Amid the government shutdown, and a day after being surrounded by furloughed federal workers enjoying the day at Mt. Vernon, we were in Washington DC for meetings with Congressional Staff on the Pechanga Water Rights Bill.
After a short meeting with CA Senator Barbara Boxer's Native American affairs person, in a very quiet Democrat office, my cousin Olivia and I were in a HOUSE Natural Resources committee meeting in the very busy Longworth building (on the opposite side of the Capitol building where the situation ended) when their scanner erupted with "Capitol Police have reported SHOTS FIRED, on Capitol Hill! Shelter in Place".
It was a cause for concern, as our spouses were on Capitol Hill, having been lucky enough to be invited for a tour of the Supreme Court building. (yes, it was open during the Democratic shutdown of Washington DC, though Harry Reid did shut down the monuments like the Veteran's memorial and even the fountains were turned off in an act of pettiness). The scanner repeated the call in 30 second intervals for about five minutes, then spacing them out.
After an immediate exchange of texts and we found that our spouses were just exiting the USSC building and I texted my wife, "GO BACK INSIDE!, THERE WAS A SHOOTING ON CAPITOL HILL!. She texted back: "What" "REALLY" YES!! "Go BACK INSIDE!" They did and were kept inside by guards. It's a scary thing not being able to know your loved one is safe when something dangerous has erupted.
We were locked in with the Staff Director of the House Resources Committee. And yes, locked in is the word, he believed we were safe where we were, but he locked us all in.
That really worked to our advantage, as he was very interested in our issues and we got to enlighten him into what is going on in Indian Gaming Country. We went from 20 minute meeting to just over an hour and 10 minutes. We came away with much more confidence that we exposed Pechanga's Corruption, which we will write about in a subsequent post.
I would like to say one thing about the Capitol Hill police. When we were walking to our meetings, (our first meeting was in the HART building, near wear the car chase ended) and was eerily quiet as few Democrats appeared to be working, and so many of the police seemed like security guards at Target, in posture, and attitude. But as we left, they were ALL, police officers. The confidence was apparent, many automatic weapons were in hand versus earlier, where we saw none. Everyone was in defensive posture, eyes scanning in case something else came up. It was really something to see, and choked me up a few times, as I asked them, "Are you okay?" Quick nods from them...and a lot of thank you's from passers by..
A sad ending to the issue, but glad the Capitol Police were there to protect us.