Imagine this: You are a woman, alone, jogging so early in the morning that the sun isn’t even awake yet. Heck, most of Seattle isn’t awake yet. It’s Saturday. You start to jog across a drawbridge when a car pulls into the bike lane behind you, a place where it has no business being. You look over your shoulder, feeling worried. The car slowly follows you.
Well, in this case, the jogger was in luck, because the driver was me. Driving slowly down the bike lane is the only way for me to get to my designated parking space when I work on this particular drawbridge. Of course, I couldn’t explain this to the jogger. By the time I got out of my car, she was long gone, as well she should have been. I’m sure I scared her half to death, and I feel terrible about that.
But at the same time, I thought, “Good on her for being hypervigilant.” In this crazy world, you need to err on the side of caution. Too much can go wrong.
I used to be offended, as a teenager, when security guards followed me in stores. I wasn’t a shoplifter, but how would they know that? Yeah, I was being profiled. But stores take a major financial hit because of shoplifters, so where does one draw the line?
Now I don’t take such things personally. I am actually grateful when someone puts me through an extra level of security, for their sake or for mine. Prevention is a good thing.
So, thank you, little old lady, for clutching your purse a little tighter when I walk past.
Thank you, cashier, for asking to see my I.D. when I want to pay by credit card.
Thank you, website, for making me answer security questions.
Thank you, neighbor, for using deadbolts on your doors.
Thank you, driver, for clicking your door locks when you see any human approaching your car.
Thank you, everyone, for taking safety seriously. If we do the little tiny things mentioned above, we’ll prevent crime. The less crime we have, the safer we will all feel.
It’s the propaganda put out by the NRA that we’re in a hyper-violent, Mad Max world that makes politicians find excuses to remove bans on silencers and semi-automatic weapons, and allows mentally ill people to stockpile an armory. It’s those fools who are getting us killed, not those of us who ask for I.D.
So in a strange way, being ever-so-slightly paranoid about your safety increases our safety in general, and reduces the insane belief that military-level weapons are a good idea for the general populous. Our world will never be 100 percent safe. If we own that and take minor precautions, we won’t have to take Mad Max-like ones in the future. Weird how that works.
So please keep clutching those purses! It’s not meant as an insult. I would argue that it’s actually a civic duty.
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