CBS News September 8, 2019, 9:49 AM Odessa shooting survivor: Congress, do something

My name is Shauna Saxton. I survived the mass shooting that happened on Labor Day weekend in Odessa, Texas.

A man pulled up next to my vehicle at a traffic light and pointed an assault rifle at me. His eyes were full of rage. Thankfully, I recognized what was happening and took immediate action: I floored it, saving myself, my husband, and my grandson.

Doing nothing was not an option. Because I acted quickly, we were able to get away without harm.

Messages written in sidewalk chalk at the University of Texas following Saturday's shooting in Odessa, Texas, September 2, 2019. Police say over the course of an hour Seth Aaron Ator fired indiscriminately from his car into passing vehicles and shopping plazas between Midland and Odessa, Texas, and at one point hijacked a U.S. Postal Service mail truck, killing the driver. Seven people were murdered and around two dozen injured before Ator was fatally shot by police outside a busy movie theater. Callaghan O'Hare/REUTERS

This awful experience has changed me. Things I once believed to be true have now been brought into question. Do private citizens need access to weapons as deadly as an assault rifle? This question and others like it are a hot topic here in Texas, and in other states around the nation. It is a very difficult question. How do we promote public safety whilst protecting the rights of people who choose to bear arms?

The problem, by necessity, will require compromise from both sides. No one is going to get exactly what they want; life just isn't that way. (I learned this lesson as a young girl with six brothers.) But we can look for common ground and be willing to give and take.

As Congress reconvenes, I call on all its members to be men and women of action. I implore our leaders to recognize this growing danger for what it is, and act upon it. If we continue to do nothing, these tragedies will repeat themselves, and more innocent lives will be lost.

To the leaders of this great country, I say, take up the mantle of the responsibility you have been given. Be courageous. Stand for those who you represent. We pray daily for you that you will do the right thing, and that you will be honorable in your work, indeed, that you will find a solution by which all Americans can benefit.

We must take action. We must do something. Doing nothing is not an option.


Story produced by Julie Kracov.

Messages written in sidewalk chalk are seen at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin following Saturday's shooting in Odessa