My mother used to tell me about the shelter drills she had to do as a kid growing up in the early cold war era. It was foreign to me, and I understood only the part of it that resembled the fire drills I grew up doing in school. Friends in California also had earthquake drills. Today, I experienced my first lockdown drill, and it felt like the beginning of a new era.

The creation of the lockdown drill was in response to the recent horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. It is only sensible to take precautions and be prepared for such a possibility, since preparations could save many lives.

I was struck by the emotional content of practicing for this kind of threat. The students understood it was just practice, and most schools have some procedure for an ‘intruder alert,” but I had never been asked to practice before, and none of us had ever imagined the situation as seriously as we did now. We did not act in total seriousness. We followed the procedure correctly and tried to keep the mood light to balance out the fear the situation invoked.

Without going deeper into this topic, I’ll just say, it feels like a new era. I wonder what other precautions, beyond the realm of gun control, we could be taking to ensure that individuals with the power to do harm, choose not to?

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