If you're the type to watch the news then you have, no doubt, heard of the shooting which took place this week in Nashville, Tennessee. The shooting took place in the downtown bus station (aka Music City Central) and is both tragic in its circumstances and outrageous in how it all went down.
To recap, two teenagers rode up and down the escalators for a long time looking for their 'target.' Once spotted, one of them produced a handgun and proceeded to fire 10 times. His intended victim was hit, as were 3 innocent bystanders.
It is unimportant to note that this is the bay where I pick up my bus, and that this was, in fact, the same number bus I take every afternoon, but this one leaves 20 min before I get to the bus station. What is important to note in this story is that the teenager who fired in cold blood upon another fired 10 times and only hit his intended target once. This, from a mere 20 feet away.
I could talk about the crowds running in terror from this terrorist. (Yes, anyone who fires a weapon in a crowded area regardless of intention spreads terror and is, therefore, a terrorist.) I could talk about the unintended victims who were shot only because the shooter was such a bad shot. (Fired 10 times from only 20 feet away and hit him only once.) I could talk about my own involvement in this entire scenario, but in fact, I didn't arrive at Music City Central until the crowds were out and the large gates were already pulled down so that the police (who arrived in 2 minutes) could do their job.
|Gates are down - nobody in or out!|
I could talk about all that, but so many other news agencies, blogs and tweets have already said as much. What hasn't been said is what happened to the large crowds who, like myself, ride the bus nightly and rely on those buses to get us home.
What happened was this: The MTA supervisors, walkie-talkies in hand, stood in the street, directing the onslaught of buses as they arrived, directing them to the curb. Once at the curb, passengers got off, passengers got on, and the bus pulled away. Immediately, the supervisor directed another bus into the vacated spot. It was like a well rehearsed dance.
Oh, but wait, there's more. The entire time the supervisors were out in the street, the crowd milling around, talking loud about the whole thing, cars pulling through to pick up friends or family; the supervisors never lost their cool, calm, professional demeanor. There was no shouting on their part, no exasperated pointing or waving of arms. It was the most incredible display of 'being in control' I have witnessed.
The police also responded cool and calm, and took over the situation quickly as has been said many times over. It seemed to me that no one mentioned the bus station employees; drivers pulling into a street loaded with other buses, cars and supervisors vying for their attention. There were few, if any, problems. This can only be attributed to the pre-planning on the part of Music City Central Staff and well trained bus drivers.
And the true temperament of the South.
Thanks to you all. It needs to be said, and said again.