It Can Happen Here

With Hubs out of town to sons' race this weekend, youngest daughter was coming to spend the night and hang out with "old mom". She had a ton of laundry she'd brought home to do and I made lasagne and we settled in to watch some videos we rented. As the evening progressed, one of her friends called and guilted her into going out… since it was the first night of spring break and they'd not seen much of each other. I was okay with that and me and my furry companions played some World of Warcraft until about midnight.

Shortly after 2 a.m. a text message popped in on my phone. I keep my phone next to my bed. I jolted wide awake, the old mantra going through my head "no calls during the night are good". Emily sent a message saying the campus was on lockdown. A few minutes later she called me to tell me there had been a shooter spotted in one of the dorms on campus and the alert had gone out that campus was locked down and you were to stay where ever you were.

Small town Iowa campus… with a shooter.

As we spoke, it was decided I would go down and pick her up. Her friends had left and she wasn't in the best condition to drive. The bar owners said people could stay there, they just had to stop serving them. I went out and around town and came in from a direction that wouldn't be blocked and managed to pick her up without incident. She checked the news this morning and found out the shooter had been aprehended around the same time I'd been picking her up, although she never got any kind of a 'clear' signal (something that may be suggested to the security people). They said he wasn't even a student and somehow was in the dorm that you needed a key card to enter.

Scary. Seriously.

Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep last night.

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Middle-aged. Anti-social. Mom. Grandma. Town-raised farmer's wife. Iowan. Want more? Come read the blogs.

14 thoughts on “It Can Happen Here”

  1. Definitely scary. I’m not happy about the ways of the world lately. What happened to the good old days when you could be young and carefree and you didn’t have to think twice before doing anything?

  2. “What happened to the good old days when you could be young and carefree and you didn’t have to think twice before doing anything?”

    Those days never existed. Younger people are carefree because they never think anything can happen to them. While you were young and carefree, there were many older people expressing the same lament about the world being so much more dangerous and scary than it “used to be”.

    There are millions of young people all over the country who think the world is a pretty safe place. And there has always been the lurking monster under the bed ready to wreak havoc in our lives.

    As for getting into a dorm that has key access… please – piece of cake. All he had to do was follow someone else in. Happens all the time – they are dorms, not a top secret NSA facility that requires everyone use their own key to get in. Getting in required nothing other than some standing around time… maybe not even that if he knew someone who lived in the dorm who would let him in.

    The world is a scary place with scary people. Right now we’re in the copycat stages after the NIU attack. For that matter, it’s already starting to simmer down as I didn’t see anything on my news feeds about this.

    As a parent, I have to say I never sleep well when my kids are visiting and they go out. I envision car accidents, attacks by strangers, and every manner of bad thing happening. When they’re back at their own places – I sleep better – but I’m always waiting for “the call”. It’s part of having kids. It’s also the reason most of us don’t sleep well ever again after having them.

  3. grrrrrrrr…my son lives in a dorm also; now i did NOT need this! You at least think they are safe when they ar in their own “home” such as it may be…have to go call him now nad do an insane mom speech……..

  4. I’m glad your daughter is ok.

    These shooters at schools and shopping areas are getting out of hand. What happened to the “good old days” when people just hung themselves instead of gunning down a bunch of innocent people before turning the gun on themselves? Sure, there have always been crazy people, but it seems like the level of violence just keeps increasing.

  5. Well, I think the days when I was in school or college were certainly less fearful than they are today – while I did stupid things, endangered my life & made bad choices (like almost all young people do), I never, EVER, feared that someone would have a mental break & try to take out a room full of students. In fact, I remember students who BROUGHT hunting weapons to school to show other students, and even though yes, it was wrong then, I never felt a flutter of alarm or fear that the person was going to use it on us. Nobody ever got THAT angry. Now, you can actually make a name for yourself, as you exact your sense of rage and “justice/revenge” on people or a school, and our senses get a little bit number every year. Of the three things people complain about on TV the most? In order of most complaints, they are: Sex, Profanity and Violence. I am convinced they should be in reverse order.
    I’m glad your daughter is safe, and I felt sick to my stomach knowing what you had to be thinking and fearing last night.

  6. Scary stuff indeed.

    The latest thing in these parts is for kids to call in fake threats (then the cops close the school for the rest of the day.) Then the papers reported on it. Which spruned more fake calls. So now a number of kids are being charged with it. But the calls keep coming.

    Glad you could get your daughter. And that all worked out ok.

  7. I’m glad Daughter is ok, and that they caught the freak. It’s really a sad commentary on society that things like this are happening.

    Also, I was just too pissed to comment on your WoW hacking when I first read it. I don’t play WoW, but I am into EverQuest, so I know just what you’re talking about.

    I’d be beyond livid if my account got hacked. It’s good that Blizzard are willing to make it right though.

    Here’s hoping you get your gear back,


  8. Which dorm? In MY day (using my best cranky old man voice) there were no cardkeys, which would’ve put a real damper on streaking through the quad and ducking back into the dorm before the narcs showed up. Not that I ever did that, mind you…

  9. Yeah, there’s always the little adrenaline rush you get when the phone is ringing between midnight and 5.

    I say midnight and 5 because we have friends in other time zones (pacific, eastern, I’m in central).

  10. I think things are far worse the last 10 years or so with all the shootings than they were before. It’s scary that people are so pissed that they are willing to harm others for it. I’m glad she’s okay!

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