Immediately, I pointed out to Jeff that an assault rifle can "spit out a lot of bullets" and if he heard gunfire, best to get down as low as possible. The space under his thick, old-fashioned wooden desk was probably the safest spot in his office. Of course, knowing Jeff, he'd be throwing himself in front of the television so he wouldn't miss the end of the Red Wings hockey game.
Jeff wanted me to make some calls. We don't actually need to say the words "activate the social network" and it's not like there's a formal phone tree. We just all know when to start calling each other. This was clearly one of those times.
Contractor Anderson Mitchell--old army, just like me--got to the office and checked on Jeff. Apparently, all was well because a short while later Jeff sent me the following text message: Guy with a gun was firing shots in the area. Cops were responding and got him.
I assume it was the Fourth Precinct.
Good job, Fourth Precinct! And THANK YOU for your dedication and hard work.
By the way, those "shot spotter" devices are a wonder! When there is the sound of gunfire, "servo motors" rotate cameras in the direction of the gunfire. Heavily armed police DESCEND on the area where the shots were fired. (Many or all the officers have assault rifles at the ready, what look to be Colt AR-15s, the civilian version of the army M-16)
Any civilian who fires a gun in North Minneapolis for any reason other than fending off an attack has to be either very desperate, very stupid, or some fatal combination of both.
Almost as notable as the high tech shot spotters is our neighborly social network. When decent people buy vacant, ultra-affordable homes in this area, they quickly form social networks thanks to the secret "decent people handshake" and not-so- secret rituals like picking up litter and walking on SIDEWALKS instead of DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET.
Going to events sponsored by the neighborhood association is the quickest, surest way to form these networks.