Sunday evening, my wife and I were watching a movie on TV. I was making my usual observations about gun handling. Kudos to the sound people for not inserting some kind of cocking or safety clicking noise when Gerard Butler drew his Glock, since they don't have external safeties, and don't need to be cocked. Gerard Butler's trigger discipline left a lot to be desired, though, especially since he was supposed to be playing an ex-cop.
Then I decided to check my Twitter feed, and my threat level went from Yellow to Orange about as quickly as it takes you to read this. My timeline was full of people telling me to switch to CNN, because President Obama was going to announce that Osama bin Laden had been killed. You all probably saw the same thing I did, as we waited an hour for the President to confirm.
About five minutes into the wait my daughter texted us from her dorm room. After a couple of exchanges, my wife asked her if she was all right, using a specific series of words, and my daughter responded she was okay, using her affirmative code word.
Each member of my family has a specific question that the others may ask, and we have a positive code word to show that we are okay and not being coerced, and we have a negative code work. The negative code word is actually a positive word that can be used without anyone else being alerted, but it tells the others that they are being help against their will or being forced to do something they wouldn't otherwise do.
Am I paranoid to do this? I don't think so. The world is a dangerous place, and our lives take us places where we might not always have family members available for support. If we get the chance to communicate, a call for help might just make things worse.
My wife told me later that as soon as I put down my Blackberry and changed to CNN, she thought from the look on my face that there might be something going on that would require me to drive to my daughter's dorm and bring her home. Yes, there are scenarios where that is my plan. That's why I keep my car gassed and my things ready. I pray I won't ever have to do it.
But we have a plan, and sometimes it gets tested.