Saturday, November 6, 2010

To drill or not to drill? Not another ANWAR rant

Having just heard about the non-existent gunman at Glenn Research Center, I have a few thoughts with which I will likely annoy you.  The alert was caused by a misdirected phone message from a different NASA facility, which was conducting a known drill yesterday.  Everyone at the other facility where the drill was supposed to take place apparently knew that it was a drill.  So please, rethink the "How COULD they scare us like that?" reaction.  It wasn't done intentionally.  NASA has duly apologized for your "trauma."  You weren't hurt. 

In fact, be grateful.  Maybe you just received a message from God...  If you are living your life in a fashion that would not allow you to leave this life without regrets, then you need to fix that.  If you left your house this morning without hugging your family and telling them you love them, then you are an idiot.  You have no way of knowing, ANY DAY, if you will ever see your loved ones again. 

It's so much more likely that you (or they) will be killed in a car accident than by a gunman, that you have learned to ignore the greater likelihood of a traffic fatality, and instead focus irrationally on the far rarer armed lunatic. Do you hate vehicles because drunk drivers use them to commit vehicular homicide?  Does that sound irrational and a bit silly?  Now apply that same logic to hating guns because armed lunatics use them to commit homicide (far, far less often, I must add). 

Please don't tell me I don't understand how you feel about this incident, since the robber shot the Brinks guy fifteen yards from my bookstore door.  That was not a drill.  It was a wakeup call that said that I have employees who need to know what to do if this happens again, and the company has no guidelines for this.

Let's recognize that drills are a mostly minor inconvenience.  We have fire and tornado drills for a reason...  because the Gov't knows that very few people show both the sense and the self-discipline to look for the nearest exit or safest room in every building they enter, nor do they bother to read those handy "Where To Go" signs, if they can even figure out the maps.  How many of you enter a public room and sit with your back to a wall where you can see the door?  How many of you look around that room/building to find ALL the emergency exits?  How many of you look for the bathrooms unless you are going there?  You need that info in cases of fire, tornado, and lunatic.  Since the Government thinks you are too stupid to get that info yourself, it makes laws requiring you to drill.  And when drills aren't done and a dreaded disaster inevitably occurs, people (having been taught that they are not personally responsible for their own safety) sue and lay the blame for casualties on anyone but themselves: the company for not doing (enough) drills,  the Gov't for not requiring drills for that particular situation,  God for allowing it to happen.  Rare is the person who recognizes his responsibility for his own safety.

Imagine... if everyone took responsibility for his/her own safety...  the Gov't could stop wasting our hard earned money and resources on drills and silly emergency preparedness pamphlets full of what ought to be common sense...  and spend it on actually PREVENTING these problems in the first place... with the end result of a safer environment for everyone...   So sayeth the Queen of Efficiency in a utopian daydream...

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