I've read of people panicking at a mall when there's a rumored shooter on the premises. But this Sunday, I actually saw this for myself.
At the Staten Island Mall while shopping with my daughters and grandchildren, I was alone at the Food Court purchasing a diet soda. Suddenly there was a rush of people running wildly.
At first I thought they had seen a celebrity but then I heard screams and shouts of,"Get Down, get down!"
Patrons had abandoned their food, knocking over tables and running pell mell in all directions then lying down on the floor behind barriers to take shelter.
Well, I wasn't about to lie down on the floor because I knew I wouldn't be able to get up. My arthritic senior body was already barely able to walk. I stood there watching and waiting to see if the crowd was being followed by someone with a weapon but all I saw was sheer panic. I kept asking, "What happened," and the answer was unanimous, "I don't know."
Well, I decided to head towards an exit sign and when I got there with others, a woman was screaming at the top of her lungs, "Jesus, help us, Lord save us," until a man told her to keep quiet or she'd attract attention from whomever or whatever was causing the alarm.
No one knew what was happening and since I didn't hear any gunshots, I decided to head back to the food court. The scene was a disaster, with food and drinks spilled on the floor and even an empty stroller was lying on its side. I sat down to finish my drink and worried about that child who'd been dragged away by a terrified parent.
By this time, my phone had been buzzing from my daughters asking where I was and telling me they were outside the mall. My six year old, granddaughter was crying, asking her mother," Where's Grandma?"
They were relieved but had no idea what had happened either. I decided to head towards an elevator when I saw a man yelling to a security man, "I have the guy "and I saw several men holding a tall young black man who looked scared and bewildered. He had a knife on him," I thought one of them said. I saw a girl crying in protest and I decided just to get out and join my family. Fortunately the elevator worked and I was heading toward the long walk to the outside. My legs were killing me.
Soon, I was joined outside by two of my daughters and a woman who sat near us saying, "I never thought this would happen on Staten Island."
A helicopter passed over noisily and my daughter said she left her drink at Starbucks to grab her son who was getting his hair cut. We sat there waiting for my other daughter to meet us with my two granddaughters. She said her car was blocked and couldn't get out so we told her to meet us inside the mall as we returned to a have empty mall with many of the stores, including Starbucks, shuttered.
There's a phone app with late breaking news that revealed that the panic was caused by a fist fight between two men fighting over a girl at Primark, the English discount store where I had shopped at earlier.
Much ado about very little, but I couldn't help but feel very sad at what I had witnessed. In a way I can understand the fear triggered by the news erupting of terror reports and mass murders taking place in Europe and gun free zones on nearly a daily basis but there was a time when New Yorkers had the reputation of being nonchalant and were pretty much unfazed by any crisis. Now I watched a bunch of Chicken Littles running from nothing as if the mall sky was falling.
An old Candid Camera episode emphasized this trait by showing a man dressed as a knight in a full suit of armor exiting a subway and jaded New Yorkers ignoring him. That was then when we were street smart but now I was watching a multitude of people panicking without cause, many with small children and I was proud that my daughters seemed calm and minimized the trauma aftereffects on my grandchildren.
FDR was right about the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Giving into that fear without a good reason has become the norm in certain parts of the country and I find that very disturbing.
I thought back to that woman's remark about thinking this would never happen on Staten Island. I know that Staten Island is the whitest borough in New York City and is also the most conservative. Many Police officers and firemen live here and most residents believe in the Second Amendment and are legal gun owners who belong to the NRA. It is probably also the safest borough and that's probably what shocked that woman.
Unlike certain areas in Brooklyn and the Bronx where gun deaths frequently take the lives of the residents, there are only a few areas here that are considered risky. Of course, I live in one and every now and then, I hear gunshots in the night but I know the NYPD keeps things under control so like Alfred E. Neuman: "What --- me worry?"
So what would have happened if I had seen a shooter with an AK 47 shooting at the crowd? Well, then I would have sought a hiding place praying that someone would throw a chair or charge the potential shooter like that young hero, James Shaw, Jr. who disarmed the Waffle House killer in Tennessee. Do the daring, brave Americans who stormed that terrorist on that train in Paris only come from Texas and the flyover country?
Do we even have a brave element here in New York City anymore or by having the left designate masculinity as toxic, are we stuck with a city dominated by pajama boys, pink pussy-hat wearing feminists, a de rigueur PC environment and Marxists mayors?
President Trump is demonstrating how a tough New Yorker can rescue the country from the damage that liberalism has wrought.
MNYCGA --- Make New York City Great Again..