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Dark Knight Theater Shooting: Does it Change Our View of Public Safety?

A discussion point since 9/11, will the mayhem at the Batman movie make us rethink security at movie theaters, malls or school events? Join the discussion.

At least 12 dead and dozens injured, several seriously.

One gunman and one crowded theater.

The specter of copycats.

Bay Area residents will awake Friday morning to live shots coming from Aurora, CO, where James Holmes, a young gunman reportedly wearing a gas mask and a bulletproof vest, opened fire during a midnight showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, a movie expected to gross $200 million this weekend.

The number of deaths and injured isn't confirmed. As information become available the figures could change up or down. But no matter what the final numbers are, there is one definitive: It's a tragedy.

Since the September 11 terror attacks of 2001, Americans have been on various levels of alert, but anyone with an ounce of cynicism has recognized that movie theaters, malls and school events—so-called soft targets because they are gathering locations with little security—are ripe for domestic terror or deranged madmen.

The Friday morning massacre at the Century 16 in Aurora took place 19 miles away from Columbine High, where a two teenagers killed 12 and injured dozens before killing themselves in April 1999.

All such events—not just the local ones—remind us of just how vulnerable we are.

And it brings with it the specter of copycats who think they can do it just a little better—or bigger.  

Do we keep the status quo and prove that we haven’t been beaten, or do we make changes because we want to see next year, want to see our kids get married and our grandkids grow up?

The incident Friday morning is likely to start a discussion—a very real, very serious discussion—about soft targets.

Let's start it here.

Should metal detectors become as standard as popcorn machines at movie theaters? Should there be armed security, or will a thick dude in a yellow jacket be enough to stop someone carrying a gun who wants to get in with or without a ticket? Will there be no more dress-up at the theater, which apparently allowed the Aurora gunman to enter with a handgun, a rifle, a gas canister and a gas mask?

What do you think? Tell us in the comments section below

ordinary joe August 06, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Now it is in Wisconsin. The Killer came with two semi-automatic handguns. Tim and other gun experts can decipher the nuts and bolts of the guns used. The bottomline - innocent people got killed because of an insane person. When will the so-called sane people wake up and realize it is not right? When will the NKA (a.k.a NRA) will realize that they are collaborrating with the killers?
Nadja Adolf August 06, 2012 at 02:42 AM
When will those who disarm decent citizens and declare "gun free zones" realize that they are enabling mass murder, and making homicide and other crimes essentially risk free for criminals?
Nadja Adolf August 06, 2012 at 02:45 AM
And how do those who disarm the innocent explain away the deaths of 87 people by means of a book of matches and regular gasoline in the Bronx? Are they now proposing to outlaw matches and gasoline?
Albert Rubio August 06, 2012 at 07:10 AM
>collaborrating with the killers? you think supporting gun rights is a conspiracy to mass murder? Now your ready for political office. "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable" By the way, where and when has gun control worked?
Zolla August 06, 2012 at 12:10 PM
I’m sure glad I have my concealed carry permit. Never leave home without it, and it’s valid in 31 other states.

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