Orlando shootings likely to impact security at theme parks

Posted Sunday, June 12, 2016 10:27 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Law enforcement was extra-watchful at theme parks Sunday after a mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub, and tourism experts expect tighter security and fewer visitors in the tragedy's wake. Theme parks already know Orlando holds potential for a terrorist attack or a mass shooting because of its high profile. After last year's deadly terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., the attractions beefed up security significantly.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Sunday, June 12, 2016 10:37 PM

It's been a pretty strange day here, for sure. The proximity is pretty scary, just 1.4 miles down the street from where I and my wife work. All of my friends are accounted for, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I know someone who knows someone. Very sad.

That said, I'm not entirely convinced that this will impact tourism, but I'm too close to tell. This was no where near the theme parks, which to me are not really Orlando proper (only Universal is technically in the city limits). I don't know if people coming for the parks realize that there is an entire city here that has nothing to do with tourism. Also, I read one report of Epcot literally checking everyone at the metal detectors today.

Monday, June 13, 2016 2:28 AM

One of my friends has said that he will not visit the United States because he doesn't believe it safe to do so given the number of mass shootings you have and the resistance to common-sense gun control laws.

The radio this morning reported that this was the 173rd of the year so far.

Monday, June 13, 2016 7:46 AM

I was about to take issue with that then I did some checking.

I see where the non-profit Gun Violence Archive (GVA) reports that with 164 days into the year there have been 133 mass shootings in the US with 207 people dead. 76 days with, 88 days without. They define mass shooting as at least 4 shot, (dead or not,) not including the shooter. I found this statistic shocking.
And I suppose it includes shootings due to gang violence as well as the nut jobs who murder their own families before turning the gun on themselves, situations most of us average citizens would be likely to avoid. I'm still shocked. And so sad.

This is having a deep impact in my community, particularly during a month that's normally set aside to celebrate pride and honor achievements. Did it take a direct hit to wake me up to the issue of gun violence in America? Looks like it.

There's a lot of talk on amusement websites about security theater at the gate and the inconvenience. And there's a lot of debate everywhere as to whether gun control is better for everyone or if it does nothing but sap liberties. But it looks like we're in a hole and I don't know what the answer is.

I'd like to invite Richard Bannister's friend over anyway, and I'd do my best to assure him or her that everything will be ok. But even I'm beginning to doubt that now.

Monday, June 13, 2016 9:27 AM

A weird day for Orlando for sure. Just like you Jeff, I work just a mile or so away from Pulse and have driven that stretch of Orange Ave countless times. I have lived in Orlando for 8 years now, and something like this definitely makes it hit home that Orlando is home. The hardest thing for me is I am actually out of town for a long weekend in my hometown in Ohio. I would actually rather be back at work in that community of friends today rather than up north. I still made it out to Cedar Point yesterday, but it was a somber feeling for sure. And it was weird because the folks in the park weren't nearly as connected to the situation as I was, so the mood in the park was normal.

I can't see this affecting Orlando tourism either. Sure, there will be a handful of folks who cancel or don't take a trip here now out of fear, but not enough to really make a noticeable dent in the numbers.

Monday, June 13, 2016 9:39 AM

At a very fundamental level, the right bear arms makes a lot of sense. It's also worth pointing out that the founding fathers loaded guns with loose gun powder and loaded one round at a time, and did not likely anticipate the creation of an AR-15. Because issues is the US are treated like sports rivalries, people don't allow for gray areas. So we'll keep allowing the purchase and sale of assault rifles, as if limitations on the weapon are not compatible with the right to bear arms. The sad irony is that we accept that the right to free speech doesn't mean that you can't be sued for libel and slander, and we've been looking the other way for 15 years in testing the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments.

Monday, June 13, 2016 9:52 AM

Jeff, the 2nd amendment is the keystone to keeping all the other amendments. IF we take away the second amendment that the government has nothing to fear if it wanted to turn America it into a socialist country.

Everyone wants to blame the gun for this but in fact you have to look at islam as being the cause of all this violence.The Koran states that muslims are commanded to kill all infidels.

Monday, June 13, 2016 10:01 AM

I know many Muslims that are peaceful, wonderful people. It's just another sad case of a evil nut job who uses religion to devalue human life, kill innocent people, and justify becoming a serial killer.

Monday, June 13, 2016 10:02 AM

I am pretty left leaning and can't even imagine ever handling a gun, let alone owning one. But I fully understand the 2nd Ammendment and support it. That said, I just don't see how anyone in this country (or world) thinks that any public citizen would need an automatic assult rifle for any reason at all. I'm tired of folks who say Obama is out to "take their guns" and ruin 'Mereica. I am equally as tired of Trump and co. wanting to close our borders and all of the silly rhetoric that comes with that. No one is trying to or wants to take anyone's guns. They just want reasonable control laws in place to attempt to avoid events like yesterday and countless others.

Monday, June 13, 2016 10:09 AM

Screamlord said:

Jeff, the 2nd amendment is the keystone to keeping all the other amendments. IF we take away the second amendment that the government has nothing to fear if it wanted to turn America it into a socialist country.

See, you're making my point. No one is suggesting taking away the 2nd Amendment. You immediately made that leap. Furthermore, socialism (which you participate in every day by way of taxes that pay for the military, safety services, schools and roads) has nothing to do with the regulation of firearms.

Monday, June 13, 2016 10:10 AM

The root cause of this is that for whatever reason, there are lots of people in this world who feel that they have the right to take life and death into their own hands and kill others over personal differences. Immediately, though, we seek to blame specifics. We immediately jump on gun control, failing to acknowledge that banning certain types of weapons merely adjusts the body count, but won't eliminate it. We also immediately jump on religion when it comes down to the choice of each individual to commit these atrocities. Religion itself is inanimate; it's how people choose to practice it that causes problems.

I think that we need to acknowledge that there are problems on both counts, but I think that the notion that the founding fathers didn't foresee the creation of the AR-15 isn't a good argument. Let's not forget that the very government the founding fathers wanted to protect against would have only had the same muskets those protected under the 2nd amendment had. If there was a government who turned oppressive, those being oppressed aren't going to stand much of a chance firing pistols against M-16s. If those founding fathers were dealing with AR-15 technology, I'd venture a pretty solid guess they wouldn't have made exemptions to the 2nd amendment to weed those out.

I think that reduced body counts are certainly good in terms of fewer deaths overall, but the real focus needs to be on the root cause, which is that people are willing to kill each other in the first place.

Last edited by sirloindude, Monday, June 13, 2016 10:12 AM
Monday, June 13, 2016 10:20 AM

There is a general lack of respect for human life in society these days. Recently someone was severely injured while riding their bike in my general area and it's disturbing the number of people who commented that since bicyclists are in their way when they drive that if the guy dies he deserved it because he shouldn't riding his bike in the road...despite that Ohio law says that's where you are supposed to ride your bike. That lack of respect for life is the real problem.

Monday, June 13, 2016 10:21 AM

sirloindude said:

...failing to acknowledge that banning certain types of weapons merely adjusts the body count, but won't eliminate it.

I can name about 49 families right now who would probably welcome that adjustment. It's like the argument against electric cars not having an environmental impact. Sure, but you have to start somewhere.

If there was a government who turned oppressive, those being oppressed aren't going to stand much of a chance firing pistols against M-16s.

I thought we had to protect ourselves from bad guys. So it's the government, actually? Does that mean the governments of the EU and Canada are likely to turn on their citizens at any moment? Serious questions... I'm interested to understand why this hasn't played out in democracies around the world that do not allow military grade assault weapons to be owned by common citizens. Why haven't any of these countries slipped into brutal dictatorships?

Certainly you're right, it's a complex issue rooted in a culture based on the old American west. What I don't get is the deep ideological insistence that it's a complex issue, but it's not about guns, just everything else. If that's not cognitive dissonance, I don't know what is. It's also a convenient way to stop the conversation and go nowhere.

Last edited by Jeff, Monday, June 13, 2016 10:22 AM
Monday, June 13, 2016 10:44 AM

Jeff, I agree on your first point. I've been having a similar conversation with a friend and I added that caveat. A reduced body count is certainly a good thing in that more people live to see another day. My issue is that there's a body count in the first place, though, and it isn't because of guns. If it were (and I'm pulling these statistics from a list of 2010 numbers), Texas, with it's 35.9% gun ownership rate, wouldn't have had a gun murder rate of 3.2 per 100,000 citizens compared to Illinois, with a gun ownership rate of 20.2% and a gun murder rate of 6.8. Texas is just one example, too. DC, which led the charge with a whopping 16.5 gun murders per 100,000 citizens, had a gun ownership rate of only 3.6%. A lot of states with the lowest rates had ownership rates far higher than Texas at that. Statistically speaking, it has to be something other than guns.

Also, the ownership of guns is protection in general. It's to protect us against the bad guys, but also against oppression. I didn't mean the government in general, and I don't think they did either. What they, and I, meant was a hypothetical oppressive government. That isn't saying that oppression is likely (obviously it isn't, at least in the countries you mentioned), but it was incredibly forward-thinking to leave the provision in there just in case. Honestly, the very systems of government a lot of us and our "peer" countries, if you will, have more or less require us to invite oppression rather than those systems making the creation of an oppressive government likely. I just don't think it's in our best interest to take it away because it hasn't happened yet. Sometimes you prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

I'm not opposed to certain forms of gun control. If you have a history of being investigated for terrorist links, I don't think you need to be allowed to own a gun. I'm just disappointed that a guy goes out and kills fifty people and our first instinct is to get upset over the tool he used, as if him going in and stabbing two people is somehow an acceptable casualty rate. I'm not saying that it is, but I see more anger at the tool used to commit this atrocity than the man who did it and the organization he supports.

Last edited by sirloindude, Monday, June 13, 2016 11:06 AM
Monday, June 13, 2016 10:56 AM

BrettV said:

I just don't see how anyone in this country (or world) thinks that any public citizen would need an automatic assult rifle for any reason at all.

An AR-15 is neither an "automatic" nor an "assualt" rifle.

Monday, June 13, 2016 11:40 AM

Richard Bannister said:

and the resistance to common-sense gun control laws.

I would argue that those of us who resist "common-sense" gun laws see them as not containing a whole lot of common sense at all.

Monday, June 13, 2016 11:46 AM

What will we argue when more and more radicals, be they militant, religious, or mentally ill, stop using guns and start using more bombs in this country? Will we ban every thing that is combustible? We have t had that discussion about pressure cookers yet...

Monday, June 13, 2016 11:51 AM

It's a scary looking gun, but it's functionally no different than standard .223 "Ranch Rifle" that looks just like every wooden rifle you could ever imagine. The AR in AR-15 does not stand for "Assault Rifle" - it stands for Armalite Rifle, as they're the company that developed them. They can rebuilt or purchased in all calibers from .22 to 9mm to .223.

That said, there are definitely people that should't have their hands on them, but if someone's going to go on a tear with a gun, it's not going to matter what they use. If he used a pump shotgun, would we start calling them "assault shotguns"?

I am a responsible gun owner, but I haven't been to the range in years. I don't have any hand guns anymore, but I have a Marlin Model 80 .22 rifle I inherited from my grandfather. It's a sturdy, wooden rifle. it only shoots .22, bolt action, and isn't good for much more than target practice, \but I could put all kinds of attachments on it to make it look scary.

Monday, June 13, 2016 11:59 AM

I do think that people that the FBI have on a watchlist should be flagged and have a longer waiting period when purchasing a gun. There are other things that I think should flag background checks for longer. But it's still not going to stop violence, regardless of what weapon is used.

Monday, June 13, 2016 12:42 PM

Vater said:
I would argue that those of us who resist "common-sense" gun laws see them as not containing a whole lot of common sense at all.

To that, I just say this:



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