TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — To people who survived Tucson’s January 8th shooting ten years ago those moments of violence changed their life’s direction. KGUN9 On Your Side talked with a woman whose quick thinking kept the shooting from being even worse---and who works now to prevent new gun violence.
We call this day an anniversary because we really don’t have a better word. To Pat Maisch anniversary suggests celebration. To her January 8th is the day on the calendar when her life and many others took a terrible turn.
“I think it's kind of a slap in the face and a kick in the gut for people who have had their loved ones taken at such an event. I think of an anniversary as a good thing, a happy thing.”
We talked at the park named for a child full of potential cut short January 8, 2011---Christina Taylor Greene---nine years old when she was shot to death. Had she lived she would be college aged today.
Pat Maisch is modest about the way she helped save lives ten years ago. When two men knocked down the gunman, she snatched away his extra ammunition before he could reload and kill more.
Since the shooting Pat Maisch has dedicated her life to saving lives in other ways. She says grief propels her to work for safer gun laws that still preserve the Second Amendment---and she feels fresh grief when she learns of each new shooting whether it involves many victims---or one.
“We don't think about the individual shootings because they don't get any press or we tend not to think about it. But I've met people that have horrific stories from their dead children, their dead parents, their dead sister, brother and I think, I wonder when I'm going to meet them, you know, in the work of violence prevention causes. When do I meet them and know more about their story?”
Maisch says each new mass shooting pushes Tucson’s out of the nation’s memory. But she values Tucson’s January 8th Memorial as a remembrance of the people killed---and how Tucson pulled together in the face of darkness.