Little children and elderly women run for they lives
This line was just to help paint the scene: a city so cold and harsh that even little kids and harmless old ladies live with the daily fear of getting shot.
Also, it can be looked at as the hindrance of the functions of the people of our future and our past. Instead of teaching and being taught both parties are only concerned with surviving from moment to moment and day to day. Thus, crippling the future and passing the poison down from generation to generation.
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