GUNMAN SHOT AT U.S. CAPITOL BUILDING
ONE TOURIST INJURED BY SHRAPNEL
So you’ve probably all heard, read and seen about the incident at the U.S. Capitol Building yesterday. About 2:30 yesterday afternoon, my partner went out for his afternoon run. He usually runs from our house, past the Capitol and down the hill, to the Mall. Sometimes he goes as far as the Lincoln Memorial about three miles from here. As he left, I went around the corner to the 7-11 for an afternoon cup of coffee and a visit to the Northeast Branch D.C. Pubic Library spiffy little terrace to let the sun shine on my pale face. When I returned, he was in the kitchen brewing some tea. “What’s up?” I asked. “Roads were blocked off. Couldn’t get through. Maybe a tree down.” That’s odd, I thought. We normally don’t have downed trees absent a hurricane, a massive snowfall or a summer afternoon barn-burner of a thunderstorm. He took his tea upstairs but a minute later called down “Turn on CNN. There’s been a shooting at the Capitol.”
Through my mind flashed pictures of Paris and Brussels – that’s what we Washingtonians instantly think of since 9-11- but apparently there was only one shooter who had been captured. Whatever took place, took place in the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center.
Now, of course, the big question is how did someone get a gun through all the security measures or does the Visitor’s Center not have them? I have not visited the Capitol Building since the Center was constructed so I have no idea what the arrangements are. Apparently the shooter was shot – just heard he was being transported to a hospital – and one woman injured by shrapnel.
Nearly all of the on-air news readers are expressing thanks that Congress is not in session and no House Representatives or Senators are in town so there weren’t any in the U.S. Capitol Building. It’s Easter, after all, although it does seem that Congressmen and Congresswomen have a whole lot more days off than you or I do. But – and I don’t want to seem ungrateful or disrespectful, here – but would anyone have noticed if Congress had been in session given that they don’t really do all that much anyway? Or at least something that one might describe as “legislating”? Hmmmmm……..
What most folks don’t realize, is that we here in the world’s Free Market Capitalist Capital of the Free World, we are treated to all sorts of lesser security breaches only a few of which make the national news. Almost weekly some frenzied individual (always male) tries to throw himself over the White House fence, presumably on a mission to tell Obama what a lousy job he’s doing. It’s only the ones who actually make it over the double fence that the rest of the nation hears about. Then, too, every so often some Red Blooded Uber Patriot American type in a pick-up truck loaded with AR-15’s and flying the Confederate flag is stopped outside the White House grounds – or the U.S. Treasury Building gates next door to the White House as happened one time. It’s not a daily occurrence, but it happens often enough that we don’t really pay much attention to such incidents any longer. Hey, D.C. is a fabulous place to live and we are certainly not going to let these nut-jobs deter us from going down to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms or stop taking our daily runs down Constitution Avenue that runs right next to the Supreme Court and the Capitol except in your “active shooter” situations.
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE:
Just hearing on the news that the individual who was shot and injured by the Capitol Police was known to them and is a minister from Tennessee. Authorities identified the wounded suspect as Larry Russell Dawson. The 66-year-old Dawson previously was arrested in October in the District after he allegedly disrupted Congress by shouting that he was a “prophet of God.”
After failing to show up for a hearing in November over the “prophet of God” incident, he wrote the court in January, saying: “I have been called chosen and sent unto You this day. I am not under the Law! Therefore, I will not comply with the court order, nor will I surrender myself unto your office.”
Ah! Religion. What a wonder to behold!
So there you have it folks. All I can say is, if you plan to visit my hometown, Washington, D.C., we can offer you not only the best free museum and gallery complex in the world, friendly, liberal native residents, but if you’re lucky you also may be privileged to be involved in a movie-style shoot-em-up! Nutjob preachers? Please. We attract them like flies to honey.
PS: If you haven’t come to D.C. to see the cherry blossoms yet, it’s gotten pretty breezy this afternoon so you might be too late.