There were many heroes who took risks to save lives in Las Vegas earlier this month during the worst shooting massacre in U.S. history. There are also heroes in our own backyard who are trying to save lives from gun violence.
Most of these concerned citizens are women. Many of them belong to groups like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, or Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice, or Everytown for Gun Safety.
If you are sick and tired of being "sick and tired" about increasing gun violence in America, you should attend one of these group's meetings. Moms will have their next meeting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the Webster Groves Public Library. A few months back, I covered one of their meetings and met a native of South County who now lives in Arizona.
Her name is Patricia Maisch and she is a hero of the mass shooting incident that killed six and wounded 13. The awe-inspiring U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in the head during that Jan. 8, 2013 bloodletting in Tucson. Jared Loughner pumped 33 rounds into the startled crowd with a semi-automatic.
When Loughner reached for another magazine to reload to kill more, Maisch grabbed it out of his hand. She joined two others to pin the deranged 22-year-old to the ground until police arrived at the scene.
It was a privilege to talk to Maisch, who has become an activist for sensible gun laws along with survivors of other slaughters that are tagged with names like Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, Orlando – and Kirkwood.
After the latest killings in Vegas, the Congressmen on the take from the NRA issued their usual excuses that there's no way to curb mass shootings in an "open society." Our own Sen. Roy Blunt has received $755,816 in contributions from the National Rifle Association.
A typical comment came from U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, who said, "I think people are going to have to take steps in their own lives to take precautions to protect themselves. And in situations like that, you know, try to stay safe. As somebody said – get small."
Yes, get small. Forget your dignity and curl up in a ball like a roly-poly insect. That's your best bet when a madman rains bullets down upon you with an arsenal equipped with bump stocks.
Texas guitarist Caleb Keeter, who performed at the Las Vegas country music festival before the shooting noted he and his band could not access their own firearms – and realized how ineffective they were during the attack. He said: "We need gun control. RIGHT. NOW. Until the events of last night, I cannot express how wrong I was."
Keeter is speaking out, and not making himself as small as a roly-poly pill bug. The Moms are speaking out as well. They are calling for sensible gun law measures. There are other options besides making yourself small.