Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Dodging the Bullets?

Once again, an outbreak of our nation’s public mental illness: madmen shooting everybody in sight. And as we know from experience, whenever one  nutcase picks up his fake AK-47 and blows away a bunch of innocents, every other crazy in the country thinks that’s a grand idea, so we can be pretty sure one incident will be followed by at least one more. That’s what happened this time…so far it’s only one copycat shooting. But the night is young…

Do you find yourself taking steps to avoid the line of fire when these outbreaks of lunacy occur? I sure do.

During the time we were living in London so I could do research for a book, the IRA was holding forth. They were extremely violent, and they favored bombs. They liked to make their point, such as it was, by killing not just British soldiers but British civilians. One of their favorite tricks was to drop a time bomb into a post box. The perp would be long gone by the time the thing went off, sending metal shrapnel as well as flaming mail in all directions. Many people I knew would not walk on the same side of the street where a post box was located, or if they saw one down the block, would cross the road before they got to it.

This was just one the various strategies the citizenry used to avoid being blown to kingdom come. People would avoid going to pubs known to be frequented by soldiers and stay away from various public events.

So the question is, what steps do Americans take to stay out of the lunatics’ crosshairs?

The day after the Dayton massacre, I needed to go to Home Depot. And I’ll tellya: I really was given pause. Unfortunately the need was pressing: I really didn’t have time to order online and wait several days for the product to be delivered. One of the things I tend to do, when these spates of madness are in progress, is stay out of big box stores, but I reluctantly drove up there — on a Monday, when I expected any perps would figure fewer targets would be around.

So what, if anything, can you do to protect yourself?

  • Stay out of big-box stores, especially Costco, Target, Home Depot, and Lowe’s
  • Whenever possible, order necessaries from Amazon
  • Avoid sporting events
  • Stay out of shopping malls
  • Avoid crowded popular venues such as nightclub districts, beaches, county fairs, and boardwalks
  • Avoid public transit, especially during rush hours
  • Be observant; watch for any behavior that looks out of whack and leave or take cover before the person can launch into action
  • Know your surroundings well enough to identify obstacles or hiding places that could provide cover.

No, I do not carry a pistol with me, even though Arizona is a concealed-carry state. Nor do I carry pepper spray. Too unlikely that, under stress, I could deploy these in time to do any good. Unless you have nerves of steel and a steady aim, discretion is no doubt the better part of valor, when it comes to toting your own weapons around with you.

Thank God I don’t have a child today. It’s hard to imagine why any young person would deliberately choose to bring children into this fine world of ours. And apparently many of them can’t imagine it: US birth rates continue to drop.

If I did have a child, I would seriously consider home-schooling. I’m quite sure I would not like sending a kid into a school that looks like a federal penitentiary, where classmates are trained in the skill of avoiding bullets and parents are now buying “bullet-proof” back packs in the forlorn hope that such silliness will protect their children.

When I was a kid in San Francisco and in Southern California, our schools had regular air-raid drills. Everyone knew how farcical these were: the high school I attended had entire walls made of glass: windows that extended three stories high, on each end of the building. “Duck and cover” meant “bend over, put your head between your legs, and kiss your ass good-bye.” My San Francisco junior high school had a plan to evacuate kids by bus down the peninsula, where in the event of a miracle they would be reunited (maybe) with any surviving family members who managed to find them. You could opt to have your kids sent home — on foot — which my mother chose to do. This involved having to cross Junipera Serra Boulevard, which as everyone knew would be bumper to bumper with panicked drivers, none of whom would be about to stop long enough to let a little kid run across eight lanes of traffic and a streetcar track.

These exercises were utterly terrifying. I used to have nightmares about air raids. Regularly. They were horrifying and kept me scared most of the time.

And that was for a hypothetical: Maybe, maybe someday Russia would act on a suicidal impulse and start World War III.


What we have now is not a hypothetical: it’s real and it’s immediate.

So how are you coping? What strategies do you use to help keep yourself safe? Or do you?

Author: funny

This post may be a paid guest contribution.


  1. I guess I’ve become somewhat fatalistic: If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen. We’ve all got to go sometime.

    Despite the publicity these events garner, like plane crashes and shark attacks, the chances that I’ll ever be involved in one are astronomically low. I think it’s a good idea to pay attention to one’s surroundings, including nearby people, but I’m not about to put my life on hold on the off chance there’s some nitwit out there with a gun and a grudge spoiling to end it.

    • Yes, that’s true — about the odds, I mean. However, what were the odds that Matthew the Garage Invader was going to pick my house to hide in while the cops were chasing him just because, poor little guy, he stuck up a pawn shop and kidnapped three people? What, really, were the odds that San Francisco or Los Angeles was going to be nuked during the late 50s and early 60s?

      The odds, in London, that you could be caught in the IRA’s cross-fire were probably a little higher, but even then, they no doubt were pretty low.

      It’s also true that the hundreds of “mass shootings” the gun opponents whinge on and on about almost 100% involve warring gang members. And between you and me, if they kill each other off, bully for them.

      On the OTHER other hand…, I still think it’s probably worth weighing one’s risks in the weeks after a heavily publicized shooting incident, given the monkey-see-monkey-do factor. Even if the odds are low, it can’t hurt to lower them some more.

  2. I don’t consider myself fatalistic, but I don’t really worry about mass shootings either. I just do what I gotta do and live my life. I’ve already got so much stressing me out, I don’t have the energy to worry about that possibility.
    I do agree with you on concealed carry – my feeling is if you don’t carry a gun as part of your profession (cops, soldiers, etc.), you most likely won’t be able to react quickly enough to take the shooter/shooters out. Also, didn’t an off-duty cop get killed last year because he had a gun at a mall shooting?
    Not saying the Orange Turnip (private joke) is directly responsible, but… he sure as HELL is not a good influence on a certain segment of the population. I think he stirs up the crazies without even realizing he’s doing it. Hey, just my opinion…

    • He fosters hate, as a campaign strategy. True, he’s so stupid he may not realize (or care) that his rhetoric and actions are largely responsible for whipping up these crazies. But what is the Republican Party’s excuse?

      What’s the American voter’s excuse? We have allowed the forces of evil to take over the helm of our country.