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Call Me David

The story is fiction. The issues are real.

Some moments call for a good man with stones.


     It was a Thursday. Not unlike any Thursday in any small town. An unassuming grey-haired man in his late fifties quietly parked his forest green pickup truck in the downtown village lot.

      He turned off the ignition, then checked his cell phone for messages.  Finding none, he removed his keys from the ignition, opened his door, slid keys and cell phone into his faded blue jeans front pockets, closed and locked his truck door, and began mentally sorting plans for the day while he strolled into town.

    It was 10am. The streets were already busy. The morning sun had brought out both tourists and residents. Across the main thoroughfare, the lakeside park’s farmers market was bustling. A welcoming breeze blew cool air in off the lake. 

       “We’re gonna need it today.” He thought to himself as he walked along the far sidewalk paralleling the farmers market. “It’s gonna get hot.”  

     The grey-haired man lived in a small side street house with his dog. His wife was in heaven. He had come into town to buy a birthday gift for his grown out-of-town son.

     “Man! That farmers market sure makes it busy around here!” He thought.

     “People crossing the street back and forth, so much traffic. I don’t remember it ever being this busy.  Folks aren’t paying attention.  Somebody’s gonna get hit.   Somebody needs to be down here directing all this traffic. They could sure use a…”

     “POP! POP! POP! POP!”  His brain immediately registered: “Gunfire!”

Sure enough, he saw the first victim drop. His instincts were right.  The man’s thoughts had been suddenly interrupted by four rapid fire gun shots. A small-town Thursday morning had suddenly descended into mass shooter chaos.

     People immediately began running and screaming. Cars screeched their tires. Pandemonium reigned. The staccato continued. Some hit by cars, some by gunfire, it was hard to tell what was going on as people ran.  Several more victims went down.

    The grey-haired man reacted instinctively. He ran into the street and scooped up two screaming kids. Their mother lay in the middle of the street in a pool of her own blood. They were standing paralyzed in the kill zone.  Their mother was dead. He whisked the kids to safety behind a streetside parked car.

      He tried to slow his breathing and racing heart as he simultaneously attempted to quiet two screaming kids and carefully peek up his head.

     “POP!! POP!!…POP!! POP!! POP!!” The gunfire continued. The grey-haired man watched a woman running with her infant son suddenly collapse in a heap. He quickly counted seven bodies in all as he tried to pinpoint the shooter.

     “There!”  He spotted the gunman. Across the street, shooting from behind a big maple about sixty yards further up the street on the far end of the park.

     The grey-haired man did not hesitate. He left the two kids huddled together behind the car’s rear tire. “Stay put. Don’t move. You’ll be safe here for now.”

     He quickly working his way up the street, masking his movement, moving car to car, until he was above and behind the shooter’s position across the street by the big maple. The shooter was still firing. There were sirens now, in the distance. Victims kept falling. Help would clearly arrive on the scene too late for some of them.

     The grey-haired man reached a point where a stone filled drainage culvert crossed under the street. It emptied into the lake at the top end of the park, about twenty yards behind the shooter.

     The grey-haired man dropped down into the gravel filled drainage streambed. As he did so, he reached down quickly and carefully selecting three small, rounded stones.  The man shifted two stones to his left hand, gripping one in his right palm, which was sweating.

For a brief moment while his conscious mind planned his next move, time stood still. His subconscious mind suddenly flashed back.

     A small boy stood in his yard pitching a pile of freshly made snowballs. He was a big-league pitcher. The trunk of a big maple tree was his strike zone.  He was mowing down hitters with his rifled right arm.

       The grey-haired man took a deep breath to calm his nerves.

     That same young boy now stood down by the river, chucking rocks. A live target swam by.  It was a mallard.  He took aim and fired. A short while later there was a knock at his door. A state trooper loomed over he and his mother. “Yes officer, it was me. I killed the town duck, down by the river, chucking rocks.”

     The shooter had not spotted him yet. The lone gunman was faced forward, towards the panicked crowd, still rapid firing.  The grey-haired man had been here before, in that pivotal moment, when everything moves in slow motion:  

     “SGT Guerra! Don’t move!” A young Army Ranger leading drug war patrols on the Mexican border barked the order.  In one smooth motion the lieutenant scooped up a rock from the desert sand with his right hand and let fire.

     “Sir! Great shot! You hit that rattle snake in the head with one shot. Saved my life!”

     “Couldn’t afford to fire a round from my weapon, SGT Guerra. Our whole mission would have been compromised. We’d have ended up in a firefight.”   

       The grey-haired man flashed back to the present.  One more mass shooter’s victim fell.

     “Gotta Go NOW!” He thought, as he exited the roadside culvert and crossed the street about twenty yards above and behind his assault rifle armed target.

     As soon as the grey-haired man hit the park side of the road, he saw the spent mag fall from the rifle. The shooter had paused to re-load.

     The grey-haired man quickly took aim and fired, just as the shooter reached down into his backpack for another magazine filled with ammo.

     “THWACK!” His first shot whizzed just past the shooter’s head and ricocheted off the tree.

     Startled by this unexpected assault from behind him, the shooter stood up and turned towards the grey-haired man as he slapped in a new mag.

He turned just in time to catch the second stone above his right temple. His weapon’s muzzle dropped. A final burst of gunfire harmlessly spit up dirt at his feet. His right eye socket gushed blood. He began to fall forward.

     At that very moment, bullhorns began blaring, a gunshot volley rang out.  The police had arrived on the scene. The shooter went face down.

     Seeing the police on the scene and hearing the sirens, the grey-haired man quickly re-entered the culvert and disappeared in the mayhem before anyone noticed.

     Once the police reached the shooter’s body and ascertained that he was indeed dead, they turned him over. He had an AR-15 style assault rifle, loaded with a nearly full 30 round magazine.  His blood-soaked body had eighteen gunshot wounds and a strange concave indentation just above his right temple. No one noticed the small blood-stained rock lying in the dirt beside him.

     Safely back in his truck in the parking lot, the grey-haired man sat a moment, calming his nerves, gathering his wits about him, slowing his heartrate and breathing.

     He was eager to avoid all the sure to come hubbub and holler.  He had no need for the furor and turmoil that went with being a hero.  The scene was clearly under control now. He had answered the call. The grey-haired man’s mission was complete.

     He started his engine and turned on his truck’s news radio as he prepared to head home.  A reporter was on the scene:

     “I am here at the farmers market, where I am sad to report there’s been yet another mass shooting. Apparently seven people were killed, including three children, although that number may go up. Several more are now being treated for injuries in area hospitals. If it wasn’t for the swift, brave action of our local law enforcement officers, who quickly responded and took down the shooter, there would undoubtedly have been many more.”  


       The grey-haired man turned off the radio and sat thinking:

     “What just happened?! How do these mass shootings keep happening?!

We have a whole litany of state and federal hunting regulations designed to regulate hunters and their firearms. Licensing, registration, and hunter’s safety course requirements on both the state and federal level. Magazine capacity and ammunition restrictions. For waterfowl hunters, all of those regulations are federal.

     Hunters nationwide by and large recognize and comply with those regulations without question or protest.

     Why can we as a nation not see our way clear to a similar set of laws and regulations regarding weapons whose primary design and purpose is to hunt humans, without assault rifle zealots screaming 2ND AMENDMENT!!, and our government leaders capitulating to their gun culture fueled rant?”

     As the grey-haired man pondered these thoughts, he reached down into his pocket and retrieved the third rock.

“I’m a military veteran, gun owner and hunter.

In this world of gun rights Goliath’s,

Call me David.”


The 2nd Amendment was ratified in 1791.

By men who owned muskets.

Until Our Trails Cross Again:

God Bless America