Friday Firing – Is the Civil Defense System necessary?

On Thursday at 10am the Civil Defense siren goes off in my hometown as a test. We often joke that a real attack at that exact time would be perfect since no one would take note. On 9/11 I was with my 80 year old mother in downtown Chicago. There were reports that the next plane was going to hit the Sears Tower. I knew what was going on since I had the Internet on my cell phone. We boarded a commuter train to leave town, witnessed thousands of faces filled with fear, and heard no siren.

The Civil Defense System was created to protect Americans in the event of an enemy attack on our homeland. During the Cold War there was the fear of a nuclear bomb in our backyard. Do you remember the drills in school where kids practiced getting under their desks. Like that would really help if a nuclear bomb exploded. The picture of a cute little girl with pigtails in her white dress hiding under a school desk is the perfect picture of the ineffectiveness of the Civil Defense System. It needs to be eliminated.

I read that the cost of this system is around $500 million per year. The purpose is to warn, protect, and help with emergency evacuation. The threat of nuclear attack has diminished. Since it is never an option to drop a government program, the system now covers natural disasters. If there was ever a question that we should drop this useless, wasteful program it should have been settled with Hurricane Katrina. In case you did not see the news, there were no sirens, protections, or evacuations.

The Internet, cell phones, and cable TV with it’s 24 hr news cycle make the whole system unnecessary. Up to the second reporting is available on anything happening in my town or the other side of the world. I wonder if the local police, sheriff’s department, state police, national guard, or any other agency given the task of protecting us would suffer one iota without the Civil Defense System?

One Response to “Friday Firing – Is the Civil Defense System necessary?”

  1. Sharon says:

    Wow. Great point. So how do we get rid of $500 million worth of waste? Do you think any of those politicians would listen to us?

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