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Unnerving moments [Aug. 28th, 2015|09:53 pm]
This weekend Ferrett and I were scheduled to go to a con in Lansing. Because Erin is out of town, instead of our built-in dogsitter we had both dogs to watch. But the daughter of a friend has watched the dogs for us before. So we had arranged for her to come again.

Then Tuesday I came down with pinkeye. When I was at the doctor's office, he asked if I had a fever, nausea, earache, any other symptoms. I said no, but he looked askance.

I should have known there was a reason behind all that. As the week went on I felt worse and worse. Last night I was up in the night, throwing up, feverish, miserable. This morning Ferrett and I regretfully agreed that I was not in any shape to go to a convention.

I contacted the mom of our dogsitter, apologizing that we would not need her.

A bit later, I heard back from her. Turns out that her husband, dogsitter's dad, had shown up at the school intending to prevent me from taking her with us. Their relationship is...contentious, to say the least. So we wouldn't have a dogsitter in any event, messing up the weekend if it hadn't been messed up by my illness.

But, stupidly and I know ridiculously, I feel like I've dodged a bullet. A literal bullet. Even yesterday, when dogsitter's mom mentioned that her dad objected to her coming her, but that it was okay, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that things might go very badly.

This morning, when I thought about going to get her, a chill went down my spine and I thought, "If I go there, he's going to shoot me."

Now there is not one reason in the world for me to actually think that. I don't know that he owns any guns, I've never heard of him owning guns, and while I don't like the guy, I've never seen him threaten anyone.

When I stop to think about it, logically, it's a very silly, melodramatic thought. But in this day and age, when shootings happen live on TV, it's probably not surprising that I had this reaction. Because there's a nonzero chance that an angry father, believing that he is being manipulated, could pull out a gun--a legally acquired gun--to make a point. And that, in a moment of heat, that gun couldn't end up being fired.

I have always been in favor of the right to bear arms. I lived in Alaska, and owned firearms. I had lots of friends who owned firearms. I like to go target shooting.

But I'm not sure it's worth the risk anymore. Not when we kill each other so regularly. Not when walking into a disagreement between a married couple makes me fear for my life.

[User Picture]From: finding_helena
2015-08-29 03:50 am (UTC)
I refused to fill a prescription at work and the guy got mad and stormed out. I spent the rest of the day thinking that if he had a gun at home I might not get to go home to my kids that night.

How many people need to die for something to change?
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[User Picture]From: funwithrage
2015-08-29 12:52 pm (UTC)
My parents, pre-retirement, were high school teachers, and my dad was the headmaster. The thought was often at the back of my mind, especially growing up in the late nineties.

When I temped at the Division of Insurance, there was a button under my desk. At one point I was told that, if they say so-and-so is downstairs, don't send him up, just push the button; if he's actually in the lobby, push the button and try to stall.

I get that guns are a hobby for a lot of people. But if the things I used for my hobbies got hundreds of people killed every year, I'd gladly accept some restrictions on them.
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2015-08-29 08:42 am (UTC)
That would terrify me too.

I really hope the USA changes soon.
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[User Picture]From: docstrange
2015-08-29 01:09 pm (UTC)
Have you read Gavin De Becker's "The Gift of Fear"? It's a great book. Sometimes we have to pay attention to what we know. Gun or no, the father could have presented a risk to your life. Is it worth taking the risk even if you're pretty sure he has no gun? Is it work the risk even if you have one instead? That's a big part of the book - when we know there is a risk and dismiss it; that's when we tend to get burned. (Not just trusting our "gut" - he isn't writing that we should 'trust our prejudices' - it is about not dismissing specific information we know specific to us. How we tend to think - and shouldn't so readily believe ourselves when we say - things like, "Maybe that guy who seems to be following me turn for turn in the beat-up panel van from out of state happens to be looking for the one house other than mine on this road.") In your instance, maybe his spouse's comment was meant as a warning he was getting unhinged about it. Sounds like something in you understood towards that direction and, thankfully, you didn't have to find out which direction was right.

The odd thing is that, up through this year, the overall violent crime rate in the US has been steadily going down. We do feel more scared (is it because of the media? because we have become used to being more safe otherwise?) but it seems we tend to be scared of the wrong things (Schneier also writes about that, tho in broader brushstrokes). Perhaps most of us have lost contact with the upside of the gift of fear; when it is specific, and personal, we should pay attention to what we know.
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[User Picture]From: mplsindygirl
2015-08-29 08:17 pm (UTC)
that whole "shown up at school" bit waves a bunch of red flags. I'm glad you were able to sidestep that interaction.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-29 08:21 pm (UTC)
I hadn't thought about it, but that probably contributed to my reaction.
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[User Picture]From: bunny42
2015-08-29 11:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but what was the illness? Are you all right? Flu? You mentioned fever. The pinkeye is a sorta different symptom. Hope you're okay.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-08-30 12:06 am (UTC)
Some viral bug. I'm feeling a bit better.
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2015-09-01 07:20 am (UTC)
Glad you're ok.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-09-01 05:33 pm (UTC)
Me too!
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