Most readers will not recognize the names Patricia Maisch or Lori Haas. Maisch was called a hero for disarming Tucson shooter Jared Loghner by preventing him from reloading a fresh magazine. Haas' daughter was shot twice during the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 and survived, leading her to become a proponent of stronger gun regulations.
Both women were part of a large contingent of gun violence victims sitting in the Senate gallery on Wednesday, April 17th as the Senate responded to the massacre in Newtown, Conn. by defeating the measure advocates and law enforcement officials consider crucial to keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
These two women shouted “Shame on you!” at the 46 senators who had just voted to kill a compromise amendment to expand background checks for gun purchases at gun shows and online. As they left the Senate gallery they were approached by a police officer who asked them to follow him.
They followed him downstairs to a public hallway where they were questioned: “What's your name?” “Where are you from?” “What are your Social Security numbers?” The officer left to run a background check on the women who were left sitting on a bench, watched over by another uniformed officer who even escorted Haas to the bathroom instructing her not to lock the stall door.
About an hour and a half later, another officer approached the women and asked their intentions and where they were from, why they were in D.C., how long the planned to stay and when they were leaving. The entire ordeal stretched on for almost two hours.
Ironic isn't it? Nearly two hours spent investigating two women for shouting in the Senate gallery while criminals and the mentally unstable purchase firearms with no questions asked.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach