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Last updated on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at 7:32 PM by Webmaster.

I was born in 1956, a time when it seemed the worst was behind us and the best was yet to come.

But we were wrong.

How did a country that was relatively safe and united become so dangerous and divided?

Is it—in no particular order—contentious and seemingly unsolvable social issues like abortion and discrimination; the distain for capitalism; the push for socialism; the prospect of social security becoming insolvent; the unstoppable national debt that tops $26 trillion and continues to soar, which is greater than the economic output of the entire country; the re-emergence of racism; the proliferation of data breaches and identity theft; our healthcare and prescription drug cost and insurance woes; global warming likely the result of human activity and proceeding at a rate that’s unprecedented; a nation of compromised or failing infrastructure; the opioid addiction and overdose crisis; the border security and immigration problems; controversial and seemingly never-ending international conflicts and wars; emerging and reemerging illnesses; mosquito-borne diseases; tick-borne diseases; looming pandemics; the rapid increase in depression; the proliferation of anger and hate; the mushrooming use of devices of all types including cell phones, computers, and tablets where violent video games, hateful social media, and deviant pornography, and the like, are at our fingertips 24-365; a rapidly deepening political polarization that’s pushing us into uncharted territory fraught with unimaginable constitutional pitfalls; horrible incidents of all types; and so on? Or is it something else? There’s no answer now and most likely there never will be.

However, at the end of the day only one thing really matters—going safely home. We all want that, and most of us want it for our families and friends and everyone else for that matter. The notion of going safely home is best captured by the Caterpillar® catchphrase “Safely Home. Everyone. Every Day™” and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation© program “Everyone Goes Home®” . But those words are more than a slogan and a program, they’re true. Unfortunately, by no fault of their own, it’s not happening to an ever-increasing number of innocent bystanders who are falling victim to the senseless violence gripping our country and ripping it apart.

Generally, the crime rate overall in the United States has decreased during the past 25 years or so but the increasing number of horrific incidents that give rise to this book and others like it have occurred at prominently nice places to normal people just living their everyday lives. Listening to music, eating out, doing their job, learning, watching a movie, buying back to school supplies, worshipping. In other words, they didn’t directly or indirectly provide provocation, they weren’t seedy individuals perhaps with like cohorts, nor were they travelers who ventured knowingly or wandered aimlessly into harm’s way. They were people, just like you and I, in places we go, doing things we do, who fell victim to the unthinkable.

So, this book has been written and published in the hope that in some small way it might motivate those at the helm of venues to implement security measures—both existing ones and the new ones we’ve proposed—so that the hard target venues become harder and the soft target venues become hard. Some won’t harken to what this book says, but if only a few heed it, we’ll be better for it.