Mayor Bloomberg’s private residence is protected 24/7 by an armed policeman who stands guard outside. The White House, Congress and most other government buildings are protected by armed guards or policemen and somehow no one worries about how these people are vetted or whether there’s increased danger by putting weapons in their hands. Why then does the same suggestion to protect schoolchildren in this way provoke such controversy? No one says that this should be the only security improvement considered in our efforts to prevent or control mass murder, but clearly politicians consider it a good deterrent when it comes to their own safety. Until we come up with a way to profile potential killers, this seems the most logical system to implement immediately. And, since most young children look up to men in uniform, this would certainly be a calming and reassuring presence, especially for those who have already witnessed or survived extreme danger.
There were apologies galore from our state department, politicians and president for the disrespectful film trailer about Mohammed that angered the Muslim world pre-Benghazi. Now comes Zero Dark Thirty with the revelation that the filmmaker had the cooperation of the government in researching the stealth operation to capture/kill Bin Laden. I saw the movie in a large multiplex on the upper west side of NY and wondered why there is no fear on the part of the same government apologists for how incendiary this movie might be to radical jihadis here and abroad. With graphic scenes of torture and waterboarding of Muslim prisoners, with virtual recreation of the murder of Bin Laden and its collateral damage, with the point of view of American supremacy - how is this movie less threatening to our security than the previous amateur effort for which we initially blamed the murder of our Libyan ambassador and three other American servicemen? Since the massacre at Aurora, what steps have been taken to consider security in multiplex theaters which routinely exhibit extremely violent films? Subways have police presence and signs indicating that backpacks and large packages are subject to inspection at any time. But, though we don’t allow people to bring outside food into theaters, they are allowed in with all sorts of personal baggage that could easily contain weapons or explosives. Must we wait until Aurora happens in our own city before taking pre-emptive action to minimize the possibility of another such tragedy? Doesn’t the entertainment industry which profits from showing extreme violence on screen owe the public a minimal investment in our protection from possible violence on -site? And is it more likely that an unstable, violent shooter or terrorist would go to Lincoln Center - whose auditoriums all have cursory security checks - or the Lincoln Square multiplex showing Zero Dark Thirty for maximum effect?
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