Castles, alligators, machine guns, and mail

One day you’re asked to fortify your home in the name of ‘safety and security’.

Depending on your career, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds, you may produce a very different result. And with no other context besides ‘safety and security’ that’s understandable.

Some may choose to upgrade their doors to thick steel ones, and fit wrought iron bars on the windows. Others will simply change the locks to more “robust” ones. Some may decide they need barriers like bollards or concrete dividers to keep vehicles away. Those from a certain demographic will ignore all else but the purchasing and stockpiling of weapons.

An entirely different demographic will interpret that instruction very differently. Instead of defending their house’s perimeter from unspecified evils, they may choose to focus on the very real threats within. These people will check and re-check the construction, comparing it to the very latest building codes. They will consult geographers in their region to ensure they will be protected from floods and storms. Not a single 16 gauge wire will be left behind, and not even a microscopic shard of asbestos will remain when they are finished. VOC emitting substances will be hunted down and disposed of, and space heaters will have their cords chopped off.

Others still will take a more proactive approach. Some may hire, at great expense, a 24/7 security detail to patrol their grounds. Maybe some will include alligators or land mines in this regimen. And of course, given the chance, they will fit an automated robotic machine gun to their roof with a database full of feral hogs and “hoodlums” to identify.

While I don’t agree with all of them, I do understand their utility.

What I don’t understand is the people whose first instinct is to redirect all of their letters through Panama or Hong Kong. The mail forwarding services simply have the best advertizing, and it’s outside of their best interests for their customers to formulate a real understanding of what threatens their ‘castle’.