Over-React Much???

In an article this morning in the Christian Science Monitor the pundits and wags are already talking about the probability of increased security at theaters.

Uhhh It was ONE fucked up dude…

Statistically speaking ONE does not represent a trend.

While tragic, the Aurora theater shooting was an incident carried out by exactly 1 crazy person. 

This is not a wake up call to increase the level of fear in our country. Unfortunately that is exactly what the media is doing. 

I already don’t go to the movies very often.

Here’s why

1) the expense,

2) the crowds

3) the idiots texting throughout the whole fucking movie

4) the idiots talking throughout the whole movie

5) most of the movies SUCK!

But if you add metal detectors, and prohibitions on what can and cannot be carried into the theater, For example a shopping bag from another store in the mall then a lot of folks are just not going to bother. Really? I’ll have to carry my $200 of jeans out to my car then come back to the movie theater? Nahhh I’m going to get in my car and go home.

I’ll simply wait until the movie in question is available on pay per view or DVD/BlueRay. Lets face it, the time from theater to DVD has gotten ridiculously short.

So I personally have no problem waiting until I can rent a movie for 5 bucks and then every one in the whole house can watch it. I save 13 bucks, can make my own popcorn, have a beer and press pause when I have to take a leak. I like my surround sound system better than the theaters most of the time anyway and I don’t have to wear earplugs because the soundtrack is too loud. Everything is under my control and honestly, I like it better that way anyway.

Of greater concern to me is how we as a people react to these situations.

I agree with metal detectors at airports. The metal detectors at airports were not a result of terrorism… They came about as a reaction to NOT ONE… But Several aircraft Hijackings to Cuba. The metal detectors weren’t about making people FEEL safe… they’re about actually doing something to BE SAFER. 

Today we have to take our shoes off at the airport because ONE stupid moron tried… AND FAILED to light explosives in his shoes.

We are patted down and / or XRAYED, Microwaved, or otherwise imaged to determine if we’re carrying weapons or bombs on airplanes because a couple of morons tried to set off explosives in their underwear. We can’t carry liquids on planes because of the threat that someone might make a bomb out of two liquids.

As any 1st year chemistry student knows, there are elements that are inert until they are mixed with plain simple water. There are a variety of chemicals and elements that in even small quantities can make big booms, or poison gases. These chemicals could be carried on planes in a variety of ways.

The only way to be truly safe on an airplane is to not permit luggage, or carry-on bags of any type. And every single passenger and crew member on the plane would have to be naked. In addition,  there could be no in flight services, no moving about the cabin, no bathrooms, and every passenger would have to be locked into their seat for the duration of the flight.

1342801511 james holmes

Even then, you’re only mostly safe… the plane could be sabotaged, or there could be an act of God that causes the plane to fall out of the sky.

In the wake of the theater shooting, New calls for gun control, restriction of ammunition, and greater security in theaters, are being heard from around the country.

Nidal Hasan

When does it stop? Where do you draw the line?

One could argue that James Holmes and Maj. Nidal Hasan were both involved in the study of brains… By the knee jerk logic of the talking heads… ALL psychology and neuroscience study should be halted because it makes gun toting crazies who shoot into crowds of people.

Are we to have TSA style security in all public places?

Should going to the local shopping mall require a pat down? How about the grocery store?

Will we be required to take our shopping bags out to our cars as we complete each purchase?

Done at Macys, out to the car, back through security Second X-ray of the day, done at Pennys back to the car, back through security 3rd X-ray of the day, and so on.

If that’s what we’re heading for we’ll all be glowing in the dark by the end of the year.

Why didn’t we hear calls for tighter security in the wake of the Brian Stow beating? Oh… yeah the criminal thugs who destroyed Mr. Stow’s life did that with their fists and feet, in a parking lot. I suppose that the only way to prevent something like Brian Stow is to shackle everyone from the time they leave their cars until the time they are returned to their cars.

The point is this…

Being completely safe is an illusion. The only way to be completely safe is to never leave your house, even then safety isn’t guaranteed. So whether you acknowledge it or not we all make choices about the level of personal safety that we’re willing to accept.

Gun control, Draconian Security procedures, and restrictions of our freedoms are not the answer.

We as a people, shouldn’t live in fear. We shouldn’t change our lives because of terrorism, or lone gunmen, or the fear mongering of the talking heads on TV, or of the political candidates.

We as a people, can help to insure greater safety of the society at large by paying attention, by choosing not to ignore odd things.

James Holmes reportedly opened an exit door in the theater and then propped that door open while he went to his car to get the guns and body armor.

All it would have taken is for any one of the people in the theater to close that door. Presumably Holmes purchased a ticket… if he’d forgotten something or needed a medication from his car, he’d have a ticket stub and he could have re-entered the theater via the front door. Holmes needed the dark, he needed stealth and inaction on the part of the theater goers. Someone would have raised an alarm if he’d walked through the main lobby with guns and body armor.

This is not to imply that the victims were at fault. They behaved exactly as predicted and exactly as everyone in America would have. They didn’t get involved. They didn’t ask WTF? 

People who are about to do bad things typically “telegraph” their intentions before they act. If everyone in our society would stop ignoring the odd, the out of place, or the strange, then we’d be a long way toward being safer.

If we instead reported odd behavior or odd situations or asked questions of the person that was acting odd then we’d be in a safer environment all the time.

Criminal activity almost always requires stealth. Asking or having a Policeman ask a suspicious individual what they’re doing may be just enough to stop a crime before it happens.

We text, call, email, Facebook and tweet pretty much 24 / 7 you’d think that with that kind of communication there would be no crime.

But in fact we are so glued to the glow of our smart phones that we’re not only driving distracted…

We’re LIVING distracted.

Consider that, the next time you’re in a restaurant and you notice people texting more than talking.