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The wind is blowing. The news is threatening us with snow flurries. Nothing major. Most likely I will see no evidence as it is not expected to accumulate over night. I'm huddled in my living room wishing I were in bed asleep. I tried to be. But sleep isn't coming easily to me lately.

Last week, Wednesday night, or really Thursday morning, I was sleeping as peacefully as I ever have. I live in a trailer. (Yes, yes, I know all the trailer trash jokes, and no longer cringe when I hear them.) It's a temporary abode. I will be gone from here in six more months. But for now, it is affordable as I finish up at a local community college before transferring to my home state's pride and joy. My significant other has moved ahead of me so as to make the move as easy a transition as it can be. So, I am here. Alone.

I awoke to what I thought was an earthquake. We've felt a few here in recent years. Small ones. Just enough to register in your head that its an earthquake, but not severe enough to drop to your knees in prayer. This one was different. It was jolting. With it was a distant booming sound that I couldn't quite identify. I sat up as I tried to get my bearings, still groggy and confused. It wasn't until I made my way halfway down the hall that I realized the booming sound was someone throwing themselves against my front door. It wasn't until then that I understood the jolting of the trailer was from the force. And I could hear a man yelling.

I instantly panicked.  

My first thought was something had happened to my mother, and my stepfather in his grief was beside himself as he wailed and pummeled my door trying to wake me. They live a couple of spaces down from me, so it just made sense. I moved more quickly towards the living room, then suddenly realized it was not the voice of my stepfather. It was not a voice I recognized, and the concern for my mother suddenly turned into fear for myself.

My second thought, once I realized what was happening, was, "Great! I'm going to die before I get my degree!"

And the absurdity of the second thought gave way to the third, "If this guy succeeds, there is nothing I can do. I really might not survive this..."

It's difficult to be rational when nothing around you is in your control. So, irrationally, I immediately called my parents home. I guess when you don't know what you're facing, you seek comfort. By the second ring, my mind started clicking and I realized this was a futile route. I hung up before they could answer and called 911.

I stumbled through the words as I explained my emergency. "Someone is trying to break down my door. Where do I live? I live... I'm at... He's screaming. He's ramming my door and he's screaming to let him in. No, I don't know who he is! Please, please help me. I don't know what to do..."

The operator told me to stay on the line until the sheriff arrived. I hid in my bedroom behind a door that doesn't lock. Call waiting signaled someone was trying to reach me, and I knew it was my stepdad. It was then that I heard the first gunshot.

"Oh my God! I just heard... I think I heard gunfire! Please hurry! He's still beating my door."

I heard the operator radio that a gunshot had been heard, and not long after, a second caller confirmed there was gunfire. I got down low to the ground, and started telling the operator, "I have to call my parents back. I have to hang up. I'm afraid my dad is going to come check on me and get shot."

By the time I heard the second and third gunshot, I could also hear the sirens. The calvary was coming! But in moments, I would hear them go a different direction.

"No! No! They're going the wrong way! I heard them and now they're going the wrong way!"

There was a lot of confusion for me. In some ways, I am sure things were happening more quickly than I realized, and in others, they weren't happening fast enough. The operator told me the sheriff was in pursuit of a car that sped away from the area.

"But what about the guy on my porch? What about my dad?" I cried out. It was only then that I noticed I no longer heard the chaos coming from my living room. Trying to make sense of it all, I asked, "What do I do? What if there is a dead guy on my porch? What if my stepfather..."

"No, you're ok."

The operator told me that a second officer had checked the area, and no one was lying dead on my porch or anywhere else for that matter. I was safe. It was all ok. I wouldn't trust them until I saw my stepdad. And like me being so afraid he'd been killed, he was dealing with his overwhelming fear that something terrible had happened to me.

In the end, the man was arrested. He totaled his vehicle in the pursuit. He didn't even mean to be on my porch. He thought he was somewhere else. The gunshots came from a neighbor across the street. The man had been there originally, and gotten into a fight with one of them. Instead of calling the police, someone yanked out a gun and shot into the air. I didn't hear the first shot. I only heard the three that followed once he was at my door, ramming it with intensity. The neighbor next door to me is the mother of the man's girlfriend. He thought he was on her porch. The terror wasn't meant for me. The fear instilled didn't have my name on it. These sleepless nights aren't mine. This racing heart when unexpected noise jolts me awake doesn't belong to me. The chronic checking of locks, the hesitation before opening the door, the unwillingness to open the shades, or even sit on the porch in broad daylight are not my penance. But I pay them anyway.

All I can think is how silly this is to still be scared. I tell myself how fortunate I am. How there are so many whose doors have been broken down. How there are those who did not survive. That there are those who are dealing with so much more than a temporary instance of loss of control. That there are those who will live with both physical and mental scars for the rest of their lives.

And it make me wonder, are we protecting our neighbors? Because only two calls went to the police that night. Mine and my stepfathers. But multiple neighbors have admitted to hearing the chaos, and doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.

So, do something. If you wonder if you should, the answer is yes. Make the call. I can promise you, if you find yourself in a similar situation, you will be praying someone makes the call for you.  

Edit for clarification: While writing, I tried to reveal this situation in the sequence it unfolded for me. But, I want to clarify the events that preceded the mayhem at my door as told to my stepfather and I by the sheriff, the woman who lives next door, and one of the sons who lives where the gunfire originated.

The gun shooting neighbor was not scared. He was angry. Prior to this event, they were apparently all drinking (and possible drugging). An argument broke out and escalated over a flirtation with someone's girlfriend. Both parties are not unknown to the police. The man who landed on my porch has prior convictions for assault and battery as well as spousal abuse. (I have since found this out.) The men who live across the street (an elderly man and his three adult boys) have had their own share of trouble with the law. The sons specifically have been in and out of jail for various drug charges tied to meth and assault and battery. It was me who called the cops on them two years ago when one of the sons broke the windshield of a woman as she tried to drive away from their home.

There was a 4th shot that I did not hear. It was the first one fired, and I was asleep. It is the shot that drove the man to my porch. At this point, there was ample opportunity for one of the 4 men who lived across the street to call the police. They did not. Instead they chose to randomly fire gunshots in the air.

Secondly, the woman who my house was mistaken to belong to told me she witnessed the entire thing. In fact, she heard the originating shot. She told me the following day, word for word, "I thought he was comin' through your door! I was keeping my eye on him, though." Of course, she reassured me that if this ever happened in the future, I should just call her and she'd be out there with her gun. Yet, she did not call the police. She knew who it was. She knew he was mistaking my house for hers. She thought he was going to succeed in busting down my door, and she watched. Just watched.

I just wanted to clear this up. There is no being thankful for the guys across the street shooting their gun. They contributed to that night as much as anyone. Had they not fired the weapon, the man most likely would not have ended up on my porch.

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  •  {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} (37+ / 0-)

    I am very sorry.  It would take me a long time to get over it, too.

    I hope you will soon be able to sleep easily, again.

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:10:49 AM PST

  •  What a terrifying experience. Hopefully the (20+ / 0-)

    fear you feel now will dissipate soon. At least you know on some level it wasn't meant for you. Not that it was any less terrifying because of that.

  •  you're probably way too young to have heard of (15+ / 0-)

    Kitty Genovese.  But look her up on Wikipedia.  At the time it happened, the story became synonymous with New York City and urban dwellers' indifference to one another.

    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:36:18 AM PST

      •  how old were you when this happened? i know (20+ / 0-)

        full well how old i was and where i was when i heard of her murder...

        and i know that kitty genovese changed my life forever.

        i was a sophomore in college when my professor read the class the news report the day after it happened - then he looked at each and every one of us in the eye and asked "what would YOU have done?  closed the blinds?  shut the window?"

        that day i vowed that i would NEVER walk away from any situation where i could make a difference, no matter how difficult.

        i have kept that vow in honor of kitty genovese - so, please don't try to minimize the effect of her death now.

        whether or not it was "exaggerated" or whether or not some armchair investigator years later wants to whitewash the event, it won't work.  i was 19 years old at the time - in north carolina - and i still remember the day that question was asked of each of us as clearly as if it were today.

        people turned away - people refused to get involved - people subsequently claimed otherwise.  that dosen't change the facts that in ny and in that era, people turned their backs far more often than they reached out and helped.

        that was the era where checking the label in the back of another person's clothes (yes, some people really REALLY did that!) was more important than who was wearing them.  it was the era of weejuns and villager blouses and superficiality and the carryover of the fifties mentality (see the film "pleasantville" for a really accurate depiction of that time).  kitty genovese's murder and the callous disregard for her life changed that.

        so, please... don't go trying to re-write history - i'm old enough to have lived through it and to have been changed for the better because of it.

        •  Wow (5+ / 0-)

          As a historian, I find your entire comment is alarming. You weren't even living in New York at the time. And your decision to ignore decades of new evidence, both historical and sociological, is pretty scary.

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 03:43:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the Kitty Genovese story was national (7+ / 0-)

            I doubt that researches would spend "decades" rewriting the history of a "local crime story."  And to what end would they do it, one has to wonder.

            Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

            by Keith930 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 03:49:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was not just referring to the case (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sawgrass727, mrkvica, madhaus

              I was also referring to evidence of how we behave as human beings, and also historical evidence of how things actually were in New York back then in general.

              And while the case might have made national news, almost every sensational news story gets the facts wrong in the beginning, no matter which country we are talking about. National news tends to die away rather quickly when the next new story is found. However, at the local level, when new facts come in, it is still often reported. Given how much more disconnected someone living in the South would have been to what was happening in NYC back then, I absolutely question someone living in NC at the time being able to legitimately say they "knew" what happened in NYC.

              Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

              by moviemeister76 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:33:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I was in high school (9+ / 0-)

            in a rural community in Upper Michigan.  The story went national and I remember the aftermath.  Some of the witnesses were interviewed afterward.  One excuse that got a lot of use was the 'lovers' quarrel' excuse and the guy was just showing his old lady who was boss.

            Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

            by arlene on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 04:11:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Eye witnesses are not dependable for much (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sawgrass727, SuetheRedWA, madhaus

              I study history full time. I can't tell you how many times I've read of how eye witnesses either knowingly or unknowingly lied about what they saw and did.

              Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

              by moviemeister76 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:44:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  so...those neighbors, when asked later (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                if they heard anything, saw anything, and if they really just closed the blinds and turned up the TV...they might have not been truthful when they answered no....

                As for the sociological implications...has this psych experiment examining "the bystander effect", or diffused responsibility been shown to be erroneous?


                Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

                by Keith930 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:52:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Absolutely not (0+ / 0-)

                  The bystander effect is, last I heard from the psych department, still an established phenomenon. It is just that this particular event was embellished heavily by the national media. And it's wishy-washy, as a lot of psych stuff can be. There are always going to be exceptions, people who will always help, situations which turn out differently. But, percentage-wise, it's very real. The greater the crowd, the less likely anything gets done.

                  Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                  by moviemeister76 on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 02:43:36 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  even more to the point, research has shown that (7+ / 0-)

            the first stories out were deeply flawed and subsequent research has shown that what happened and what was reported was miles apart.  i think the general consensus now among historians is that the initial story contained serious inaccuracies which became the narrative as time progressed.

            The problem seems to be the difference between rewriting history which we have seen with David Barton and other pseudo historians and serious researchers who have re-examined the existing and subsequent evidence and came to different conclusions.

            For a quick example, I have read about Pickett's charge over the years and my most vivid memory is an oil painting of the event by an unknown artist in my 7th grade home room.  However, as an adult I have read various analyses of why the charge failed and explanations for why as many as 50% of his men may have never even got into the fight for various reasons.  These analyses contradict reports by various witnesses on the site but recreations show that the eyewitness reports could not be accurate.

            Now is that rewriting history or refining what we know about an event?  

            •  First reports are often biased (4+ / 0-)

              Plus, we have decades of evidence that shows that the American media has always been problematic when it comes to reporting anything accurately.

              It's quite the coincidence that I literally just emailed my history professor a few minutes ago my final paper which dealt with how social media like films impacts historiography.

              Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

              by moviemeister76 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:23:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  it is a cascading effect as research into (8+ / 0-)

                crime data shows eyewitness testimony is frequently the most unreliable and that the media tends to increase the cascade effect of incorrect information.  That is why the Innocence Project estimates as many as 10% of inmates are innocent of the crime for which they are serving time

                •  Simple example... (15+ / 0-)

                    I was directly behind a car in a left-turn lane at a red light one day, when it suddenly turned left into oncoming traffic, although the light hadn't changed.  It was immediately struck by an oncoming pickup truck, and of course, most of the eyewitnesses stopped to see if everybody was okay.
                     A young mother with an infant was driving the car that caused the accident, and a middle-aged man was in the pickup.  All involved seemed unhurt, but shaken, but it was still a serious accident with two incapacitated vehicles in the middle of a busy intersection.
                     Naturally, sympathy and worry flowed to the mother and her child, and when the police arrived, someone immediately piped up to say it was the pickup driver's fault.
                     I and another witness immediately corrected that witness, who was on the crossing street at the time and didn't see the traffic signals, and the officer listened to us and sorted it out correctly.  But the blame could just as easily been incorrectly assigned, with somewhat serious consequences.

                  •  I had something similar years ago when a young (12+ / 0-)

                    woman sideswiped me changing lanes.  She burst into tears while the passenger, her mother, immediately started lining up witnesses to support her POV.

                    I was able to find an offduty fireman and the mall cop to state what had happened but the story 5 other witnesses told the  responding cop that I had peeled off from the red light, accelerated to 40 mph and then careened into her car when I lost control.
                    The officer measured the distance as 50 feet from the red light during which time I was supposed to have accelerated my 4 cylinder stick shift to 40mph and careen out of control.  He had a good laugh and wrote the other driver up though her mother protested vociferously  

                    •  That happened to me too! (5+ / 0-)

                      I was hit by a woman leaving a shopping center who drive right into the side of our van.  This was in 1997 and none of us had cell phones. Someone stopped by to see if everyone was okay and offered to make calls on his cell.  We asked that the police be called. The lady who hit us asked that we call her (adult) daughter, who lived very close by.  She kept asking that he call her daughter first, which we objected to.

                      The police came. Her daughter came.  Then her daughter made a series of claims to the officers describing what happened, when she wasn't ever there!  As in your case, the police measured the scene, the brake marks, etc. and quickly determined this woman was lying through her teeth. It was all in their report, except they didn't say "lying through her teeth."  It was in that flat police style: Driver 2 states there were witnesses that Driver 1 was speeding at 50 mph in 30 mph zone. There were no witnesses to support this.  Skid marks were X ft indicating driver 1 was traveling at 28 mph.

              •  thought so... you're young. (0+ / 0-)

                sorry, you're not old enough to yet be called a "historian" - you haven't lived long enough.

            •  If you are really interested... (6+ / 0-)

              I recommend an interesting (though very challenging) new book about how we produce history. It's called "Silencing the Past" by Michel-Rolph Trouillot, a Haitian archeologist. Absolutely fascinating ideas in it.

              Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

              by moviemeister76 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:27:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  A frontal assault by massed infantry marching (0+ / 0-)

              uphill against an entrenched enemy position supported by artillery is likely to have but one outcome.  Ambrose Burnside discovered this at Fredericksburg.  Robert E. Lee, who graduated at the top of his West Point class, must have become convinced of his invincibility as he should have known better.

              •  Historical documents such as interviews (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KenBee, moviemeister76

                with his subordinates and his own statements show he had absolute faith in the ability of his infantry to succeed, even in the most hopeless of circumstances.  I think stats show Lee charged more than 2x as often as his Union opponents, even when he was in the inferior position.

                Also, the Point was fascinated at that time by Napoleon and his tactics.  While Napoleon believed in artillery as a decision maker and battle winner, he also had absolute faith in his infantry, as shown by his actions in the Russian campaign and at Waterloo where his own forces were no longer the magnificently trained men of his early successes but were poorly trained young conscripts

                •  it was fleas wot dun him in guvner! (0+ / 0-)

                  just read about the body lice infesting his Russian campaign and the plague fleas in..Syria?

                  This machine kills Fascists.

                  by KenBee on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:53:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  still at Waterloo, when he sent in his (0+ / 0-)

                    Old Guard, still at that time one of the finest units in the world, they were sent directly into a meatgrinder of infantry and artillery fire (Wellington's troops were hidden below a rise from French observers and von Blucher's reinforcements were on the way).
                    He could have withdrawn that day to fight another day except for his absolute belief in the ability of his men

          •  as someone who actually LIVED that (0+ / 0-)

            experience, i find YOUR comment alaming!  if this is how you study "history" - then i suggest you do a bit more research.


            •  smh (0+ / 0-)

              As I have stated several times, just because you happened to be alive when something happened does not qualify you as an expert. You are literally discounting later evidence solely because it goes against something you wish to believe. That is not logical. There have been countless times in history when most of the general public believed one idea for decades, only to find out it was wrong later. Heck, it's the primary reason the majority of the country supported the invasion of Iraq. A lot of people genuinely believed the media's and the president's outright lies.

              Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

              by moviemeister76 on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 02:38:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  why do you insist that a review of an incident (0+ / 0-)

                some 40 years after it happened is more valid that the coverage of the incident at the time it occurred?

                and do you REALLY think that people didn't have motivation to try to cover up their lack of involvement after all the outcry and backlash that occurred?

                also, sadly, you and others who have taken this position are not aware of the world as it existed in those times!

                how people interacted and how they viewed violence on women was very different than in your generation.  the desire "not to get involved" was a signature of that era - the kitty genovese murder changed all that.

                why you and others are insistent in minimizing the story now is beyond my comprehension.  you did not live in that era immediately following the 50s and before the 60s movement - you cannot possibly know or understand the dynamics of interactions that occurred.  why?  because you were not alive and did not experience them - and there is no way to accurately reproduce those human interactions for you.

                that is where history fails - it cannot produce a complete picture of the dynamics of a culture - there are too many factors involved.  "history" can take a snapshot of individual "facts" and present a picture to be viewed in the lens of today's society.

                someone else mentioned the "daily news" as a news source.  NO one who was serious about news considered the daily news as a reliable source. it was as much of a joke as the ny post - early tabloids.  serious news came from the hersh newspapers, the nyt, cbs and nbc with abc being the newcomer in the markets.

                those were very different times and if you fail to take that into consideration, you will not be a very good historian at all - everything must be viewed in context.

                as for the "media" and iraq and it's credibility now - there IS no serious journalism in this nation outside of perhaps the christian science monitor (which does a very good secular news coverage), sort of the nyt, the boston newspapers are kind of ok - but outside that, in the u.s., the true news broadcasters don't exist any longer.

                i know this from personal experience - from working at cbs radio network news when cronkite was forced out, rather put in and the broadcast news division was moved to the entertainment division (along with closing all the foreign news bureaus so all stories had to come through rather to keep cbs in the top rating spot).

                i find your dismissal of my posts as "something i wish to believe" as disingenuous and insulting.  my background is extensive - my experience (politically and in the media) is extensive - my life is long - so don't be so quick to dismiss someone who holds differing views than you - some of our differences are based on experience of major cultural shifts in this nation and others on actual first hand knowledge.

                as a friend said once, it's what you learn AFTER you know it all that counts - i'm still learning - are you willing to learn as well?

                if so, perhaps i'll start a series on cultural changes during my lifetime and perhaps some of the kossacks who are actually older than i am will add from their perspective.

                we've witnessed major generational changes in our lifetimes - you have yet to do so due to time passed - but when you are in your late sixties, you will have seen the amazing changes, too.

                one of my fondest memories of my grandfather was sitting by his side and getting him to talk of his early youth - in the late 1800s - and listening and listening and listening - and learning in awe of those changes that he saw - from the horse and buggy, the train, the first automobiles, kitty hawk to jets to men on the moon - all in one lifespan.

                mine saw the first computer (clean room, univac, batch processing) and electronics (transistor radios, circuitry, calculators that were HUGE and sold for $350+, electric typewriters) to discovery of the double helix to nano particles.  yours will see even more amazing things STARTING with nanos and continuing with internal cameras to map illness, medicines to target specific cells, gene therapy, cures for cancer and more.

                don't dismiss the past - learn from it - don't spend time trying to "change" it - move into the future and take the lessons of the past with you~  this is your generation to come - mine has been lived - trying to re-write what was is a waste of time!

        •  This comment dismays me greatly. Very greatly. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CoyoteMarti, tommymet, happy camper

          This is a classic case of arguing from emotion. You are basing your argument on only your recollection of how you felt when you were told about this event by a professor.  You were at least 500 miles away, with no other exposure to New York City news that you mention.  But because you feel a certain way, therefore nobody else has the right to determine what actually happened?  Are you serious? I find this attitude chilling, anti-intellectual, and, yes, bullying.

          And I am dismayed that 11 people uprated this emotional tantrum where you demand you be protected from the facts of what actually happened, so you can preserve your internal narrative of how you remember it and how you decided to act upon this memory. That is an amazing case of arrogance, that your feelings and motivations are more important than discovering the truth or at least a better understanding of how news is reported, distorted, or misinterpreted.  It wasn't enough for you to skip reading the topic, you demand that nobody talk about this.  I'm sorry, that is not acceptable to me.

          The "news report" about Kitty Genovese that you claim went national was not a news report.  It was a follow-up written 2 weeks after the murder.  It turns out the author ignored many firsthand reports.  A number of people did indeed call the police when they heard Genovese screaming.  The author had his own prejudices and went with them for the story he wanted, rather than what actually happened.  There was a lot of classism behind his prejudice, looking down on the working-class people in Genovese's neighborhood.

          From Wikipedia, describing a 2007 study on the event and its reporting:

          In September 2007, the American Psychologist published an examination of the factual basis of coverage of the Kitty Genovese murder in psychology textbooks. The three authors concluded that the story is more parable than fact, largely because of inaccurate newspaper coverage at the time of the incident.[10] According to the authors, "despite this absence of evidence, the story continues to inhabit our introductory social psychology textbooks (and thus the minds of future social psychologists)." One interpretation of the parable is that the drama and ease of teaching the exaggerated story makes it easier for professors to capture student attention and interest.
          That sounds like what you're describing as to your reaction. You needn't tie your positive decision to care about your fellow humans to your experience of an event that wasn't reported accurately. If your personal philosophy can't withstand accurate reporting, I would suggest the problem is not with those who seek the truth, but with your own personal commitments requiring false narratives. Just as religion teaches its lessons with metaphor and parable, can't you want to help your fellow man despite this story you claim is your basis being wildly exaggerated?  By demanding otherwise, you are asking the same treatment as the Biblical Literalist who objects to mentions of a 4.5 billion year old earth because it negates his view of how the world must be, and nobody had better dare look into anything disproving it.

          Whitewash? Are you joking? Whitewash? Seems to me the misreporting was the problem, and you were willing to buy it because of what it said about urban indifference.  I suggest you look into what really happened, as the biggest problem was how haphazardly the police handled calls reporting crimes in progress.  There was no 911 system then, and calls were not handled systematically or consistently.  And indeed, the police did get calls on this crime.

          For more than half an hour thirty-eight respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens.
          The lead is dramatic but factually inaccurate. A 2007 study found many of the purported facts about the murder to be unfounded.[26] The study found "no evidence for the presence of 38 witnesses, or that witnesses observed the murder, or that witnesses remained inactive".[27]

          None of the witnesses observed the attacks in their entirety. Because of the layout of the complex and the fact that the attacks took place in different locations, no witness saw the entire sequence of events. Most only heard portions of the incident without realizing its seriousness, a few saw only small portions of the initial assault, and no witnesses directly saw the final attack and rape, in an exterior hallway.[1] Additionally, after the initial attack punctured her lungs, leading to her eventual death from asphyxiation, it is unlikely that she was able to scream at any volume.[28]

          Nevertheless, media attention to the Genovese murder led to reform of the NYPD's telephone reporting system; the system in place at the time of the assault was often hostile to callers, inefficient and directed individuals to the incorrect department. The intense press coverage also led to serious investigation of the bystander effect by psychologists and sociologists. In addition, some communities organized Neighborhood Watch programs and the equivalent for apartment buildings to aid people in distress.

          •  WHOA! madhaus!!! (0+ / 0-)

            bullying? you have GOT to be kidding?  tantrum?  please!!!

            my comment is based on events that were widely reported at that time by a media that was not what we have now - a media that verified what they reported BEFORE they went with the story.

            revisiting history and rewriting it decades later is an insult to the intelligence of those who were alive and aware of the event when it happened.

            rewriting history is what is being done here.  yes, i responded emotionally because the story WAS emotional then - at a time when we didn't have the murdochization of the news - it was straight reporting and without the sensationalism.

            saying what was wasn't decades later is offensive in so many ways that i can't even begin to enumerate.  

            and, you are inaccurate in your claim that the "news report" upon which i reacted was two weeks after the event.  it was the NEXT DAY after kitty genovese was killed! the story was covered by the nightly news (with walter cronkite having replaced douglas edwards the year prior, btw) when news broadcasts then were nothing like today's tabloid news.

            you weren't old enough to have witnessed (and comprehended) the story firsthand - i am - i did.  so please don't tell me what i saw or didn't see.  (having met you personally, i am not saying this to insult you - just to point out the obvious truth - i am OLDER than you are and you were too young to have reacted to this event at the time it happened!)

            i remember that event as clearly as if it were yesterday - VERY clearly - it changed my life.  so - spare me the lecture.  i know damned well that my behavior in my entire life after kitty genovese's death has been altered - deliberately - and i frequently use that incident to explain why i do what i do - i have used that incident here on this site many times.

            emotional reaction?  damned straight it is - and it is a vow i made then and still abide by now - i will NEVER turn away from someone or some creature who needs immediate help.  i haven't in all these years, no matter how inconvenient or how dangerous it might be.  i've stepped between street brawls, stopped women from being struck by abusive partners, stopped and picked up more strays (two and four footed) than i care to count.  so, am i emotional about this?  you better believe it.

            it is only a damned shame that people are trying to rewrite history now to make those who turned away "look" better - and, imho, as an excuse for the behavior and for their own for averting their eyes when someone or some creature is in trouble.  why is it people have a hard time believing that others can shut a blind eye to what is occurring around them.  it's happened throughout history on a much larger scale - both in the past and right now.  if we don't learn from incidents like these instead of trying to "excuse" them, then we will be doomed to repeat them until there is no conscience left in humanity!

            and as for your source, wikipedia?  good grief!  if THIS is your "reliable source", there is really a disconnect here.  i am an "editor" on wiki, as are many users on the web - it is a source of "opinions" - not fact.  it is not what i would call "reliable" by any means!  i did research for cbs radio network news - i know how to source a story - and how to find "reliable" information - wiki ain't it!  when i taught in college, i taught my students HOW to do research - how to sort the wheat from the chaff... so, again, please!  spare me!


            please, spare me your lecture.  it isn't welcomed here because it isn't based in fact.

            •  I have read a lot about this story and there (0+ / 0-)

              are plenty of sources out there. The original one I read, a few years ago, is not online.  I used Wikipedia because it easily leads to many more sources you could easily check yourself for quality.

              I could throw a dozen more sources at you here, but I don't think it would make a difference.  I'm sure you can operate a search engine as well as I can.  But you appear determined to let your memories trump anything else, even if they can be demonstrated to be factually in error.  For example, you could not possibly have heard this news from a national news broadcast the day after it happened.  Why?  Because the story had no legs until the Gansberg piece, two weeks later.  It was a 5-line writeup in the NY Times the day after it happened.  It was one of many murders that year.  It simply was not reported outside NYC.  Gansberg's article hit the NY Times, then the next day they wrote an editorial reinforcing that 38 witness frame.  From there it went national and that's when you heard it in class, on the TV news, etc.  The murder was on March 13, 1964.  You did not hear about it for at least 2 weeks.  Gansberg's piece ran on the 27th.  The editorial was on the 28th.  These dates are verifiable.  I can't prove what day Cronkite reported it, but every discussion of the crime as a national story points to Gansberg as the vector.  Not Cronkite.  

              I repeat that you ought to read the evidence for yourself, but you claim it's all irrelevant in the face of your own recollections, despite voluminous evidence that human memory is faulty.  Emotional memory is more accurate, but I propose the facts that got dragged along for the ride got a little banged up in the process.

              Oh, another fact about Genovese you may not have known: She was a lesbian who lived with her girlfriend.  Since it was 1964, this wasn't reported.  So which is the whitewash, then or now?  Isn't it fairly well demonstrated that reporting in the 1960s tended to dismiss testimony from "unreliables" in favor of socially prominent people?  Wouldn't it make sense that the NY Times would go with the police chief's (incorrect) observation to the editor, over all those incovenient residents in Kew Gardens?  In Queens? You know, tunnel people?  

              Straight reporting without sensationalism.  Uh-huh.  Because that sort of thing didn't exist in 1964.  Right.  Because all that sensationalist crap I read in the NY Daily News in the later 1960s didn't actually exist because there was no Rupert Murdoch then, and everyone knows he originated that form of journalism, because William Randolph Hearst was just a fictional character in a movie.

              You are welcome to your version of history that glorifies your own memories over inconvenient truths, but it is not cool to insist others are morally in error by burdening you with alternative views.  It isn't okay when Creationists do it to scientists, and it isn't okay when Kossacks do it to each other, either.  We're all a community here, and if you request that someone not speak out on a topic, there had better be a danged good reason.  "These facts upset my view of my own motivations!" does not strike me as a valid basis to censor discussion of a general interest historical topic.

              Your response here is even more disappointing to me than your original reaction.  Do you really think you get to decide what everyone else is allowed to discuss, on a topic that is not about you?

              No. You don't. And I'm a bit horrified you would think for a minute that you do.

        •  what I heard is that people were scared (0+ / 0-)

          to get involved b/c they thought she was involved with some Mafia thing. I don't know if that's true.

          There are some things that are unforgivable. Your willingness to play political games while people suffer and die is one of them--Onomastic

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 02:32:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  at that time, people of my generation didn't want (0+ / 0-)

            to "get involved" - period.  that event changed many people's attitudes about how we need one another.  

            what i find amazing is how people are trying to now wash away the behavior that occurred then - as if somehow excusing those who ignored her screams would make it not have happened.

            i lived in ny for decades - moved there a few years after that event.  people STILL closed their windows or just ignored screams or fights - but more of us didn't after kitty's death.

            more of us chose to get involved - more of us CHOSE to be a part of the community that was there in time of need.

            looking at the world from the period of the forties and fifties and up until the beginning of the sixties, people were less engaged with those around them - the focus was on the immediate family and friends.  after the sixties began - actually, after the song "eleanor rigby" in '65, after the flower generation - that is when community was in the forefront.


            that's another topic for another day...

    •  I was not around yet. :) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FindingMyVoice, SilentBrook

      But we did discuss this event in a psychology class I took several semesters ago. So, even though it was before my time, it is still being discussed in college classes.

  •  how frightening! (37+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry that you had to experience this.

    Someone crashed into my apartment door late at night several years ago, waking me from a sound sleep. They managed to permanently break the screen door, and I still can't figure out how they did so. I shouted through the door that I was calling the police. I think that spooked 'em. I was shaking, and my teeth were chattering so hard, I could hardly speak to the 911 operator.

    They were gone when the police arrived, but there was some random stuff on the lawn that they may have left behind, can't even remember now what it was. We figured that it was probably someone who was drunk and didn't even know what door they were at, and I likely scared the crap out of them when they heard the word "police".

    I called 911 once when a fight broke out in my front yard, and I could see someone getting the stuffing beat out of him. Fortunately, my experiences with local police have been positive. They've been helpful and professional.

    I agree that it's alarming that nobody else called 911, even after hearing gunshots!

    Random raging people are frightening, esp. the drunk ones.

    I'm so glad that you and your family are ok, and I hope that the girlfriend stays ok too. I hope that you can get some sleep and feel safe again.

    •  Someone crashed thru my front door one night (15+ / 0-)

      New Years Morning, '84. I woke up to the cound of splintering wood. Like a good liberal gun control advocate, I was unarmed (had a toddler in the house)
      Sumbitch had kicked my front  door down. I came charging out of that room stark naked and there was only one thought in my mind: I'd give body parts for a  .45 in my hand right now. You try runing into a dangerous  situation out of a sound sleep stark naked and see what you think!
      I don't know what he had in mind b ut I just ran at him grabbed him and threw him out the door. Then I slammed it and was leaning against it.
      Ive only actually "Seen red" twice in my life, that was one of them. In a flash of light I saw my honor demanded I mark that sonofabitch and I mean significantly. I ran and  threw on the first pair of pants I could find, grabbed my baseball bat (I played softball then) and went out after him.
      I caught hi looking the other way and proceeded to  give him a LOuisville Shampoo. 4 home runs  in one ball game!  Knocked him down and kicked him a bunch..
      I left him laying on the street and went back in the house. (I was scared I'd killed him) When i got back I asked my wife if she'd called the cops---she hadn't, another exhippie.
      So I called them. They asked me if he was in the house and I said no, I'd hit him in the house and he'd staaggered outside.
      It took 24 minutes to get a cop there, less than half a mile from the police station (it was New Years Morning)  That was not lost on me.
      So the cop getss there, sees the door hanging on its hinges and sayss---Was it like this before he came in?
      WTF? I told him if it was like that before he came in he wouldn't have had to kick the fucking door down, now would he?.
       I told the cop I'd hit the guy in the house and he starggered out maybe he was lying down the street. We went out to look but he was gone.
      I went out and bought a gun the next day

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:54:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't say that it hasn't crossed my mind (17+ / 0-)

        about purchasing a gun. I mean, when you don't know what is coming at you, you realize how the advantage goes to the guy who knows what is going on. But, I did not react like you. I shook like a leaf in a hurricane. In my case, a gun would have made the situation worse, I'm afraid. Plus, I just have this visceral (albeit, conflicting lately) aversion to being forced into keeping a weapon I do not want. That makes me just as angry as anything else!

        •  Given my problem during a (4+ / 0-)

          redneck attack on my isolated homestead, with a cased and unloaded shotgun that to be useful needed to be out and loaded (which I won't do because too many young grandchildren visit too often), I've taken to keeping a couple of baseball bats (one metal, one wood) and a sword behind the front door where I can grab 'em on a moment's notice. Also have a very nifty pistol-action mini-crossbow on a high shelf in the library, bolts right next to it.

          I figure once a bad guy's in the house, I'm better off swinging a bat or sword or just shooting them with 6" crossbow bolts than blasting away with a shotgun anyway. Which would do far more damage to my house than I'm willing to tolerate. I can wash blood off the floor or wall. Patching holes is harder. §;o)

          •  We don't have baseball bats, but (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leavingthezoo, wasatch, Joieau, worldlotus

            my other half has two good thick wooden canes, and several metal ones (these are canes that support weight for him to walk with, not thin walking sticks). I also have a 3 foot length of rebar behind my bedroom door.
            I grew up with a rifle and a shot gun in the house. By the time I was 13 I knew where the shells were, how to load, fire and clean them both. I never needed to, but they were there when I baby sat my sisters.
            However, I won't have a gun in my house right now. Not with an autistic son with impulse control issues. Maybe when he's fully grown and out on his own. For many years I kept my steak knives up out of his reach because he'd go into full violent melt downs. He's better than he used to be, but still, better safe than sorry. Now he's taller than me so keeping things out of his reach is difficult. But he's been so trained by this point to not touch the knives that I have trouble getting him to cut up vegetables LOL.

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:49:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow, FloridaSNMOM. I feel your struggle (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FloridaSNMOM, worldlotus

              there. Worst we ever had to deal with was a son who appeared (to his teacher) to be hyperactive and in need of medication. Whoa. They at the time had the power to administer such drugs as teachers felt necessary, told me I had no right to object. Like fucking hell...

              He was in the first grade - six years old.

              I asked our most trustworthy family doctor about it - that was back when doctors could spend some time with patients/families - and he told me all our son needed was a serious sugar-break, maybe a bit of healthier alternatives if we had a mind to. We took it totally to heart.

              Stopped buying sugary treats, stopped using white sugar for general sweetening purposes. Switched to co-op raw local honey (by the pound from a 50-gallon barrel), offered green tea in the morning. He did just fine on that. More recently I attended my grandson's 3rd grade 'parent-teacher evaluation' thingie. I literally watched her tell every parent/grandparent present that every single kid in her class needed to be drugged into submission. Which is obviously a serious problem with the teacher, not the students.

              In the meeting I'd requested with the Principal, the teacher kept saying, "little Stevie" does this, or "little Stevie" doesn't do that, and...

              I looked drolly at the principal after the presentation and said that if his teacher had bothered to ask him what his name was - Stephan: Stefan - he might respond better to questions and directions. The principal bid us hasty adieu, things were much better after that.


              •  Sugar.. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau, worldlotus

                My son is also severely hypoglycemic. There are times he needs the sugar and he's much worse without it. But we and he have learned how to keep it balanced over the years.

                Most of his meltdowns we figured out later were sensory overload oriented. Not all, but most were, that or they had to do with his ODD. Or sometimes a combination of the two. He hasn't had a serious melt down in about a year now, and most of his minor ones are more stomping, yelling and pouting. His last bad one he knocked the book case over sideways and broke it. I think it scared him as much as it did us. He did that with one kick, right to the middle of it. And yes, I had it anchored into the wall, but that didn't stop anything because he broke the thing in the middle. My books are still in boxes.

                "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

                by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:31:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah. My son reached adulthood (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FloridaSNMOM, worldlotus

                  a double black belt in Kung Fu (Lissa-jo Do). You didn't want to be on the wrong side of him.

                  He was also a clown/juggler guy who did 6 year old's birthday parties every weekend. He managed to balance those quite nicely. I was his bo instructor...

                  •  Mine took (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joieau, worldlotus

                    shi no te (not sure on the spelling) when he was younger. But that was about 12 years ago now. Unfortunately we moved out of the area where he was going, and we never found another do-jo he liked.

                    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

                    by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:57:03 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Bat, shotgun not good for close quarters (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM, Joieau, KenBee, worldlotus

            Best home defense is a pistol, esp for women, elderly.
            And I know elderly and women that'll use em too.

            I live in Oregon, a castle state. I'll probly shoot the SOB just on GP but hey! I'm a liberal!
            (wrings hands)
             I abhor the unnecessary loss of life. So I'll try and shoot the sumbitch in the foot. I know thats not popular with my RKBA crowd but everyone has to live with themselves.

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 01:12:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I learned to shoot with my father's (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KenBee, worldlotus

              absolutely, legendarily beautiful pearl-handled six-guns. I was 11, he took us out to the old strip mine to shoot at tin cans and bottles. Really.

              But when I was a legal adult I had very young children. I refused to keep a handgun. I mean, let's face it... a handgun in a lock box isn't very useful on the spur of the moment. Have an M-1 (more than 35 years old) and Grandpa's shotgun. Neither are kept loaded, or all that handy.

              As I said, if they'd been determined enough to hit quickly, I was definitely outgunned and at a severe disadvantage. The odd thing I bet on when I confronted in my "best granny voilce" is that this particular person could perhaps BE swayed in this direction by targeted application. I've certainly heard of situations where nothing the victims did changed anything. In such a predicament, the difference between wounding and killing is not a pressing concern. That in itself is scary.

        •  If you won't use it, a gun is a danger to yourself (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wasatch, worldlotus

          Guns are dangerous tools.  If you own one, you need to understand the laws relating to the use of deadly force, then you need to think through who and what you will defend and what you will let slide, and lastly you need to practice with it enough to be able to rely on muscle memory when/if the time comes to use it.  An unloaded gun is just an expensive paperweight.  You can't be thinking about where the safety is, did I load it, how do I aim it, etc. when the shit has hit the fan.  You will have damn little warning that all this is about to happen.  If you can't or won't do all that, guns are not part of the right self defense plan for you.  

          •  this is one of the reasons I don't have one (4+ / 0-)

            I don't trust myself to be able to shoot and/or make the right decisions in a crisis. It would be more likely that the gun would be taken from me and possibly used against me.

            I have other reasons that I won't go into, but it's something I've thought out, and if my choice puts me at risk, well, I have to live with that.

            I can't make that decision for anyone else, and don't have a problem with responsible, trained people having guns for self-defense or for hunting (in fact, I was on my nephew's side when he wanted a hunting rifle against his parent's objection; he's a responsible kid living in the country, who'd done the training, and they eventually relented).

            It's just the best choice for me, as I see it.

            That said, some kind of self-defense training is something I should look into.

            •  Choose a good school, not a black belt mill (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FloridaSNMOM, worldlotus, wasatch

              Self defense is an interesting subject, very worthy of time and effort.  The training is beneficial, both mentally and physically.  It is long and hard, or at least it should be.  There are no free lunches, but there are people who will promise them.  

              Training will also be helpful in avoiding trouble and terror in the event that trouble finds you.  There are real limitations most of us bring to any sort of conflict.  Learning those limitations and developing the skillset to manage yourself in that conflict is perhaps more important than learning various kicks, punches, throws and holds.  

      •  I'm reccing this for "Louisville shampoo" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        exlrrp, worldlotus

        Quite a story, too!

      •  I hope you also bought plenty of training on how (0+ / 0-)

        to use it safely and effectively if necessary. That includes a tactical shooting class/course so that you can hit a moving target in a realistic situation, not just paper targets on a range.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:56:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The guy's an ex-LRRP from Vietnam. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Throw The Bums Out, happy camper

          Pretty sure he knows how to use a firearm.

          Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

          by KVoimakas on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:00:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am sure he does but that doesn't mean (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Be Skeptical

            more training isn't necessary both to keep your skills up to date and to know how to use it safely and effectively in a civilian setting.  For example, a F-14 pilot can't even fly an F-16 without additional training much less a commercial jet.

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:32:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I took the mandatory class for my license (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              But all the training in the world isn't a substitute for the will to do it. I got that in spades. You can have all the training in the world and still fuck up. Shit happens. Do the right thing.
              I go shooting at least once a month but nothing's going to train you for something like that. Even when youre ready for it, it will be alarming and surprising and you will be scrabbling and winging it the whole way..

              Believe it or not, discussion here on Dkos has forced me to look up a whole  bunch of stuff about my state (OR) and I now consider myself pretty well informed. I couldn't have written a better self defense law myself.
              I might point out that Oregon, where every little town has a gun store and guns are easily available, you can walk in and walk out of a Walmart with one, AND the ammo, has one of the lowest gun and violent crime rate in the nation.
              Go figure! Maybe its the cheese.

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 01:20:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        So you saw red, beat him with a baseball bat and kicked him enough to be afraid he might be dead.  Don't get me wrong, I get why you did this, especially with a young child in the house.  But if you had had the gun, would you have killed him?  It was New Year's Day; what if the intruder was some drunk idiot in the process of making a mistake, rather than someone coming to harm your family?

  •  what about (15+ / 0-)

    considering these security tools:

    baseball bat in your bedroom;

    consider going  to the hardware store and buying a staple gun the kind that also is a nail gun; get the heavy staples and nails and keep it loaded ready to use; that is an inexpensive effective defense weapon;

    check your state laws to see if you can purchase a stun gun for personal protection; they come in all sizes and shapes that look like something other than a stun gun; the small versions would  be good for your purse;

    at the hardware store get inexpensive flood lights; there are devices that will turn the lights on by sound or vibration;

    there are all kinds of things you can find by google surfing to guard your windows;

    always keep your cell phone charged and have 911 on the speed dialer;

    SING- - anyone can learn how to use personal self defense doesn't matter your size or strength;

    SING - strike zones

    solar plexus

    you tube has good videos on SING self defense instruction;

    do you keep old heavy wine bottles; they are nice thick heavy glass; it is a good inside house weapon in your kitchen;

    door jams:

    door jam

    door jam

    door stop alarm

    Inability to discern reality is the hallmark of schizophrenia. And because the Republicans control the US House of Representatives, there is no hope any legislation will be passed to address the climate crisis. ~ Dr Brian Moench

    by anyname on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:39:45 AM PST

  •  The indiference of neighbors (21+ / 0-)

    reminded me of a short horror story by Harlan Ellison called "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs". It can be found in a collection of Ellison's stories called "Deathbird Stories". Not that you particularly need anything frightening right about now but I personally keep it in mind. Yeah, I'm one of those neighbors that does call when something is wrong and I live in a fairly densely populated area in a relatively big city.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Reminders of the potential cost of indifference are needed every day.

    “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

    by Marko the Werelynx on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:53:05 AM PST

  •  I am thankful I haven't been scared or attacked- (30+ / 0-)

    what I wanted to add is about neighbors intervening. More than once I have been in a situation involving a fire that was just starting, in which no one else either believed what they saw, or knew what to do and did it.
         In one case, while walking down the street with my room mate in a college town, we saw smoke come out of the third floor window of one of the Frats and turn black and start to billow. Up and down the street people pointed at it to show each other but nobody moved. his was 1982, no way to call anybody unless you stopped what you were doing and stepped into a building and borrowed someone's phone or found a payphone. So no one called the fire department and then I realized that the only ones (besides the FD) who didn't know their house was on fire were the Fratboys themselves. I grabbed my room mate and dragged her (as she's yelling that we're going to look really silly in front of them if we're wrong, which I suspect is what paralyzed the other onlookers too), and we ran across the street right into their house and located them in the kitchen and begged them to come upstairs and see what was burning. They didn't believe it either until someone went and looked outside. It was remarkable how many people could say 'well, just look at that...' and then just look...The Fratboys had wired every thing they possibly could into the same old power outlet and their upstairs closet nearly burned their house down.

  •  Call to mind the Kitty Genovese myth (19+ / 0-)

    I have no neighbors but I do have a safe room for such events (yeh I have been paranoid since 1984); it has a steel door and multiple locks and a telephone line.  I also have my gun cabinet there (Warning I do own guns and accept the need for controls on such ownership though I am still upset I could not keep the Abrams tank or TOW for deer hunting)

    If such an event occurs to me (in 1980, I got a carload of drunks fighting each other in my front yard and am still waiting for the cops to arrive), I will retreat to the safe room or any other room if that one is not available to me.  I will stay there until help arrives.  I have no desire to be the next Wyatt Earp.

    The only scenario for deadly force would be for the intruder to decide to try to break down the door to my room.  Given the door frame is reinforced metal and the hinges are heavy duty and doubled, I doubt such a thing will happen.

    I am glad that you are safe and that you were not called upon to take someone's life.  While many people talk about the ease of killing another human being, such an event can haunt you for decades if not forever      

  •  I don't think I've ever heard any (6+ / 0-)

    'trailer trash' jokes.  In my area, the only 'joke' about trailers is that tornadoes seem to love them.  We're always told anyone in a trailer should get out during tornadoes, even if the only thing they can do otherwise is to find a ditch or other low spot to lie in.  (I've never lived in one, maybe if I did I'd hear more 'jokes', I guess.)

    •  What I've heard (10+ / 0-)

      are not actual jokes so much as casual references to people who live in trailers as trailer trash. It's obnoxious, as is white trash. People are not trash.
      Even Jimmy Buffett, much as I love him, ends "Son of a Son of a Sailor" with the line "I'm just glad I don't live in a trailer".  It's kind of a throwaway line he probably came up with cause it rhymes with sailor, and it's more about wanting to be on the open sea and not confined- but when I hear it I always think he probably just made some of his fans feel like crap.  

      •  Most Jimmy Buffett fans are mellow enough to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        let it go.

        There is a perception about living in trailers because sometimes people who live there behave badly.

        There are less expensive - so you get the price snobs for free.

        I do not think they are safe. I've heard them call 'tornado magnets' and growing up our hired man lived in one, and it burned done very quickly. This was during winter up north, so the heating system may have been the reason.

        "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

        by glorificus on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:15:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, trailer trash (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, SilentBrook, lupinella

      is a common reference. We're all supposed to have "tramp stamps" (another lovely term), mullets and wear cutoff jean shorts and wife beaters while drinking our Natty beer and swattin' flies.

      I live in tornado alley, but there are two storm shelters right here on the property. It isn't true that trailer parks are tornado magnets, but it is true they are generally destroyed if one should come that direction.

  •  I had that happen to me (17+ / 0-)

    Except it was the police beating on my door, having the wrong address by more than a mile - and they broke my door down into splinters, ripped the door frame out, pointed guns at me (my children were away that night),  and shot at the cat (missed) before they realized they were at the wrong house.

    They left, the door gaping open to the world at 2:30 in the morning, bullet holes in my wall and floor. No apologies, ever.  No money to repair and replace my door, door frame, wall, and floor.

    I got the door replaced the next day - couldn't have that gaping emptiness greeting my children when they returned home.  I covered up the bullet holes, and told my children I'd damaged the door frame putting in the new door.

    They bought it, because I am a rather incompetent carpenter and they knew I didn't have the money to hire someone to do it right. I'd complained about the old door for years, so they thought I'd finally saved enough to buy a new, metal clad door. It made them feel safer.

    So I know how you feel, in part.  The police were on your side in this, so that thought should be some comfort in the nights.

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:38:10 AM PST

  •  Signal and warning shots. (0+ / 0-)

    Reckless.  It worked this time, so no harm no foul, and at least someone's heart was in the right place.

  •  Your neigbor across the street (13+ / 0-)

    was shooting a gun into the air?!

    Do the bullets suddenly disappear when they reach a certain height?  That jackass is lucky he didn't kill someone.

    So relieved to hear you are safe.


    "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

    by skyounkin on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:07:55 AM PST

    •  Bullets falling from the sky reach a terminal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      velocity that is far less than the speed with which they leave the muzzle. That is why those falling bullets usually don't do the type of damage you fear - they don't fall at the same speed as if they were shot. It's physics.


      Send conservatives to for re-education.

      by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:28:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I knew someone killed by a "celebratory" bullet (13+ / 0-)

        fired into the air in New Orleans. It does happen. She's still dead.

        who doesn't want to wear the ribbon?!?

        by redacted stew on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:06:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Some real data. (9+ / 0-)

        This explains my answer:

        As for physics, it is really very simple, the kinetic energy is converted to a potential energy while climbing and then to kinetic again when falling, with some of it converted to a heat due to friction. The air friction is quite substantial, the landing velocity, which is reported to be in range 50-200 m/s, is significantly lower than muzzle velocity, which is usually 300-1000 m/s, but the velocity is still high enough to kill.

        And here is an example of the effect.

            People are injured, sometimes fatally, when bullets discharged into the air fall back down. The mortality rate among those struck by falling bullets is about 32%, compared with about 2% to 6% normally associated with gunshot wounds. The higher mortality is related to the higher incidence of head wounds from falling bullets.

            For example, in one study led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they found that 80% of celebratory gunfire-related injuries are to the head, feet, and shoulders. In the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, about two people die and about 25 more are injured each year from celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve, the CDC says. Between the years of 1985 and 1992, doctors at the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, treated some 118 people for random falling-bullet injuries. Thirty-eight Kuwaitis celebrating in 1991 at the end of the Gulf War by firing weapons into the air caused 20 deaths from falling bullets.

            Firearms expert Julian Hatcher has studied falling bullets and found that on average .30 caliber rounds reach terminal velocities of 300 feet per second (90 m/s) and larger .50 caliber bullets have a terminal velocity of 500 feet per second (150 m/s). A bullet traveling at only 150 feet per second (46 m/s) to 170 feet per second (52 m/s) can easily penetrate human skin and at 200 feet per second (60 m/s), that same bullet can penetrate the skull. Even a bullet that does not penetrate the skull may still result in an intracranial injury.


        So it appears it happens more than I initially thought. Thanks for making me look it up!

        Send conservatives to for re-education.

        by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:28:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And let me add, just to be crystal clear, (9+ / 0-)

          that anyone seen shooting their guns in the air like yosemite sam or in a celebratory manner should have that gun taken away and their RIGHT to possess any firearm examined and/or removed. It is NOT a safe thing to do, and it's not something I would take part in or endorse.

          My comment was never meant to endorse this kind of thing or suggest in any way that it is a good idea. Just wanted to be clear. Information is an ally.

          For my next trick I will discuss the super happy fun time that results when a drunk hunter drops a handful of .22 shells into a campfire to hear the "pop"....

          Send conservatives to for re-education.

          by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:40:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Terminal Velocity Still Pretty Fucking Bad (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Firearms expert Julian Hatcher studied falling bullets and found that .30 caliber rounds reach terminal velocities of 300 feet per second (90 m/s) and larger .50 caliber bullets have a terminal velocity of 500 feet per second (150 m/s).[8] A bullet traveling at only 150 feet per second (46 m/s) to 170 feet per second (52 m/s) can penetrate human skin,[9] and at 200 feet per second (60 m/s) it can penetrate the skull.[10] A bullet that does not penetrate the skull may still result in an intracranial injury.[11]
      •  Only if they are shot exactly straight up. (0+ / 0-)

        Mythbusters did a story on it.

        I used to be disgusted. Now I try to be amused. - Elvis Costello

        by gnbhull on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:26:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The sheriff said the same thing basically, and temporarily, the gun was taken away. He simply has/had to go through a little red tape to get it back.

  •  (((((leavingthezoo))))) (5+ / 0-)

    So glad you're okay.

    Remember. Bring them home. ● And he reminds me that we are playing a long game here … and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once -- Michelle Obama.

    by edsbrooklyn on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:23:15 AM PST

  •  If he had broken in you may have been killed. (4+ / 0-)

    It is situations like this in which guns are useful. Like it or not.

    Bring on the hate mail.

    Send conservatives to for re-education.

    by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:29:30 AM PST

  •  When I was a boy (13+ / 0-)

    we lived on a 22nd floor apartment in a high rise on the Mississippi River in St. Paul. In the wee hours of the morning, my mother heard - from way up there - screaming voices coming from the ground far below. (On the bank of the river, as it happens.) She called 911.

    Turns out it was a stabbing of a mother and son by the mother's significant other. Both victims survived. But it turned out my mother was the only person to dial 911.

    It may be most people slept through it -- I surely did -- but you'd think at least a few more people would have heard noises that loud, in the high rise itself, or in neighboring houses and apartments. I was actually pretty stunned that hers was the only call -- and that the call may have saved two lives.

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:42:37 AM PST

  •  Drunks at the wrong house (6+ / 0-)

    A drunk walked into my house, assuming she was at my neighbor's.  My dog scared the crap out of her.  It was kinda funny, but kinda scary too.

    A college student in Colorado got shot and killed when she wandered into the wrong house.  

    Alcoholism causes a lot of other problems -drunk driving, for example - that cause both the drunk and innocent people to get hurt or killed.  

    Glad you're ok.  

    PS: there is NOTHING wrong with living in a trailer.  "Trailer trash" is another way poor people are marginalized and stigmatized.  Trailers can be a lot warmer and more secure than other types of housing.  And certainly warmer and more secure than homelessness.

    We do not forgive. We do not forget. The whole world is watching.

    by Tracker on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:47:17 AM PST

  •  The little patter of feet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leavingthezoo, SilentBrook

    I lived in a duplex right next to an apartment building while I was in college.   My roommate woke in our duplex one night to the sound of someone very quietly trying to back the screws out of the screens over our window.  

    She crept up right by the window, and yelled, "I'm going to blow your f-ing head off if you don't get away from my window RIGHT NOW".

    Then, she heard the pitter patter of little feet trotting off.  

    The next morning, we examined the screws, and, yes, they had been freshly tampered with.

    It does definitely make you tend to sleep with one ear open.  

    I'm sorry you had this terrifying experience.    I hope that when you move out of that neighborhood, you can leave this trauma behind.

  •  Terrifying moment (6+ / 0-)

    If you'd had a gun, you might have felt more in control. You also might have fired through your door and killed a man who was very likely too damn drunk to know where he was or what he was doing. I don't think anyone would have blamed you for doing so.

    And, yes, it is better to call 911 when you aren't sure it's needed.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:53:40 AM PST

  •  Something very similar happened to me (11+ / 0-)

    a very long time ago.

    Only I did have a gun.

    The police dispatcher told me, "you can't be waving a gun around."

    I said, "I'm not waving it around, it's carefully aimed at the center of the door, and my finger is off the trigger, but when he breaks thru my door, I'm going to start shooting. So get the cops here before that happens."

    It was my landlord who didn't think any "bitch" should be asking him to turn down his music at 3 AM in the morning.

    The police said they would arrest him "if he caused me any more trouble."

    Apparently trying to kick down a woman's door isn't "trouble" enuf for arrest. Exactly why women need to learn how to defend themselves.

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Nov: Lives lost trying to earn a living.

    by JayRaye on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:59:08 AM PST

  •  Be kind to yourself (8+ / 0-)

    As you recover from this terrible experience.

    I wanted to note something that seems to follow from what you said in the diary, though I could be misunderstanding. But it sounds like the guy was not intending to break into anybody's place with hostile intent. He got into an altercation with the neighbor, the neighbor started firing what were intended to be warning shots, the guy thought he was being shot at and tried to take shelter in his girlfriend's mom's place, but unfortunately was mistaken about where he was. In a panic, he tried to force the door open. He was probably desperately yelling to the GF's mom (he thought) to be let him in. It sounds like he was drunk and confused, the neighbor with the gun was scared and stupid, and the result was a big mess. If this is right it's important. There was no terrible villain in the story, just a lot of scared people, variously out of it, and you and your step-father were the only ones who showed good sense, even though terrified. If you had had guns, somebody would quite likely be dead.

    Good going, even though it may not feel like it!

    •  i have left quite a bit out (5+ / 0-)

      as I tried to reveal it as it was revealed to me.

      The gun shooting neighbor was not scared. He was angry. Prior to this event, they were apparently all drinking (and possible drugging). An argument broke out and escalated. Both parties are not unknown to the police. The man who landed on my porch has prior convictions for assault and battery as well as spousal abuse. (I have since found this out.) The men who live across the street (an elderly man and his three adult boys) have had their own share of trouble with the law. The sons specifically have been in and out of jail for various drug charges tied to meth and assault and battery. It was me who called the cops on them two years ago when one of the sons broke the windshield of a woman as she tried to drive away from their home.

      I understand what your saying, but intent means little when you are on the other side of the door.

  •  always . . . (7+ / 0-)

    because it could be me needing help and I would like to believe others would do for me what I would do, and have done, for them.

    The last time I called the police it was because an argument  at the local Taco Bell was escalating - I was across the street and heard it.

    I can't imagine someone not calling for their neighbors or someone they see (or hear) that needs help.  

    Better that the first responders get 100 calls about the same thing than none.

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:09:05 AM PST

  •  Do you think you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leavingthezoo, SilentBrook

    would have called 911 if it had been someone other than you when the incident happened?

    I'm just curious as we are kind of trained to not respond anymore. We've all been conditioned to go the other way when something is happening that could get us hurt. If you get a chance, when something is happening around you that can cause harm to someone, watch what most of the people are doing. The are usually going away from what ever is happening. (Fires of course are a different thing. Everybody likes to watch a good fire.)

    There will only be a small number of people who will be moving toward any dangerous incident. And, some of those only so they can watch.

    I do not know what I would have done in your shoes. But, I think you did good.

    Keep moving. Its harder to hit a moving target.

    by KatGirl on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:34:11 AM PST

    •  In this situation, I am confident (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, SilentBrook, wasatch

      had I heard the commotion and it was happening to a neighbor I would have called. I have in the past on the guys across the street for a different situation. One of the sons busted the windshield of a woman who was trying to drive away from their home. I called. Without hesitation. But, there have been other events where I questioned should I call or not. Usually prolonged yelling between families, etc. Anymore, I will be calling. If I am asking myself, "Should I?" Then the answer is yes.

  •  Good luck finishing the degree and (6+ / 0-)

    a well written piece.

  •  I think self-defense classes would be very helpful (5+ / 0-)

    easing your fears of being shaky or frozen in a crisis.
       We do what we are trained to do in tough circumstances, and you didn't have any guidance.
       Even a simple pre-thought out plan like "Get the bat from by the bed" with the accompanying knowledge that you've practiced your swing and know what to aim at, or: "Out the back window, get the car keys and cell!" might clear your head and ready your nerves.

  •  You could have unleashed a hail of gunfire legally (5+ / 0-)

    of course, I myself have no actual gun to unleash my own hail of gunfire.

    I do martial arts and put my stock into my skills. I'd have been 55% freaked and 45% ready to throw down.

    Of course stories like this remind me I do need a shotgun in the house. Shotgun is the ideal home defense weapon.

    And then a nice big dog is a fabulous deterrent.

    I'll have a new dog before I have a real gun.

    Sorry you had to experience that.

    Understand you are allowed to protect yourself by any means necessary in your own home.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:47:45 AM PST

  •  Echoing the recommendation (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leavingthezoo, kurt, SilentBrook, wasatch

    for a dog. After years of living in places where I couldn't have a dog, we got Lilly two years ago, a Sheltie/Aussie Shepherd mix. She's remarkably lazy and quiet for a Sheltie, but if anyone tries to get into our home, they're going to be greeted by a rumbling growl, loud barking, and some very pointy teeth!

    My aunt lived out in the sticks, and had a gentle giant of a GSD named Frank. Kids climbed all over that dog, and he barely blinked. I'm terrified of GSDs, and I adored Frank.
     My cousin had run afoul of some shady characters, and they came looking for him one day when Aunt Nancy was home alone. Frank came to the door with her, and just stood there, teeth bared, letting out an occasional low growl. One of the men asked, "Does that dog bite?"

    Aunt Nancy shrugged, and said, "I don't know. Would you like to come in and find out?"

    They decided discretion was the better part of valor, and left.

    please visit my etsy shop at

    by Stucko on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:47:47 AM PST

  •  You did everything right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leavingthezoo, kurt, SilentBrook

    and were lucky that whichever neighbors were aware of the situation took whatever action they did. Glad they caught the guy, and glad you're OK.

    Years ago we heard a murder out our window one night around 4 AM. Multiple shots fired with the victim attempting to flee but chased by car down the block for the final fatal shots. I kept my head down and the family away from that side of the apartment until I heard the car speed away and knew danger was over. There were several witnesses and lots of people called the cops. But my first instinct was self-preservation, since the first shots were fired right outside our building. Don't be too hard on your neighbors, it's just human nature. In the case of the murder on our block, that killer was very intent on murder (it was a love triangle revenge, the victim was a close friend of the killer), and whoever might have tried to intervene would surely be dead today.

    We all have close shaves in life. There but for the grace of G** go any of us. Glad you not only lived to tell the tale, but actually told the tale. Be well.

  •  I used to suffer from (5+ / 0-)

    fear of pissing off my neighbors by calling the police.  But since I've been followed through my neighborhood in a car by a guy in a van, and had random people come up and bang on my door (then run away when hearing two barking Shar Peis), and someone stealing my mail... yeah I just call.  I've even had this discussion with a wonderful officer, who told me to just call if I felt unsafe and worried that something was going on.  1.  There is a firehouse about two blocks from my house, and 2. there is a bar about three blocks from my house notorious for issues.  The officer said they would rather be called out and find nothing worth note than not be called and people are injured or killed.

    With the exception of going overboard and calling for stupid things, but he said he wasn't worried about that with  me with the way I spoke to him, hah.

  •  I'm grateful you're okay. (3+ / 0-)

    If it makes you feel better, I DO call the police.

    I really haven't heard anything that made me fear for my safety. I called the police three times on neighbors who were having loud parties at night, especially during the week. Those people moved out of the house. I guess they wanted a neighborhood that thought loud parties at night were okay. But my child and other children sleep in my neighborhood. And I am fond of a good night's sleep before working all day myself. The next person who moved into that house only required one visit from the police during a late night party.

    A couple down the street get into loud and violent sounding fights sometimes. I call the police then too. The kids don't need to hear that shit and I hope that the realization that someone living nearby is calling the police. So the violence doesn't escalate.

    It's our right to live in safe neighborhoods that are healthy places for our children to grow up. Where the people driving by obey the speed limit signs and do not put our playing children and their pets at risk. Where violence is not welcome. And, frankly, I don't welcome loud drunks and their loud music either.

  •  We were staying in a cheapo hotel one night (7+ / 0-)

    in Portland, and in the middle of the night there's this horrific pounding on the door, someone literally throwing himself against the door and hollering.  I was butt naked and all I could do was just cower under the covers.  (I have never slept naked in a hotel never know if a fire or earthquake or intruder might happen).

    paradise50 (mrcreek) is not a large man...he's 5'7" but very wiry and tough.  He launched himself out of bed and without hesitation swung the door open very suddenly so that the guy's momentum against the door made him stagger forward and off balance.  Then p50 somehow made himself look VERY BIG (I still don't know how he did that) and yelled right back in the guy's face while stepping into his space and making him reflexively back off. To this day I have no idea how he just knew to do that, but it completely shifted the momentum. The guy was well over 6 feet tall and obviously very drunk and could have flattened p50 with one punch but now the guy was staggering backwards with his hands up while this human equivalent of a terrier very loudly kept coming at him.

    Turned out he had the wrong room.  He was holding up a hotel key with our room number on it and asking for Ginger (a prostitute?). p50 looked at the key and roared at him that it was for the hotel across the street. So now the guy was all meek and apologetic and left.

    I've thought that night over many, many times and wonder if I could do the same, but I doubt it.  As women we are just not trained to be aggressive.  And I'd had a self-defense course, too.  

    I think you handled the situation just right.  Do what you need to feel safe.  When we moved to this rural are and p50 was still commuting to the bay area to work for the first year, I got a big dog, and that really helped. There was no way I was going to get a gun.

    I'm not saying the GOP is nearing irrelevance but they're putting out a Christmas album.
    ~~ LOLGOP

    by smileycreek on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:05:41 AM PST

    •  Wow. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smileycreek, jan4insight, madhaus, wasatch

      Remind me never to pound crazily at your motel door at 2:00 AM when next we meet.  

      Who would have thought?

      •  I know. I never knew he had that in him. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jan4insight, madhaus, wasatch

        Afterwards he said the most important thing is to turn your opponent's Qi and momentum against him and throw him off balance.  Especially if you're a little guy like him.

        I'm not saying the GOP is nearing irrelevance but they're putting out a Christmas album.
        ~~ LOLGOP

        by smileycreek on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:41:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I had it happen at a Marriott in the Chicago Loop (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smileycreek, wasatch, KenBee

      Drunks, creeps, etc. pull stunts in any kind of hotel.  I prayed the door would hold while I called the front desk.  Security took care of it.

      Not fun being a woman traveling alone.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:38:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not all women take to that training very well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smileycreek, KenBee

      I have absolutely NO flight or freeze on the fight/flight/freeze response spectrum.
      As an abused kid who was the youngest of five, I've seen the wide range of reactions in my siblings: eldest sister was a conciliator, second sister was exactly like me, brother booby-trapped his room & stockpiled weapons, sister closest in age to me was manipulative [not necessarily a bad skill-set for the situation - she was the least abused.]
      As an adult I've found myself in numerous dodgy situations. [I like to think it's no more than average, but that REALLY frightens me as to averages.]
      Once a guy twice my size tried to break into a rehearsal room I was in. It was securely locked. I opened the door & chased him around & out of the theatre, screaming abuse and threats at him. Campus cops came, & reassured me that he had definitely left. My two friends joined me, but one of them was diabetic, so I had them go together to the cafeteria because she was getting faint.
      While they were gone, he came back.
      What happened was an exact repeat. Yeah. I know.

      Had a stalker who sent me flowers & a suicide note... with 'murder/suicide' subtext. I showed up at his apartment, & when he opened the door I threw the vase at his head with enough force to shatter it hard against the opposing wall. Screamed at him that if he wanted to kill himself, then FINE, but do NOT threaten me or put the onus on me.

      There have been a few other situations - one of which is VERY similar to the original poster's.

      I agree whole-heartedly with you that society trains women to be non-aggressive, & am in NO way bragging about this trait of mine - it could easily get me killed one day. As a child, it almost was the death of both my sister & me. [She passively committed suicide a couple of years ago. Yay, PTSD.] Simply adding my perspective that both nature & nurture can cause primal responses to vary widely.

      I find it [in no way] funny that whatever way a person reacts to a violent situation [am particularly thinking of sexual assault issues, due to my personal context of these situations], victims are frequently blamed to some degree.

      [BTW - love the 'terrier' comment as to your husband; I've always said I'm part poodle due to my responses - my teacup  toy poodle always jumped in to protect me as a child.]

      My other car is a Tardis.

      by lupinella on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:08:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes to everything you said. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        My husband and his siblings were abused as children, both psychologically and physically. His  two brothers never made it out of adolesence and his remaining sister is a hopeless drug addict.  His basic philosophy in life is, I won't fuck with you, but do not fuck with me.  There is a reason he survived his childhood. He is also mentally tough which is what helped him get through brutal cancer treatment this past year.

        You and he are very similar.  He sometimes jokes he'll get killed in a 7/11 one day interfering with a robbery.  He is not the guy who would stand by and watch, or run out the door. Bullies bring out the fighter in him. I think you're survivors.

        After being sexually assaulted at age 17 and having the classic "freeze" response (which in this case turned out to save my life; either a fight or flight could have gotten me shot) I took self defense courses because I never wanted to freeze up like that again.  But in that hotel room I defaulted right back to it.  I don't like that this is my response to violence (I respond exceedingly well to any type of medical emergency) but it does seem to be my first response.

        I really appreciate your comment.

        I'm not saying the GOP is nearing irrelevance but they're putting out a Christmas album.
        ~~ LOLGOP

        by smileycreek on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:45:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  holy cow, I'm so glad you were not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    injured, other than the lingering fears brought on by this incident.

    I'm also aghast that more neighbors were not willing to simply call police and report a disturbance. What in the world is wrong with people these days?

    But it begs the question, whether or not you are willing to discuss it, whom exactly did you think was out there, and why would you be afraid for your life because of this person?

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

    by Angie in WA State on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:15:02 AM PST

    •  Beyond thinking it was my stepfather (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, SilentBrook

      trying to wake me because something had happened to mom, I had no ideas as to who it could be. literally none. i was afraid for my life because someone i did not know was trying to bust down my door for a reason i did not know.

      i'm not sure I get what you're getting at with these particular questions, though? Do you think I must've brought this on with something I have done?

      •  gosh no, just from reading the piece (0+ / 0-)

        I got the idea that you thought it was someone in particular, and that someone was someone whom you had reason to fear.

        Like an ex-spouse or lover or something of that nature.

        Glad to hear it was a case of 'mistaken house' and nothing more.

        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

        by Angie in WA State on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:02:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Um, somebody was banging on her door (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leavingthezoo, Catte Nappe, tommymet

      in the middle of the night, loud enough and hard enough that her trailer was shaking.

      What else do you need to know? And why is it any of your business?

      Handmade holiday gifts from Jan4insight on Zibbet. Get 10%off everytime with coupon code KOSSACK.

      by jan4insight on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:07:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  She had no clue who it was out there (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leavingthezoo, jan4insight, KenBee

      The "unknown" was presumably part of what caused the fear. It also sounds like it's a bit of a rough neighborhood. I know that some years ago I had some stranger pounding on my door in the middle of the night demanding to be let in. I hollered through the door "I don't know who you are", and the answer was "Open the door and you'll find out". Right. I was talking to 911 at that point, and I was afraid, and I had to idea "who exactly I thought was out there".

      " can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

      by Catte Nappe on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:00:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You know, I've made the call. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Perhaps 3 times, in various circumstances, but always it's alarm that a woman seems in trouble from a man.  Funny how that is.  And I always feel like such an idiot for making the call, and worry that I'm misunderstanding something, being paranoid, being a busybody.  I can understand why people don't get involved.  It's always good to have a reminder that it is better to risk being unnecessarily concerned about somebody than to see (or, more commonly, hear) their lives in danger and do nothing.

    Of course, your one neighbor did try to do something, though it's not what you or I would have done!-- they tried to protect you by scaring the guy away with gunshots.  Maybe that's a dumb thing to do, but they were trying.

  •  beyond thinking it was my stepfather (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    trying to wake me because something had happened to mom, I had no ideas as to who it could be. literally none. i was afraid for my life because someone i did not know was trying to bust down my door for a reason i did not know.

    i'm not sure I get what you're getting at with these particular questions, though? Do you think I must've brought this on with something I have done?

  •  You did right. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Your report never has you saying where you lived, which would have been wrong, but since the cops got there, yoiu must have done that right, as well.

    Calling the cops is the right thing.

  •  Very scary story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leavingthezoo, KenBee

    Wow. I am glad you're safe.

  •  Ugh. A dangerous neighborhood (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leavingthezoo, KenBee

    with too many lowlifes around.  Their proximity is a threat, to self and others.

    No one calls because too many of them are uncomfortable around cops.  In a more prosperous enclave, so much as a few minutes of boom-box noise merits a police call, let alone forced entry and altercations with gunfire.

    This fear did not have your name on it.  It had the name of the woman who thought he was "comin' through your door" and did nothing to protect you.  None of us wants to trade places with HER, that's for sure.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:51:26 AM PST

  •  Wingnuts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I work with a bunch of Wingnuts, and I just know how they'd react to this particular story:

    "Well, if those pussy liberals hadn't made it a crime to defend ourselves, mebbih they woulda shot that asshole instead of shootin' the air!"

    "Where was her gun at, huh?  Little lady like that should have a gun to protect herself!"

    "Where was her husband at?  Doesn't that girly know living by yourself as a woman is stupidly dangerous?  If she'd had a man around t'house he could have defended her!"

    Depressing snark aside, I'm glad you're ok.  Only a few months until you're in a better place, right?

    •  Right! Heh. (0+ / 0-)

      And, yeah, this is exactly the type of stuff I'm hearing. I know, however, half these people so confident about their own response in such a situation have never been through it, and might be in for a big surprise if it happens to them. You don't see events unfolding. You're suddenly smack dab in the center of chaos, and what you think you might do is sometimes completely different than what you actually do.

      For example, I would have never dreamed I would have tried to call my parents first. That was just... I don't even know what that was.

  •  I was trying to think of the program that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    helped my friend Terry when she found out that her now-ex hub (an airline pilot) had a chick in every, and I mean every, port.
    Her psychologist treated her using EMDR, which acronym that I'd written on a piece of paper and I just found that paper this instant.
    Terry supposedly had short-term PTSD from this cheater. When she found out, she spent weeks online acting as a private eye -- and she was good! -- and finding out more and more about her ex-jerk. She may have had two or three EMDR sessions and said it helped her enormously.

    I ♥ President Obama. ~ Yes, we did. Again.
    NOW: Hands off SocSec, Medicare and Medicaid. NO Grand Bargain.
    Rich pay a bit more. DoD take a bit less. End war on Afghanistan sooner.

    by OleHippieChick on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:17:00 AM PST

  •  I'm so glad you're okay (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is there any way you can  move?

    "Republicans are poor losers and worse winners." - My grandmother, sometime in the early 1960s

    by escapee on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:17:33 AM PST

    •  I won't move (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      until I leave in the summer. I've seriously considered it, but that would be two moves in 6 months, and cost wise, is out of reach for me. And, too, in the 4 or so years I have lived here, this is the first time I have felt personally threatened. I've just gotta keep my head down and my nose clean until I can leave without looking back.

  •  You need to buy a gun. (0+ / 0-)

    Living in such helpless situations, defies logic IMO.

  •  You did the right thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, leavingthezoo, OldDragon

    Glad you're ok.   I'll vote w/ the folks who recommend a good guard dog.  Burglars, drunks and druggies don't like to mess with dogs.  

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:42:35 AM PST

  •  DAMN you know how to write a good story, have (0+ / 0-)

    you tried writing a fiction novel?

  •  Good reason to keep a gun for protection (0+ / 0-)

    A single woman living alone in a trailer park doesn't sound like a safe situation to me.  If it were someone I loved, I would want that woman to have a handgun for the times when police don't get there in time, or the neighbors don't have a gun.

    Maybe trailers are different from what I remember, but as I recall kicking in the door of one would be pretty easy, no?

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 02:06:12 PM PST

    •  Oddly enough, (0+ / 0-)

      had he come to my back door, he probably would have been able to simply knock it in with one good kick. The front door was recently replaced with a metal door and deadbolt lock. The door prior to being installed just took a shifty jiggle and quick bump to pop it open.

      To be quite honest, I do not know how the door held even with the update. I am not convinced it would have had he not heard sirens and continued to ram into the door instead of leaving in his vehicle.

  •  My thoughts are with you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, leavingthezoo

    And my hope that you never have to face anything like this again.
    Please do consider counseling - this sort of violent event can cause PTSD. If that is not your choice, a support system of family & friends is a wonderful alternative.
    [sends virtual hugs, if needed]

    My other car is a Tardis.

    by lupinella on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:18:09 PM PST

  •  That was terrible -- I hope you are feeling better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It takes some time to get over something like this and it seems to come and go.   I'm glad that you are OK and the person is in jail (still, I hope.)

    We are still dealing with our break-in, meeting with the prosecutor tomorrow to prepare for the trial of the one person who was caught.  It brings the shakes back, and now it sounds like we will have to testify.  (How can somebody who is found with your stuff in their car expect to win at trial?   We have like 100 pictures of us in the clothes that we identified.)    

    I'm still haunted by the sight of the open knife by the window of the building that I was blundering around in the dark within, unknowing that the sounds that I heard were in fact at least two methheads hiding from me and not the racoons I thought.  I was between them and the only exit.   Thank god I was in a hurry and didn't search very well.

    Sounds like you are also dealing with a bunch of meth-heads.     Meth makes people think they are smart while they do insanely supid things.

    Logitech makes some fairly inexpensive IP cameras with built-in video recording. Very simple, plug in, and monitor from the internet or iphone/android.   (You can put it on your porch and give people you trust the password.)   At least you can see what is going on which might not be comforting in this case but would have let you know it was a stranger at the door.    We have a bunch now and they work well.

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