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Recent Mall shooting - I was there - my thoughts

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On Saturday morning at around 11:15am eastern time, a man began shooting in the Skater shop at the Columbia Mall.

My family and I were walking into the mall at that exact time and experienced something that I never want to experience again. Let me break it down for everyone.

I was walking with my wife and two daughters (my son decided to stay home) into Macy's and as we walked outside of Macy's (other end of the mall from the skater shop) we took the escalator up and were attempting to make it to the Build a Bear workshop. All of a sudden there was an onrush of hundreds of people rushing in what I can only express as abject terror towards us.

My EMS training kicked in and I knew what was happening, I knew for some reason that there was an active shooting incident somewhere in the mall.

My family and I returned into Macy's but we were told that the shooting was happening inside Macy's, Where the hell to go now.

Then someone said it was in the food court and I knew then that no-one knew where the shooter was.

All out panic ensued from everyone there but I like to think that my medic training kicked in and I grabbed my daughter Gabby, latched onto my wifes coat who had Katerina in her arms and we made our way to the exit of Macy's, All the while I was looking around for the shooter.

To say I was scared is an understatement.

We exited the building at the time when dozens of police cars were arriving. We left the area.

To say that this has not affected me in some way or another, I'm not sure,

What really did affect things is my 4 year old heard the words someone got shot and "shooting" and she was a basket case for the entire weekend expecially since we had to go to another mall to get her build a bear that we promised her and we went to another mall to get the promised bear, but she was and is still affected by this.

What I do want to bring up is that the extent of the Law enforcement response was incredible even in the short time we were at the mall/parking lot after the shooting. I counted at least 30 police cars arriving and at every entrance to the mall was covered by at least one or two or more officers in full gear.

I did not see the EMS Response because they supposedly staged at the other end of the mall near the shooting scene.

What I also wanted to make note of is that after the initial swarm of mall patrons rushing the exits, the courtesy of everyone there and the courtesy of the drivers trying to get out of the mall was atypical of Marylander's drivers, they allowed people out, I heard minimal honking and I think everyone knew that once they got to their cars, they were safe.

I have my theories on why the shooter did what he did and I will probably be proven right or slightly wrong but honestly, this really pisses me off that we had to go through this and that I have to explain this crap to my daughter who I was hoping would not be exposed to something of this nature for another couple of years. I just have to teach her well and help her understand what happened in a adult to child way. That's the take away I guess.

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My thoughts were immediately to my family in that area and cousin who worked at that mall, but then to you guys. I'm really glad y'all are safe, I hope that your daughter will be able to process these events, but don't be afraid to look at counseling options and let her school know what she experienced so they can be alert for any changed. Glad the MD drivers were courteous for once!

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Well, she's 4 years old so we are watching her closely, it's only at night prior to bed when she asks about it. Last night she asked one question and then went off to bed. I think we've done a good job talking her through it, time will tell of course.

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Holy crap, Ruff. I'm glad you guys are okay. Definitely keep an eye on your daughters and don't hesitate to get them help if you think they need it. The one good thing about kids is they are a lot tougher than adults. They will process this in their own way and bounce back. Hugs to the Ruff family from MI.

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Ruff it is great that you are all okay and dealing with this, your family is lucky that you have the skills to help them. The most disturbing thing I got out of your post is the following quote:

"this really pisses me off that we had to go through this and that I have to explain this crap to my daughter who I was hoping would not be exposed to something of this nature for another couple of years."

The reason I find this so troubling is that in the US you have to actually think about having these conversations and or experiences with your kids. Not to say us in Canada don't have our fair share of troubles, but I'm not to sure how many of us feel we need to have the conversation of mall shootings etc. My kids are all grown up and they were raised in a small town that has had 2 murders in like 60 years. The last being about 20 years ago.

So I can not remember your stance on guns but has this experience changed your position on gun control in the US?

Again glad your safe


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Happiness, I know that my daughter and all my family are exposed to this but I was hoping not to have to explain that it was so close.

We've had the stranger danger talk, we have had the no touchie feelies talk that only certain adults can change her pull up and if anyone else does then she is to come to me or the wife.

It does piss me off that I have had to move up this type of talk prior to when I thnk she's ready for it. I'm not mad about having the talk with her but I was hoping that it wouldn't be this soon.

My son knows exactly what to do when a situation like this occurs, he's to either hide in place or run like hell. Whichever one is more feasible for him to do at the time. He knows that he is to fight the person only on a last resort when it's either him or the gunman or whoever.

My daughters will learn the same thing.

And no this has not changed my stance on guns or gun control. I won't get into it but this incident is not about gun control and it shouldn't. I still think that within certain parameters that I or anyone else should be able to own a gun but you need to fall into those parameters. If you are a nut case or have violence in the past then you should not own one.

Anyone can get a gun and we should not blame the gun but blame the individual. I'm done on this gun control topic because someone is going to counter me on this thread, and pretty soon we'll have cats and dogs, fighting in the streets of EMTCity and that's not what this thread is about.

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Sorry if I offended you that was not my intent. I was just curious if anything had changed.

Oh goodness I dont' get offended that easily. I wasn't offended but you know how these discussions go here, the often devolve into shouting matches around subjects like this.

I have no problem discussing this issue or any other issue that i feel strongly about, until the cat fighting starts.

I hope you didn't think I was offended because I saw nothing in your post that warranted any offense.

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Glad to hear that you and your family are safe Mike.

Sucks that your daughters had to be exposed to it at such a young age.

This will be another of those cases where no one will know for sure why it happened or what triggered the event.

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