spent over an hour with me a few days later, picking up the nails and screws they dumped in the gravel parking area at Buckhorn in response, after I called them out, gun on my hip. You see there is no cell service down there…at all.
I said all that to say this…
A reality we seem to be begging for.,,,
‘Hello young man, I know you’d like to go to college, but we have a disagreement in this country over here, so take these guns and kill who we say kill, when we say kill, as many as we say kill. Then come home, if you can, and turn in your guns. You aren’t old enough to protect yourself and we obviously can’t or won’t protect you either. Do try to fit back in, ok?’
You drive up to the school to pick up your child, or children. You hear gunshots. You observe multiple men, dressed in black, flak jackets, heavily armed posted up behind a building, seemingly unable, or again, unwilling, to respond, to protect you and your children. You hear more gunshots. But all you have is a phone.
Maybe it isn’t the school, or the church, or the mall; the location is irrelevant. And I don’t know what people are seeing or thinking, because I’ve seen all the news outlets telling us the multiple grotesque and frankly insulting failures at every level by our authorities, and these catastrophic failures have been observed now at shooting after shooting after shooting. And these reports seem to have no political polarity. They’re just brutally honest. Yet we scream for our rights to be taken.
I’ll tell everyone of you who reads this plain out. You cannot legislate away hatred or greed or envy. And you can make all the restrictions on gun owners you want, hell, let’s say we could snap our fingers and every gun and bullet on earth disappears (which will not happen with any laws or bans) I can assure you corrupted and hateful people will still kill, they will still kill many and they will, I have no doubt, invent something far deadlier than a gun in short order.
I hope we all carefully consider what we’re asking for.