They Don't Shoot Blind People Do They


They Don't Shoot Blind People Do They

     "Sure you should be in this neighborhood?" The black bus driver said.

     "I've been here lots of times to visit a friend. You've got to watch it no matter where you go." jack said, finding the top step with the tip of his long white cane.

     Coming into the Dollar Store Jack heard Rosey, his old high school buddy in conversation with several others at the front counter, making it easy to slip up on the big black security gard's blind side. With both hands he encircled a big bycep saying, "This is a raid." Referring to an old inside joke they had between them. Rosey had a sideline business, buying and selling used merchandise out of this store. With the point being it can be hard to know if some things were just used and-or hot.

     "Huh!" Rosey said, having to turn nearly 180 degrees in order to see who had him. "Jacky man! What'ah do'in creep'in up on a man when he's do'in business? Let me finish here. Lunch is come'in. Marcell is bring'in.”

     Meeting for lunch was something Jack and Rosey tried to do at least once a month. They had both attended the state school for the visually handicapped. Marcell was an older black gentlemen, a friend who was also visually impaired and an owner of a local McDonald's. he had been a recent addition to some of their luncheon meetings.

     While waiting, Jack talked to Tc the store's owner, the only other white person in the store at the time.

     Marcell arrived carrying two shopping bags filled with McDonald's products. "Rosey, Jack... lunch is on!”

     The door hadn't closed, when in through came a man with a gun. "I'm here for the money! In a bag, now!" Waving the gun around, he pointed it at the side of Jack's head, the muzzle flashed and Jack's head exploded. "get down on the floor, now!" The shooter scremed.

     "Oh man why you..." Protested Rosy, his face collapsed with the second concussion.

     "Now!" the shooter screams again, grabs the bag of loot, races out the door and away.

e-mail responses to

**1. “Like the author says, “You've got to watch it no matter where you go." This stands for we the blind too. And granted, damn it, but we are living in this type of world; mostly beautiful, but sometimes deadly. We must look out for ourselves. Not necessarily be a fanatic about it, but be cognizant of it. You can always learn to read and react in any given situation better than what you now can.”

FROM ME: Where could we dig up the right button in each of us that makes violence a defensive action only.”

**2. “Only if their prepared to get shot in return.
There are those of us who carry, and are good at auditory aiming.
Particularly when one does have some site remaining to get a better fix on
the target.

As an aside, however: when the guy with the gun says "on the floor!":
don't argue. If you're not in a position to take some kind of action: do
what you are told! Do not argue--do not object. Drop as if your life
depended on it: because it probably does.”

Luke Davis (Blindissue list)

**3. “The point, as I understand it, is this:
No matter who we are, where we go, handicapped or not, we
can all be victims of crime (I know full well,
as a criminal tried to kill me for the last $20 I had on the planet).
Fortunately, I had, at that time, been acquiring martial arts training,
which kept me from being killed.”

Hawke (Blindfam list)

**4. “I'm lost...what was this supposed to mean?”

Liz (Blindfam list)

FROM ME: “I answered them:

Mike and Liz

Hi you all. I'm the guy who has the web site called "Adjustment To
Blindness And Visual Impairment." It is an effort upon my part to collect,
dispense, cultivate, educate, all of our friends and families to the human
potential to live successfully with vision loss. My thing is using
fictionalized stories to provoke thought and hopefully positive change. I
have THOUGHT PROVOKER an e-mail discussion forum and other writings like
short stories all available upon my site.

This go-a-round called "They Don't Shoot Blind People Do They," is I'd say
my reaction to the Colorado and other unfortunate happenings. I hope that
you and I never find ourselves involved in such a situation, but I felt it
warranted thought. What do you think?”

**5. “There is more than enough material available for this type of "thought
provoking". Simply turn on your TV news channel, or pick up a
I'm disappointed to see that there are no other more positive materials
available (relating to blind folks, which didn't appear to be the case
in this particular article) to be used for the otherwise interesting
"Thought Provokers" post.”

Sorry, but this one was an absolute downer, not something I wish to see
on this List.


Ingrid (RPlist)

FROM ME: “Yes you are right, for the most part. Sorry if the subject of the current
Provoker is a downer. That sort of thing is and by bringing it up it was
not my intent to promote it. There will be other THOUGHT PROVOKERS of a
more... well acceptable nature in the future.

Though the type of responses I am getting are interesting.”

**6. The latest "Thought Provoker" entitled "They Don’t Shoot
Blind People Do They" is a tasteless and gratuitous tale of
random violence. It has nothing to do with visual
impairment and contributes nothing of value to a support
group for people with retinal degenerative disorders.

That is the only thought it provoked in me.”

Tom McDonald (RPlist, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)

**7. “It sure looks and sounds like the shooter was looking for what he pictured
as the helpless victims. The shooter is figuring on shooting the least
likely to fight back and scare the others into submission. Maybe he was
right though, I have seen more stories about the blind and visually impaired
standing up and making a difference, maybe he was right to go after the
strongest and most likely to stop the robbery.
It makes you mad to think about it though. The only ones shot are the
visually impaired.”

Mike Wardin (Columbia Missouri USA, )

**8. “The short short story was fast paced and very sad. Did they get shot because they were not reacting quickly enough or because the robber didn't want any "Eyewitnesses?" It brings home how vulnerable we all are in this gun happy society. I don't really think of it as a racist statement because it could have been a black kid attending a white suburban high school. The title is ironic, because of the old "they shoot horses" statement. Is this implying that the so called "crippled" don't deserve to live or is it that the blind are vulnerable in many of the same situations that the sighted population are. It made me sad because I was enjoying the camaraderie of the two main characters and because they were having McDonalds for lunch. Did the robber get loot from the cash register or did he get a bag of greasy burgers and fries? I have a Horatio Alger mentality and want the blind guys to use their canes like martial arts masters with a weapon and take out the bad guys. Unfortunately, life rarely follows the fantasyland script. Guess I can blame Disney!”

Suzanne Lange

**9. “I heard once about a totally-blind woman who was a rape victim. The rapist
told her he wanted something to eat. She made him breakfast and made sure
he handled the dishes, so his fingerprints would be detected.
Can't vouch for this, because I heard an interview of this supposed rape
victim on a TV talk show, but it did make me think. What would I do if
someone attacked me? I hate to put it this way, but I'd make sure to cause
some semi-permanent injury, and know where on the body the injury was
inflicted, so I could tell the police something like: "He's probably coming
into the hospital with a serious eye injury." ...
I'm a gentle person by nature, and hope I never need to do this.”

Teresa Cochran (Blindissue list)

**10. “Regarding to the Thought Provoker about the Shooting Blind People Do They?
story....I had a reaction! I was startled to read a story that was
untimely...not the right time to post this one. But, I reacted with the
spiritual reminder to begin my day with prayer. It doesn't matter if one is
disabled or able-bodied! If anyone gets in the way of a crazed person then
there's that possibly of one's life being threatened - there's no difference
what a person's physical condition is.

To go a bit further on my thought about this horrible story: Humankind is
vulnerable to injustice. Death comes like a thief! As for being blind and
vulnerable as I am - the blind are no different than the sighted...only just
using different methods of accomplishing tasks. That gunman in the story was
the thief - the blind men and anyone else in that store were all vulnerable to
sudden injustice. The disabled must find and have the faith in their Higher
Providence to sustain their destiny.

I agree with Tom and Don in their opinions on the untimeliness and horror of
that story. I reacted the same way; BUT, I did give a bit of thought into its
reason for that story.”

Adrienne of Minnesota (RPlist)

**11. “I read through the short story quite a few times so I would make sure to
get the idea of it. From what I can gather, the attacked by the armed
bandit was completely unprovoked. He shot Jack without blinking an eye.
I do believe this could and would happen. For anyone to believe that they
are immune from violence is very impractical. If a criminal is desperate
enough for money, particularly if the perp is fueled by drugs or other
substances, then it is safe to assume that he would do whatever necessary
to get his fix. I think some blind persons are under the mistaken
impression that they are invulnerable to crime because they are
blind...because the bad guys might pity us because of our "handicap."
This may or not be true, but would anyone care to gamble their life or
their wellbeing on it?”

Ryan Osentowski (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA)

**12. “This is a different thought provoker. I see it in two ways: First, that
blind people are the same as everyone else. We travel in all parts of the
city and we do what everyone else does; meet our friends for lunch.
Nothing unusual about that. Then, there's the side of the criminal. I
don't believe that this man with the gun thought at all about who he was
shooting; blind or sighted. He was intent on getting the money and shot
the two people between him and the money. Jack had a cane, so he could
have noticed that, but it didn't make a difference, he was in front of the
counter, so the gunman had to get past him. Rosey looked in Jack's
direction when he heard the gun, so he was next. The storeowner gave the
money and the thief made a fast escape, so no need for taking more time
and shooting anyone else. But, I don't believe that Jack and Rosey's
blindness had anything to do with it. I don't think the criminal mind
takes the time to analyze the individual when money is the goal.”

Cindy Handel (Willow Street, Pennsylvania, USA )

**13. “What is there to think about?

What reactions are we supposed to have to this?

So a blind guy was shot (if this is a true story...)
it had nothing to do with his disability from what I
read...unfortunately plenty of people are killed in
our society all the time, deaf, blind, "non-disabled",
black, white, women, men. It's horrible when it
happens to ANYONE (blind or sighted)!”

Andy Stahmer (Blindissues list)

**14. “Andy,
You made a very good point and I agree. It doesn't matter that the guy
shot was blind, it seems he was not shot because he was blind so it's not
really an issue. There are all kinds of people that die in tragic deaths
and who are victims of malice. The story just struck me as another
gruesome tale, with characters/victims that happened to be blind.”

Marina Easthan (Blindissues list)

**15. “Perhaps it is one of the points. Another is to think. Are we exempt
because we are blind? No. Should we panic? No. But realism dictates
that we think about crime and how it might affect us as well. Hmmm.
Anyway, I think he just generated thought provocation. :”

April Reisinger (Blindissues LIST)

**16. “I am glad to see that some of the people who responded to this message
would do what they could to ensure the capture of the rapist!!! It seems
to me that a crime such as this which forces someone to live with being
defiled by a pig for the rest of their days should never ever allow it to
go on if possible. Unfortunately, our courts do not see that crime as
serious as murder, though a person who is killed does not suffer with the
consequences of the crime. Personally, I would like to see person who
rape people get the death penalty.)

Sanford Guelzow (Blindissues list)

**17. “I agree with you. I feel that too many people get away with just a tiny tap
on the hand. If you commit the crime you should pay the time!

Together we are changing what it means to be BLIND.
Visit our web page at .

**18. “In some instances when a person is in danger, it's better to find
alternatives means for the police to gain evidence, and it sounds like
that's what she did. However, if I were raped, I don't think I'd want to
go on a talk show.”

June and GEB dog, Curtis (Blindissues list)

**19. “(FROM ME: Reactions?)

My reaction?

That sucked!

Had I wanted to read about violence and needless killings, I'd have
picked up a newspaper!”

Carlton Griffin (RPlist)

**20. “I just read your latest thought provoker, entitled "They Don't Shoot
Blind People Do They" and I had the same response as Tom McDonald, when he
wrote that it is a "tale of random violence. It has nothing to do with visual
impairment and contributes nothing of value to a support
group for people with retinal degenerative disorders."


Don Moore (RPlist)

**21. “Peter, That's what I wondered! We joined blindfam recently also. Our youngest
daughter, Abby, who is three, is blind. I have never had contact with a
blind adult and enjoy reading the posts to the list, but this THOUGHT
PROVOKER threw me!”

Liz Trimble (Blindfam, St. Louis, Missouri, USA)

**22. “ I suppose a hundred years ago you might have gotten a
criminal who would not shoot a blind person because he would fear
retribution from Heaven, but not these days, so it was, IMO, a useless

Ann K. Parsons: email:
web site:
MICQ Number: 33006854

23. “Hi everyone, I purposely did not respond initially. Like many of you, I was turned-off
and bummed-out by the fictional depiction of urban violence. I wanted to
cool off a bit.

My initial reactions were thoughts about how unlikely such an occurrence
was, while shaking my head. In my experience, criminals and panhandlers
leave me be. (My apologies for lumping our panhandling friends with
criminals, but let me continue.

I've never been mugged or held up. The only times I have been in
fistfights was back when I was sighted. After becoming blind, thugs and
people of ill repute seem to avoid me. I often explore neighborhoods that
people tell me are dangerous, and have yet to meet anyone who is not
pleasant and helpful.

While in both Chicago and New Orleans for NFB conventions over the past few
years, the hotel staff tried to discourage me from seeking out the local
convenience store for a refreshment run. I thanked them for their advice,
and went out anyway.

They invariably characterized the areas as "bad neighborhoods." When
walking in both, I could hear panhandlers chattering their mantras, but
they always stopped when I walked close. Several times I asked for
directions, and always said hello. They were nothing but courteous and

I say be aware of your surroundings, but don't be paranoid. Crime rates
are at record low levels, despite what the media and political campaigns
tell us. We have a lot more to worry about from killers wearing business
suits. Our bigger problems are from their corporate pollution of our food,
water, and air; and from their shipping of jobs overseas.
No, I doubt they shoot blind people. The odds are against it. Actually, Cops are the only people who have abducted me, taken advantage of me, or
taken me places against my will. Thanks for the thoughts.”

Fred Chambers (NFB of California, USA, )

**24. “My thoughts on blind people in trouble as Described previously. I have been
in situations and continue to learn as I travel a lot with my company and
sometimes alone with my guide dog, Ockham. blind people have just as much
to fear as others but many times as I found out last week in Washington,
D.C. there are those who will challenge you but wonder if you are not only
blind, but crazy too. That crazy point is sort of like a reverse challenge
to those who are" would be" criminals. We as people who are blind, no
matter what our race or religion need to speak out publicly for everyone,
including ourselves. I once asked why a blind person was not allowed to
carry an automatic handgun and I got a laugh from authorities. I am from
Hudson, N.Y. and live in Columbia County. two years ago in the New York
papers, Hudson was noted as being as one of the highest trafficking drug
centers. Listened closely each time I am using a cab or going to the
Amtrak station, constantly aware. Afraid? Yes, indeed, but I will not
stay locked in my home as long as I can move around and most importantly
have a job.”

Lee A. Stone (Hudson, New York, USA)

**25. “I was wondering what people were thinking about the Colorado terrorism.
Everyone seems to be afraid to say what's on their minds these days.
Another horrible incident pretty much swept under the carpet when its
media-ability ran out until the next one came along to steal the show. I
for one am one of those fanatics against guns, though the men in my
family are all big supporters of the NRA. Okay, its a scary world out
there, extremely so for both sighted and unsighted. But that certainly
doesn't mean we should stay locked behind closed doors because it's 'in
our best interest' as I've heard non-handicapped people say. Its more a
matter of showing confidence and being alert at all times. Anyone
unfortunately can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and as a few
people pointed out, the robber didn't specifically pinpoint the blind
guy to be the victim because he was blind. But theoretically speaking,
it is true, society does pick the most vulnerable one to be the abused
ones, the scapegoats for whatever may be, and its sad. But we are doing
the right thing in trying to speak up for ourselves and that's sure as
hell scary too. I've often had that fear of being in the wrong place at
the wrong time, but fear can't be the controller of our lives, because
if it is there is no life. Anyway this is the first time since I've been
with you guys that I'm giving my input. I hope I'm not off base with my

Patricia Hubschman (Levittown, New York, USA, )

**26. “I agree with Ingrid (RPlist) and Tom McDonald, who say that this topic is
inappropriate. I don't see how this story is directly related to visual

Abbie Johnson (Sheridan, Wyoming USA, )

**27. “After reading the initial posting of "They Don't shoot blind..." I was
unclear as what to think of it and how it affected blind people. Granted
two of the characters were blind, but that wasn't the issue. After reading
some of the responses, I see I wasn't the only one scratching my head.

I guess the real point is that blindness was an issue only for those
concerned and really wasn't the issue with the shooter. Perhaps the one
character was singled out because of his cane, but it sounds like more of a
typical armed robber trying to gain immediate compliance.

This provoker brings two thoughts to my mind. First, is the vulnerability
we face every day as blind people? I was adventitiously blinded five and a
half years ago and the feeling of vulnerability was immediate. Prior to
being blind, I worked 14 years for the Texas prison system. In that time, I
daily interacted with some very mean and vicious people or at least they
had been out on the streets.

This brings me to my second thought. I have witnessed assaults within the
prison of disabled inmates by other predatory inmates. I have personally
seen how violent and uncaring of one's disability some criminals can be.
Especially when possessing the edge a weapon offers, they will often strike
at the nearest, most available target. However, when they see an obviously
vulnerable target, guess which one they choose? These are the same
criminals that go around shooting people during the course of a robbery.

The bottom line is that, regardless of the blindness, unless one is the
shooter in a situation like the one in the thought provoker,
we are all potential, unsuspecting victims. Sadly, we live in a gun loving
society where violence is glamorized in all aspects of media.”

Ron Graham, (Houston Texas, USA, <1captron>