Knife Attack Triggers Another “Shelter in Place” Order. Shouldn’t That Be “Time to Tool Up”?

"Authorities were searching for a man who stabbed a 9-year-old girl in the Calaveras County community of Valley Springs on Saturday, April 27, 2013." (caption and photo courtesy

I was not well pleased with the government’s decision to advise Boston-area residents to “shelter in place” in the immediate aftermath of the marathon bombing. Even if you agree that shutting down an entire city was an appropriate response to a terrorist threat of indeterminate size and scope, what up with the term “shelter in place”? Isn’t that PC speak for “we’re declaring martial law only not completely”? Well, it’s happened again. In the wake of a knife attack in Northern California, wherein persons unknown stabbed 8-year-old Leila Fowler to death, police advised residents of the tiny community of Valley Springs in Calaveras County California to “shelter in place” or, as I like to call it . . .

“cower in fear.” What happened to a call to residents to “be on alert” and “do not approach” someone “armed and extremely dangerous”? Are we such a nation of wimps that we’re now told to hide from the bad guys?

In my world, authorities chasing bad guys would tell citizens to “take sensible precautions for their own self-defense.” In other words, they’d give their employers a heads-up to arm themselves with a blade (our Question of the Day) and/or a gun. Which they should be carrying anyway. Am I wrong?


  1. Matt in FL says:

    “Shelter in place” is just one more example of the passive language that reflects the passive ethos of our times. I remember “be on alert” and “do not approach,” and that’s how I’d run things, which probably explains why I’m not in charge.

  2. Glenn Billings says:

    “Shelter in Place” IS the same as “Cower in Place”. I guess it also might have to do with Cultural Geography. In some areas people are raised to to be Passive Sheep and other areas of the this country, the people might form vigilante groups and go after the guy. Ever hear of the essay “Nation of Cowards”? Great essay.

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Knife Attack Triggers Another “Shelter in Place” Order. Shouldn’t That Be “Time to Tool Up”?

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