The Odessa Record -

Letter to the Editor

Big City Curse affecting Seattle, says local writer

 

Last updated 2/25/2020 at 1:34pm



To the Editor:

The latest shootings in downtown Seattle reinforces all the reasons to live here in Odessa! It’s the Big City Curse. Things have changed a lot in the last 60 years since I was a child there. The stuff I did as a kid there in the 50s and 60s would be totally unacceptable, outright dangerous or illegal today!

Things were so much simpler back then. Gun regulations were unheard of. As a kid, I could go to the hunting supply store, buy gun powder, ammo, even my first 22 rifle at age 12. No drive-bys or kids shooting each other back then.

The McDonalds restaurant where the shooting occurred and the one a block away at the West Lake Mall that same week, were located where I caught the bus in downtown Seattle. It’s the central hub for all the buses, where you transfer to any other bus line.

By age seven I was taking the buses across town to the pool at Green Lake by myself for swim lessons. A two-hour ride, one way, with transfers. No one worried that you were a young kid taking the bus alone back then, no matter the time of day.

Gangs back in the 50s and 60s were a lot less violent. You would be followed, and they waited outside wherever you were, school, store, restaurant or getting off the bus. Things were settled with your fists in an alley. It was very rare for someone to be injured enough to require a visit to the ER. Even rarer for someone to die. Most injuries were black eyes, a bloody nose, bloody knuckles, scrapes and bruises.

Nowadays they’re armed with a 9-mm Glock or similar handgun with a high capacity magazine. One of the shooters let out 20 shots in a matter of seconds. That’s why deaths and injuries among the innocent can be so high. They are caught in the crossfire.

Such an act forever changes their outlook on life, as well as that of the bystanders who witness the carnage as it happens. Is it safe to go outside or should I hide inside today? Nightmares and mental health issues may burden them for the rest of their lives, especially the children. Our future! Traumatized for life by vicious, uncaring people not man enough to settle the score with their fists, instead hiding behind a gun.

Now, instead of waiting outside with their fists, they just walk into anyplace and start shooting, not caring about all the innocent people all around. No one is safe!

Seattle now is like Houston was in the late 70s. Shootings and death counts over the last 24 hours were reported on the evening news, as were the week’s totals of dead and wounded on the Friday night 6 p.m. news.

It was so scary living there in 1978-79, that as soon as our newborn son could fly, we got out of

there, feeling lucky to have made it out alive.

Pat Gamache

 

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