Locking the Theater Door
Monday, July 23 2012 @ 10:35 am PDT
Contributed by: WatchCat
We shouldn't be surprised. The pattern we see after these horrific events is all too predictable; usually the smoke barely has a chance to clear before the political mudslinging begins and the sheep begin complaining about the security measures that should have been in place to protect them. Meanwhile the sheepdogs know what it would have taken to curtail the tragedy...and they alternately mourn or rage that society doesn't like the real solutions.
Still, I was surprised by the article, albeit pleased that it did include some alternative perspective. Is there something about movie theaters that makes them more dangerous than any other public place? Should we lock down our malls? Our city parks? Our restaurants?
At what point will we have to go through a security check to enter our cities?
Even if we do all these things, will we really be safer? Technological advances and the information age ensure that there's a work-around for every precaution. Meanwhile, security bottlenecks have the potential to create a target-rich environment with limited exits. The only difference is liability. Extra security provides a liability shield for the theater (or any other company) but if it is not specifically tailored to viable threats, it has little other value.
This brings me to training. It's no surprise that two of the three service members killed in the shooting died protecting someone else. So far, most of the survival stories I've heard had something in common: they got down low instead of trying to run. While it's never a guarantee, that strategy is recommended for surviving a random shooting in a crowd.
I don't expect every parent to teach their kids special tactics. And I do struggle with the psychological implications of teaching young kids "what to do in a shooting" along with stranger-danger and water safety. Yet I do know that one of the moments that mattered in my life was the 20 minutes I spent teaching a bunch of EMT types about how to stay alive in these kinds of situations.
There is evil in the world, and all too often it capitalizes on mental weakness. If we want security, it will come from the strength of individuals within the society. Not metal detectors and rules against costumes.