Am I living in a war zone? This is the question I kept asking myself after witnessing the scene above. What you are looking at is a DC National Guard Humvee with a huge spotlight and the photo below shows three National Guard Troops and one MPD office on the corner of 5th and Taylor, NW. (Sadly, I only had my cell phone and it was pretty tough to get proper photos with the 50,000 watt spotlight shining.)
I mentioned last November how my neighbor and I heard a shooting in the middle of the day and hardly flinched. That for sure was disturbing. The not flinching that is. But I think I am even more disturbed that I didn’t flinch at the sight of the DC National Guard Deployed in my neighborhood. I mean at first I walked right by them. I said to myself “oh there must have been a shooting, so this is the response” and just kept walking. Then I thought, holy shit this the national guard, I’ve never seen them deployed before. How bad does it have to get for the guard to be deployed? I think sometimes I focus a little too much on the beautiful life and let the absurdity I sometimes experience slide. I dare say it is not “normal” to have a guard humvee and troops on a residential block in DC. Maybe in Baghdad at the moment. But my relatively quiet little block?
So when I gathered my wits I walked up to the MPD officer and asked what was going on? She replied, “we’re lighting up the block.” Um, ok. I said I found it odd that Guard troops were with her and she said “we do it all the time”. Um, ok. Has anyone else ever seen Guard troops in full camouflage fatigues deployed in their neighborhood? Maybe the police don’t have enough resources and needed to borrow the Guard’s humvee with spotlight and a few troops? Maybe. Or maybe I really am living in a war zone?
Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have them there than read (or hear) about another shooting. But is this really the solution? Do/would you feel safer having National Guard troops deployed around “hot spots” in the city?