Even now that his daughter is in her 20s, Jeffrey Hawkins still springs a familiar quiz on her when the two are out together in a restaurant.
"We'll be chatting about this or that," said Hawkins, "and then I'll stop. I'll say, 'OK, what's your plan?' And she'll know exactly what I'm talking about. She'll say, 'Dad there are three exits... One behind you. One to our left, and one through the kitchen.' "
" 'OK, and what if that doesn't work? What would you do?' "
" 'I would take this chair, throw it through the window and run.'"
It's not about being paranoid, said Hawkins, a public safety and security industry veteran. It is about realizing that "things can happen," even in public places once deemed safe.Amazingly enough, when I was young, this would have been a sign of paranoia--to worry about something as unlikely as a random act of mass murder. Now, it's just commonsense.