Safety sense

Tonight, I had a weird sense of fear, almost a panic feeling. It came over me when driving into Walmart. There was a customer coming from the store carrying what appeared to be a gun case. As I parked, I watched him open his trunk and start moving stuff around.
The instinctual fear within me had my senses on high. Was it a gun case? What could he be doing in his trunk? Could he be loading a gun? Could it just be a fishing rod case? But, what if it is a gun? These thoughts took just seconds to run through my brain.
Shortly after, a younger woman came running up behind him, and they were arranging things together in the trunk.
What did she have in her bag? It was small; could it be ammunition?
They hopped in the car and drove around the parking lot and back up to the front of the store.
I was just watching what was going on. There was no way I was planning on walking into the store when my mind was telling me to wait. I sat still, watching and waiting, until the car exited the parking lot. My heart was pounding, and I know it sounds silly, but I listen to my gut feelings. If it doesn’t seem right, I stop. Am I paranoid? I don’t think so.
I have an app on my phone that is called NewsBreak. It is my method of getting news because I don’t listen to the radio or the news, so this serves as a quick look at what is happening locally, nationally and throughout the world. I am able to read about the earthquakes, derailed trains, tornadoes and also mass shootings. A mass shooting is defined as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, not including the shooter.
Shootings have taken place in schools, churches and at public stores and businesses. There is a mass shooting somewhere in the United States almost every day. Jan. 1, there were five mass shootings. Someone shooting into a crowd isn’t even headline news any longer. Shootings can happen anywhere at any time.
I am not a fan of guns. We have a gun, but I couldn’t tell you how to load it much less how to use it to euthanize an animal. I make my husband, Duane, put down a cow.
My parents never had guns. My grandfather was a pheasant, duck and goose hunter, but guns were never out in the open and were kept locked.
My son-in-law, Kevin, is a good hunter. He has taught my daughter, Anna, how to hunt with a gun and a bow. They have gone on hunting trips for alligators, iguanas and everything from pheasants to wild boars. Both have taken safety courses, and they have a hunting camp at their place every fall for deer season. The guns are stored in a safe, and the vibe is all about a good hunt. Safety is never compromised. They are trained and comfortable handling, carrying and transporting their guns to where they are hunting. It is a hobby that gets them off the farm for a vacation and recreation.
Annually at Christmas, Duane receives a gift card from Cabela’s with a large amount to spend. Anna suggested this might be the year we spend it on a handgun and some training on how to use it. It might be time for me to get over my fear of guns. Would we be better to have a gun, or would it be just another thing we put in the safe? Would I wear it or keep it in my purse? If the situation arose, would I be able to use it? I still don’t know if I would be able to be comfortable carrying a weapon. So, we spent the gift card on a great pair of binoculars instead. I will think about purchasing a handgun for next year when we get another gift card.
The gift of fear that I perceive when something or someone doesn’t feel right is my body telling me to watch out. It is the tingling in my neck, the sense that something bad could happen. I consider it my safety sense, and I don’t ignore it. I respect that my instincts can predict things I am not even aware of. It is better to wait in the car, leave an area or get away from the person who just feels wrong to be near. I don’t consider it rude; I consider it safe, and it could save my life.
    Tina Hinchley, her husband Duane and daughter Anna milk 240 registered Holsteins with robots.  They also farm 2,300 acres of crops near Cambridge, Wisconsin. The Hinchleys have been hosting farm tours for over 25 years.


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