April 18, 2011

The Gun

Just when I thought that my life was officially boring, someone pulled a gun at my kids' soccer game.

The incident happened toward the end of the game in the parking lot. My toddler was being beastly and I decided to drive him around for a few minutes. The parking lot was crowded and it was hot. One car waited patiently--with his blinker on--for my parking spot. When I pulled out, however, another car came from the opposite direction and stole the spot.

To make a long story short, a verbal altercation transpired between the drivers of both cars (both sports dads) which resulted in the guy who stole the parking spot pulling out a Magnum from under his seat and threatening to kill the other guy.

All of this happened directly in front of me, not more than 10 feet away.

The lady in the car behind me screamed. The man with the gun ran onto one of the adjacent soccer fields. I snatched Cameron out of the car and sprinted toward my husband and kids. By that point, several people had called the police. Parents were freaking out. Two squad cars arrived within two minutes. My husband shoved the kids in the car while I watched from behind a tree and through a chain-link fence as four police officers chased the guy and tackled him to the ground. They found the gun in a nearby trash can.

It took an hour for the police to talk to all the witnesses and for each of us to write up statements. The guy was arrested and charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

It's been two days and I still get goosebumps thinking about it. Lots of thoughts are running through my mind, but the one that always lingers longest is the reminder of the fragility of life, and how quickly and unexpectedly things can change.

I'm grateful that Saturday wasn't my day. Or anyone else's on that field.

65 comments

arlingtonienne said...

Empirical proof that people are crazy.

Dazee Dreamer said...

oh my gosh. that is terrifying. thank goodness he didn't shoot anyone. and yes, we really do need to live our lives as if it could be our last day.

Jennifer said...

I'm so thankful that no one was hurt! What a scary experience for you and your family to have to have witnessed!

Marissa said...

SCARY!!!!!

The Mommy Therapy said...

How terrifying! What is wrong with people? I feel like this is just an example of all the fears I feel about any confrontation with a stranger, you just never know why kind of crazy that person could be.

So happy you, your family, and the rest of the people out there just enjoying their Saturday were hurt!

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

Wow. That is horrible. I am glad the police caught the guy, secured the weapon, and most of all, that nobody was hurt.

Jocelyn said...

W.O.W. I'm glad you and everyone else is okay!

This is the reasoning my husband uses to justify his own guns that he carries.

I can't believe the craziness though!


Playing It Cooley

Muse Mama said...

I'm thinking you have enough excitement with a big family and maybe you don't need guns being drawn. I'm just crazy like that. But grateful everyone is okay.

Ruthykins said...

that is crazy! i can't believe an argument over a parking spot went that nuts

Jenner said...

That is terrifying! I just saw on the news that a kid brought a sawed off shotgun to the mall where hubby and I were on Saturday. It makes me not want to leave the house!

Mom said...

That is so scary! What is wrong with our world when somebody's life is worth less than a parking stall? I'm so glad you were safe and so was everyone else.
Sandy
www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

Finding Home said...

So sorry that you experienced something so terrible as that. So glad that you and all are fine...And, you have such a great perspective on the other side of it.

Niki said...

Sheesh! U went from good religious mom to drunk mom to hangin with gangbangers practically overnight! I'm thinking the guy with the gun has the right idea! We better watch out for you! Jana's on the move y'all!!

Seriously...that's horrifying. Thank goodness most people have the ability to take a deep breath and put things in perspective.

Kerry Crawford said...

In Canada only the police are allowed to carry guns. I know that runs contrary to the American way, and that "guns don't kill people; people kill people."

But let me tell you - when you aren't allowed to have a gun and when you can't simply go out and buy one, these kinds of altercations seldom escalate to anything more than a verbal assault.

A public gun-waving is unheard-of in Canada. Truly! If someone brandishes a gun in Canada he is summarily put down like a dog and his weapon smelted and made into a doorstopper or something.

I'm sorry for what happened to you. It makes a funny story after-the-fact (for Canadians it's completely unimaginable). But it's really not funny at all.

Kerry

canadianmom said...

That's scary. My kids just had a lockdown last month in their school for 2 1/2 hours because a hormonal teenager threatened to go home and get a gun. Nothing happened, and the teen was brought into custody but to us parents unable to get to our kids... pure torture. So glad nothing happened to you and your family.

Rebecca said...

I can’t stay calm doing homework with my 8 year old so there is no way I should ever have a gun in my car with all the stupid drivers who cut me off, ride my bumper, drive 10 under the speed limit, and talk/text on their phone each day.

I’d probably last 20 minutes before I whipped it out and tried to shoot one of them. (of course no jury would convict me because the same people irk them too!)

BTW - glad you're okay!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

That? is ridiculous. So glad everyone ended up safe. People are so angry. So sad.

myfwbs said...

I have no words other than "WOW". It amazes me how something so small can get out of hand so quickly.

I'm glad everyone is OK.

Diane said...

That is insane. People can be so crazy!

Melissa said...

insanity! this world has gone crazy.

but on a lighter note: was it kismet that Saturday night you drank the lemonade...you know to calm your nerves?!?!?!? LOL

Karen said...

What?! Over a parking space? What in the world??? I'm glad you guys are ok!

vinobaby said...

How scary! Your tale is making me very nervous though. I just started my Kiddo in soccer this season (and I think we may live in the same neck of the blogosphere)and it has been rather rough for many reasons. Nothing quite as dramatic as your experience though. I will be scoping out the parking lot very carefully now...

Polly Scott said...

Crazy. I'm sorry. My husband was threatened the other week by a man with a gun in his car. Same thing pulled it out from under the seat and said, "I have a legal right to blow your head off." My husband is a bicycle commuter and this man apparently hates people on bikes. Anyway, he should have called the cops. Next time. I'm so sorry!

Life with Gemelos said...

Don't know why, but reading that post made me break out into tears (possibly lack of sleep, but who knows!)...I can't imagine how you must have felt. If someone had a gun around my girls I would FREAK out! It just makes me crazy thinking about it! Sorry you had to deal with that. You may need another drink to deal with that (jk!!).

Kim and Eric said...

This is why it's so important to try to be a compassionate, good person. You never know what kind of person you are starting a conflict with when you could just walk away.

Linney said...

People are nuts. In a round about way the same thing hapened to my husband....except the guy shot his gun into our vehicle (with me and the kids in it) hit my husband in the back. Scariest day of my life. Orlando is a big place for crazy peeps. BUT since we live in a small town (with small town politics) the guy was origianlly charged with Assault with a deadly weapon, and ended up pleading out to shooting into an occupied building...got 2 years house arrest and 3 years probation. he has since violated his probation twice and is now in prision for "2 years" and will get out about a year early for "good behavior".

Melissa said...

That gave ME goosebumps... What a horrible, stupid, scary thing .. and over a parking spot! I'm glad everybody is ok.

Kat said...

Horrifying. Absolutely terrifying. I'm so happy you, your family, and everyone who was present is okay, and that the police were able to handle the situation.

~Christine~ said...

Goodness gracious! Very scary and traumatic not only for you but for the kids!

And it does reaffirm how precious life is and how it can change in a split second!

sorry4disappointingyou said...

Wow very scary, so glad everyone is ok. I will think twice about parking spots from now on that's for sure!

Chrissy Jo said...

I'm so glad you are okay! I'm so glad everyone is okay! How frightening and ridiculous all at the same time.... People need to chill out.

Amy said...

This post made me cry Jana. I'm not exactly sure why. I just imagine you standing there with your sweet little boy,feeling anxiety, worry, only wanting to protect your child while some crazy waves a gun around, and I just lose it. I'm sooo glad everyone was ok.

Donna said...

Life is so fragile. I'm so glad this man wasn't responsible for altering someone else's life this day and hopefully he'll learn his lesson. I'm so grateful you and everyone else at the field that day is OK. And remember to hug your kids and husband extra hard every day.

Paul said...

I'm grateful that Saturday wasn't your day, either, or anyone else's at the soccer game. Crazy.

Catherine Dabels said...

Ho. Ly. Crap.

Jensamom23 said...

Thank God everyone is okay. That must have been terrifing for all of you! I feel sad for the man's child.

Lisa, An American Mom said...

Wow Jana. Scary. I'm so glad you and your family, and really everyone, is ok.

KS Photography said...

Haha. I was just waiting for someone to generically say that 'Canada is safe because we can't own guns.'

I live in Canada and that notion is false.

Having restrictive gun laws is good only in the idea that people have to take classes and learn before they can buy a gun. But they can't buy any gun they want and cannot take it wherever they want.

People will obtain guns if they desire. Law or no law. It's the 'good' people that won't obtain them because they abide the law. "Bad" people will always have them.

The difference is in being able to defend one's self. When two people have a gun they are on equal ground. When only one has a gun, well. You know. Just like your parking stall example.

Doesn't mean everyone has to tote around weapons. Doesn't mean we shouldn't either.

ahnkadragon said...

That is so scary! Over a parking space?! I just don't know what to think of people sometimes. Glad no one was injured.

Hope said...

What's a shame is that this is a lot more common than we ever thought it would be. What on earth is wrong with people?!

Amelie said...

In a town nearby our house a young man killed several people in a mall with a machine gun last week. Still can't believe it. What kind of world are we living in? I can oly make the world a bit better by teaching my children how to be kind and loving. Let that be our hope for the future.. Love Amelie

tulipdjc said...

Terrifying!!! I am grateful you (and everyone else present) are okay. No wonder you needed a drink Saturday night!! lol!

Leah said...

So glad you're safe, Jana. <3

Anonymous said...

Alcohol, guns...what's next?

Dave & Gina said...

scary! how did your kids react? glad everyone is ok!

kerrie said...

So glad that you are all safe.

Super Single Mom and Her Side Kids said...

oh wow! So horrible.

Nan said...

I am SO glad we live in Canada!

Nan said...

Despite what KS Photography said! (oops just read those)

Kerry Crawford said...

@KS Photography:

Canada is not "safe because we can't own guns." But it's a LOT safer than the US where any douchebag can head on down to Walmart and buy one or two to keep in his glove compartment for when another driver pisses him off.

Having restrictive gun laws is not
"good only in the idea that people have to take classes and learn before they can buy a gun." It's good because when gun laws are restrictive, the circumstances in which you can brandish a gun are extremely limited. This means that angry drivers can't whip out a gun - because they don't have a gun to whip out.

In Canada, people will not "obtain guns if they desire. Law or no law." Most people in Canada will never, ever own a gun. And it's not about the "bad people" who have them.

A guy at his kid's soccer game who pulls a gun over a parking spot is probably not a drug-dealing pimp. He's probably a frustrated middle-aged guy with a job he hates or a wife he hates or maybe he just had a bad day. In Canada, no matter how angry he becomes over a parking stall, he has virtually no opportunity to whip out a gun and start making threats. In the US, the same cannot be said. In the states, "good people" all over the place own guns, and they're not afraid to use them.

It may be true that "when two people have a gun they are on equal ground." This is just as true about "when no one has a gun."

Are you sure you're not American?

Brookes4boys said...

People are idiots!
My brother was stabbed in the chest with a 10 inch knife after a road rage incident when some guy cut him off. My brother was stupid for initiating the fight and the other guy was stupid for pulling the knife.
It is a parking spot people, GET OVER IT! Jeez! All those babies running around and some moron has a gun!

KS Photography said...

@Kerry

I agree that generally there are fewer gun confrontations in Canada. People can always find a way to obtain a gun and if you can't see that you're simply not looking. There can be laws that outlaw guns altogether and there will inevitably still be guns in the hands of people. When freedoms are stripped in the name of utopianism it is the 'innocent' who end up negative recipients. While a no gun law seems like a good idea, the powers are simply being shifted to another party.

Perhaps our American friends should require schooling prior to obtaining guns and licenses. I also like how guns in Canada need to be secured and remain unloaded.

Kerry Crawford said...

@KS Photography

You are missing the point altogether.

MOST people in BOTH the USA and Canada would NEVER go out of their way to buy a gun. But in the States, you don't HAVE to go out of your way to get one. You can pick one up at 7-11 while you're filling up or buying a Big Gulp. That way it's handy for when you're feeling a little bit of irritation at your fellow commuter or soccer dad.

The U.S. rate of gun homicide is nearly eight times Canada's. Google it.

Anna said...

A parking spot. All that, over a parking spot. Life has been reduced to something to take over a PARKING SPOT. I just want to shake that man and slap him. I'm sorry, I do.

Anna said...

Oh and I am very glad that no one got hurt and that the police caught that moron!

Anonymous said...

Also a Canadian - who is a border hopper / shopper. And as we cross the line into the US there is a little chat to ourselves about "don't piss of the driver next to you. He may have a gun in his glove box."

That is what happened to my cousin's husband... on a US freeway on a hot day. Gunned down. Two kids fatherless. In a heated moment.

Yes, there are guns in Canada. The bad guys have them. The farmers have rifles. But I can pretty much swear that the house my kid visited or my next door neighbour or that guy who stole my parking space doesn't have one.

As said - we may yell (politely) and brandish a baseball bat at times. But we don't have guns under pillows, in closets, in desk drawers, under car seats, in our purses and briefcases.

I am always conscious of my actions and movements when I visit the States. My health insurance only covers the basics

KS Photography said...

@ Kerry

No, I see your point. I don't agree with it.

Blanket statements grouping all gun owners as knee-jerk reactors probably aren't true.

If you like stats, here is one site I enjoy. The author is thorough, is a member of parliament and is anti-gun registry. And for the record I'm not a trigger-happy American.

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/GunsinCanada.htm

That means 10 years ago an estimated 17% of Canadian people owned a gun. (Canada's population is like all of us fitting into the state of California.) Pretty sure that number is bigger now. And that's just one example. "Most" isn't a good generalization, I think it's simply your opinion.

It also seems like you would like guns outlawed, rather than educating people and requiring a few more steps to obtain the privileges. Yes?

Kerry Crawford said...

@KS Photography

It may be that 17% of Canadians own a gun. For hunting. Not for highway altercations. Not for keeping in their purse or strapped to their leg while they're out for dinner, "just in case."

Gun education is a great and noble cause. But at the end of the day if people can't legally carry guns in day-to-day life, they are significantly less likely to shoot someone in the heat of the moment. No stats required to grasp this concept: just common sense.

Road rage means something different in even the largest Canadian city than it does in the tiniest American town.

We may have to agree to disagree.

KS Photography said...

@Kerry

Do you agree with Mandell that knives should be legislated as well?

Kerry Crawford said...

@KS Photography

LOL. Yeah... and hot coffee. It can burn you.

Erin Starks-Teeter said...

My goodness, what was that idiot thinking?!!! People like that shouldn't breed.

Janet's page said...

My goodness!! How scary and life changing...

Anonymous said...

We had an incident two weekends ago where a woman ran over another woman and then backed up over her at the kids base/softball field. Adults need to grow up.

Lara said...

Wow. I've lived in the US all my life and have never found a 7-11 that sells guns. And the people I know that have them don't keep them in their cars or in purses or briefcases. Gun laws here are a bit tighter than you guys seem to think...and I live in Texas! All of the gun owners I know keep theirs unloaded and put up in safe places in their homes.

I'm so sorry you had to witness that, Jana. So glad you had the good sense to run away instead of standing around, gawking. And I'm glad the guy was caught. I feel the worst for the children who were just trying to play soccer and had their game interrupted- and for the ones who saw it. Scary! How do Mom and Dad explain that?

taradon said...

Thank you, Lara - I was also going to mention that it's a bit harder to get a gun than picking one up at the 7-11. :)

I'm a fan of gun control and actually prefer Canada's model to ours... but let's not characterize the US as quite SO gun crazy.