Back when I was a kid in the 1970s, I think the thing we worried most about was the Russians nuking the United States. I distinctly remember getting quite anxious about this, thinking about vodka swilling men in fluffy hats and fur coats sitting around with unfiltered cigarettes perched between their nicotine stained first and second fingers, plotting ways to decimate the entire population of the United States.
I was thinking about that today, that kind of gut wrenching fear that settles in the back of your mind, always popping up when you least expect it. That fear that rears its ugly head as one lays their head upon the pillow, waiting for the heaviness of sleep to takeover, but being chased away by the racing of the heart, beating so hard can be heard in one’s ears.
I asked my kids today if they had given any thought to what they would do if they were in class and heard gunshots. They said they had vague escape plans. My youngest said as soon as he heard the popping of the guns, the screams, the hurried footsteps, he was going to run full force through a window and out the school campus to a nearby neighborhood. My oldest said he would hide and as soon as he felt the coast was clear he would make a dash to the car. I said that was pretty much what I was going to do too.
My kids are really worried about what is going on in the United States and think things are really getting out of hand. I have to agree with them. When I was kid, it was one enemy that we worried about, and they were really, really far away. Now it is hard to know who our assailants will be. It could be the dorky teenager, the disgruntled employee or a random person with anger boiling in his veins that decides to take his frustrations out on a group of strangers in a mall, a movie theater or even a hospital.
One thing is for certain, we are in a fight with these unseen enemies. They are everywhere, armed to the hilt, with hidden agendas that aren’t apparent until it is too late, until innocent people have died in order to for their statement, their hatred, to be known. Even then we may never know what brought them to act out these horrific acts of violence.
Another thing that is readily apparent, is we are in this fight on our own. Do we all have to arm ourselves with guns in hopes of protecting ourselves? My husband wants to get a gun, take our boys for to the gun range so they can learn to shoot a gun properly. I bristled at this suggestion. I don’t think this is the answer.
When I was a kid, we figured the Russians had their finger poised over that red button, but at least we knew our government too had their finger poised over their red button, ready to retaliate. I do not sense there is any plan to fight these enemies, who have infiltrated what used to be a relatively safe society. It is like the United States has returned to the Wild, Wild West days – everyone for themselves, shoot-outs on Main Street, no law, no order.
During our discussion about our plans for escape, my children and I arranged for a meeting place in our town, in case all hell broke loose, if communications were shut down and we had no way contacting each other. We decided the Mormon Temple down the street was the best place. It is easily accessible from many different ways, it has a good hiding place behind one of the outer buildings. That is where we will meet. I am thinking about outfitting each car with an Emergency Box – just in case.
It is pretty sad that it has come to this. We as American citizens can turn to no one. We must have conversations like this with our children and come up with ways to protect ourselves. We can’t count on our government to eradicate guns, too many lobbyists and politicians with wallets lined by the people who want to make guns easily accessible to every deranged idiot in this country. We are on our own. United we stand, divided we fall – the slow tumble down the hill has begun.