12 people were shot dead in my old neighborhood in southeast Washington, DC this morning. This wasn’t some shootout between rival triads in a Chinese laundry. It wasn’t the mafioso brawling in an Italian grocery store. And it wasn’t a street shootout between rival crack dealers. This happened in a secure naval facility. A place where there are lots of sailors on guard duty all the time, with well defined security protocols, and all carrying firepower. And yes, this is part of the same government that still proclaims with a straight face that it can protect you, the citizen.

Call me cynical but a dozen years ago when that plane crashed into the pentagon building it became highly dubious to me how this same government could protect other interests if they couldn’t even manage to protect themselves. This last incident at the Navy Yard appears to be another case in point. Oh, but it gets worse.

According to the news, the 3000 people working in the Navy Yard at the time were instructed to ‘shelter in place’. This is bureaucrat speak. It means that you are on your own and to expect no help from the authorities. I know this specific language is what it is for a fact because I spent 5 years working in the defense industry in Washington, DC.

Coincidentally, I was pinged by one of the entities in the Navy Yard to do some engineering contract work there a couple of years ago. I thought ‘cool, it would be nice to be able to walk [8 blocks] to work for a change’. After these recent events, I’m sure glad that opportunity didn’t work out.

This ‘shelter in place’ doesn’t just play out in a government building. Oh, no. It has much further reaching implications than that. For example, I have been on the DC metro on three different occasions when it was shutdown for some emergency purpose. We were told to leave the metro and that is all we were told. There was no back up plan, no buses, no alternate transport provided. We were all on our own and some of us were as many as 20 miles from home.

So if the unspeakable happened and space aliens invaded Capitol Hill, the government’s response would be to shutdown every means of egress to the city and the half million of us that lived in the city and the other couple of million that worked in the city would be delivered those same rather unnourishing words of ‘shelter in place’.

We’re talking about the capital of the US and supposedly the leader of the free world. And like how the wizard of Oz turned out to be only a blustery little man behind a curtain; the nation’s capital and its leaders for all its posturing and noise have absolutely nothing (nothing) by way of a disaster plan. So when the shit hits the fan my friend and you live in an urban area like Washington, DC, I strongly suggest that you have your own personal disaster plan.

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