Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Frightening Reminder

Right now, we here in the Washington DC area are being inundated with news stories about the upcoming execution tonight of one of the DC Snipers. For three weeks in October of 2002, Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland were literally held hostage by random high-powered rifle shootings. It could happen any time of the day or night. People were shot doing the most mundane every day things...filling up your car at gas stations, mowing the grass, sitting at a bus stop, walking to school, or walking to your car in a Home Depot or Michaels Craft Store parking lot.

I really can't explain how terrifying this was to everyone. Gas stations along major roads put up large white sheets blocking the view of the pumps from the road. Schools were in constant lock down mode with all evening and weekend activities canceled. I remember sitting in my car at my grocery store early on a Saturday morning, straining to see if I could spot anything past the parking lot into a little stretch of woods, then saying a little prayer and making a dash to the store. On a week day I was getting ready to go sign papers for the refinancing of my house. I had my dog Jiminy back then and she would spend the day with my neighbor two houses up from me. I walked out of my house around 9:45 and the street was completely empty, not a soul was out. Normally, I wouldn't think anything of it, but it was very disconcerting to say the least. My heart was racing as I clapped my hands for my dog as she took off running to my neighbor's with me not far behind. Another time I was late getting home from work. After I arrived home, I would go to pick up my dog from my neighbors. That night my neighbor whipped open the door in a panic thinking something had happened to me. One Saturday night a friend and I were going to have dinner at a local salvadorian restaurant. Since the restaurant is on a busy crowded street, I always parked across the street in a parking lot of a paint store. Well, there was a white paneled van parked in the lot and my friend refused to get out of the car (this was during the time when all white paneled vans were suspect). I was not too concerned but I could not budge my friend. We ended up going to a different restaurant. Wow, just remembering and typing all this is raising my blood pressure!

I have to say that even though I'm a big opponent to the death penalty, I'm just not feeling too much sympathy for this particular case.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I don't support the deah penalty either but this case seems an exception. I remember that time period in DC. Scary times.

KGMom said...

I remember--it was a scary time. I am not far from DC and it was most unnerving.
Cases like this do put to test my own opposition to the death penalty. There was something so calculating in what the two men did that it chills one.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Christine! I remember this and feeling scared for the people.

As per the norm, I'm in the minority. I believe in the death penalty. I believe that if you intentionally murder people, you should be put to death. I don't think that we as innocent people should have to pay for their life time in prison. An eye for an eye I say. Lisa

Kari said...

This case is a case that justifies the death penalty. I believe that there actually are people that are bad people not just sick people.

How is Sweet Pea? We're still praying for him.