Changing Times

Growing up as a kid I never really thought the world was all that bad of a place. I mean essentially I mainly grew up in small mid-western towns, spent some time in southern California (SOCAL), and in and around Spokane Washington.  My brothers always took me on long road trips across country when ever they got the bug to go to SOCAL for the summer. I can honestly say that by the time I was a young teenager I had seen most of the Western states albeit through a windshield of a old van or VW bug. Not first class sort of travel but better than a covered wagon drawn by oxen.   There were a few times that I thought an old wagon would have been faster, and more reliable. But I digress.

Through out all those adventures, and at times, just being a kid, I would wander off on my own and to go explore some new place that we happened to stop for gas, but more times than not our vehicle had over heated or broke down. Not once did my brother(s) or future sister-in-law ever freak out about me going missing. It was just a different sort of time. In the 70’s people still looked out for wayward children or others in distress. I would always find my way back to the vehicle and off down the road we went for a few more miles until something else on the vehicle broke. Nobody was worried about being “jumped” or abducted, or anything absurd like that.

Tonight the GF and I went to the movies, We saw Skyfall the new James Bond movie. Not a bad flick, standard Bond film with all the intrigue we have grown up expecting from such a flick. But what caught my eye instantly was at the beginning of the film, a theater employee came in and checked the emergency exit door and initialed a small notepad hanging on a clipboard attached to the wall. As the movie progressed, every 15-20 mins until the end of the show a employee would go to the emergency exit, check the door, mark the pad, and walk out again. I have never seen that before in my life, at any theater, anywhere in the world. Two words: Aurora Colorado. It is amazing how one person or one person’s act can change the habits of an entire society. I understand why they are doing it, not for our safety as a patron, but for liability.

GF leaned over and whispered her observation of the exit door event that had been unfolding the past hour . I am glad some of me has rubbed off on her in that she is picking up on paying attention to her surroundings. We both agreed at what we were witnessing, and GF continues with “I have my stun gun in my purse if needed” (good girl!). I whispered back, that if anyone comes through that door or a gunshot sounds she needs to hit the floor first. Get the stun gun out and we will assess from there.

Who would ever thought not a year ago, let alone 30-40 years ago that we would need someone to check the emergency exit door at a theater? That we need to be mindful that a door that was designed to save lives in the event of a fire, or other event would become a portal to allow just the opposite to happen?  In a sense it is a innocence lost for all of us. Sad.

When I have traveled in the past to other countries, I have seen heavily armed security at jewelry stores in Mexico, shotgun carrying guards outside of bars in the Philippines, and some pretty intimidating looking “security” types in the middle east. What was always refreshing was coming back to the safety of home. I think as more time passes, we as American’s need to be cognizant of our surroundings more and not be shocked at the very real possibility of seeing more and more security at what we consider innocuous  places or events.

This brings up another thought. Just because there is a security dude, with a flashlight, pepper-spray, a radio, and making $10 an hour, do you really think he or she is going to stop ANYTHING from happening? Paul Blart: Mall Cop springs to my mind. Let us not be lulled into a false sense of security just because a quasi uniformed guy is standing there with his new flashlight hanging off his belt. I have to honest here, if I was a Paul Blart, I would be hitting the ground if the bullets were a flying. Knife or ax wielding crazy? different story.

We have changed and so has our society, we are influenced more by outside events and individuals then ever in the past. Our little insular worlds are quickly fading. Those innocent days of wandering off to “explore” are also quickly going away whether you are an adult or a child. And for those that want to argue about firearms? Firearms have pretty much stayed the same the last 40 years. Its the window lickers that have changed. We tolerate more of their behavior and when they can’t “cope” its always a headline that follows.

As preppers, we need to keep our surroundings in perspective. OPSEC, personal security, family, enough gas in the vehicle, enough cash on hand, etc, etc……. Sorry to preach.