So I’ve been thinking about security a lot this week. It’s no secret that the United States isn’t very popular overseas, and things aren’t what they used to be in the world of diplomacy. The world itself isn’t particularly stable lately…if it ever was. Even in the news you can read about all the civil unrest or natural disasters that have caused at least half a dozen U. S. embassy evacuations just this year. Libya, Egypt, Japan, Yemen, to name a few. I met a girl today who had been evacuated from Tripoli and basically lost everything she owned because they had to leave it all behind where it was promptly looted by locals. One of our instructors had been in Cairo when the fun started there. One of the friends that I’ve made during training was living in Nairobi in 1998. Luckly, her family left post two weeks before it was bombed. But she lost good friends that day.

So I worry about what kind of environment I’m dragging my family into. I try to tell myself that bad things happen to people in the States all the time. Some cities in the US have areas that you would never want to set foot in even in daylight. Crime happens everywhere. And we’ve obviously had significant terrorist attacks even on our own soil. But you are more likely to be kidnapped or taken hostage overseas. All of which is very sobering.

With this in mind I’m suddenly more interested in self defense and home defense. It’s illegal to import guns into Central America for obvious reasons, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to learn how to shoot one. Coincidentally, the family that I married into is a military one. And my father-in-law and husband took it upon themselves to give me some basic training. So I can now say that I’ve shot a .40 caliber Glock and a Sig Sauer P228. But apparently I’m not very good with handguns. My hand fatigues quickly, and I start losing accuracy after about the third shot. Then I was introduced to this lovely piece of machinery…the Colt 9mm Submachine Gun…and everything changed.

Colt 9mm Submachine Gun

According to the manufacturer’s website, “The Colt 9mm Submachine Gun is a lightweight compact weapon encompassing the same straight line construction and design with the world known M16A2/A4 Rifle. This straight line construction, coupled with the low recoil associated with 9mm ammunition, provides highly accurate fire with less muzzle climb, especially in full automatic fire. Less recoil also facilitates ease of training and improves accuracy.”

Yes, yes, and yes. I doubt that I will ever get to (and hopefully will never NEED to) use anything like this in my current job as a humble diplomatic secretary. But it sure puts a smile on your face. And they even let me keep my target with all the lovely little holes centered nicely in the chest.