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I'm sure most if not all of you have heard about the sniper in the DC / Maryland / Virginia area. Living in Richmond, while not exactly in the middle of it, we certainly have been close enough to be touched if nothing else than by the fear of it.

Last night, of course, that fear came to be reality when, about 15 minutes north of Richmond in Ashland, another shooting took place which looked to be the work of the sniper.

It was nerve wracking for me, as my wife and I had gone to dinner less than an hour before the shooting with two of our friends just ten minutes south of where the shootings occurred and directly off I-95 where most of the recent shootings are now being located.

To get a sense of the mood in the area, realize that I'm living in Richmond off I-64, which is approximately 25 minutes away from the Ashland shooting, which is the farthest south the sniper has visited thus far. I went to the grocery store this afternoon. Across the street from the grocery store, about 100 - 150 yards, is a dense tree-line. I was extremely nervous both walking into the store and walking out to load my groceries. I can't imagine how the people that bring the carts from the outside of the store can do their jobs right now. A common site at the grocery store was to see people running from the store to their cars, and ducking as low as possible while loading their groceries. In my new house, which I just moved into, we currently have no blinds up. I am nervous sitting in room with any light during the night, where it would be easy to draw a site on my wife and I, despite the shooter not having traveled anywhere near this south, nor have shot into anyone's home. My wife and I are going to DC next Saturday to see her parents and aunt and uncle, and I'm nervous as hell about it.

It's terrible to even just listen to the outside sounds. Helicopters are patrolling up and down the interstates pretty regularly. And occassionally I can hear the low, slow rumbling of what I make to be a large plane, very possibly the army surveilence planes that are reportedly being used.

It's a hair-raising experience right now, and we're not even living in the area that seems to be the center of it all. It's a terrible thing right now, and hopefully it won't have to go on much longer. Unfortunately, I fear that it might, and I hate living in fear.

Just thought I'd share a little OT about what's going on right now.

The worst part of all of this is the realization this brings up that this is far from the worst that so many people have it half way around the world. So many live in fear of this sort of thing which is so much more common, and that's really a sad thought.

- C -
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