That Word Again: Lockdown

"Fear is the only darkness" -- Master Po
“Fear is the only darkness” — Master Po

W.J. Astore

A word that’s symbolic of our growing police state mentality is “lockdown.”  I saw today on the news that Indiana University is in “lockdown” due to a suspect on the loose with a knife.

You can lockdown a prison.  But you can’t lockdown a campus as large as Indiana University in Bloomington.  Nor is a college campus a prison.  The campus should certainly be alerted to a potentially dangerous situation, but there’s no need to apply prison terminology to the situation.

In so many aspects of our lives, Americans are being told to be afraid.  We’re told “to shelter in place,” to huddle scared like so many rabbits, until the proper “locked and loaded” authorities are deployed with their SWAT teams and armored cars.

This lockdown mentality extends to commercials.  New TV ads for ADT show parents smiling as they secretly monitor their children at home with cameras linked to their security systems and their personal laptops/iPads.  Adults attain a look of blissful contentment as they remotely arm their security systems, knowing that they’re keeping the have-nots out of their “have” communities.

Sorry, I don’t think lockdowns are the answer to danger.  And I don’t think turning your home into a prison with gates and perimeter lights and alarms and cameras is the answer to our worries about security.

We don’t need to lockdown our communities and our homes.  We need to lockdown our fear.  For as Master Po said in Kung Fu, “Fear is the only darkness.”