Police say a shooting outside Carowinds amusement park has lead to a boy hospitalized. Deputies believe the shooting started as an argument inside the park. It was around closing time when police got the call. They found the victim at the pickup/drop off location, which Carowinds describes as outside of the park.
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What turns security into theater is the absolute lack of a proper authority. But there would be no sense in employing those men and women to personally greet each customer. I've noticed many times that at the gates of a park that a real uniformed officer is nearby and ready to respond or intervene if the once-in-a-blue-moon situation should arise.
This. Yes, that's how it's done in an effective manner (and I'm sure there are countless other examples).
The problem at places like Cedar Point is that the individuals performing the "service" are often just regular Joes and Janes who have no real authority, nor do they seem to know what they are doing, much less what they would do should they actually encounter an issue. And as stated, there is no back-up at all anywhere to be seen.
At least at a place like Disney there are uniformed officers performing the duty who are very efficient, kind, and professional at what they are doing. I'm not sure what the cost ramifications would be, but I have yet to see one of Cedar Point's officers at a gate during a "wand-down". I'm sure it's happened, but then we enter the other variable at play which makes it theater; it's done in a seemingly haphazard fashion with little to no consistency. How is that effective? I say this knowing little to nothing about how Carowinds implements their process, but I can only assume it's similar being in the chain.
And i'm not sure I see how security at the park has anything to even do with this case. Had the offender been caught with the gun at the gates and asked to return it to his car, OK...but everything took place outside the park. Unless one jumps to the conclusion that said offender was somehow deterred from bringing his "piece" into the park because he knew how ironclad the Cedar Fair security forces are...but that's a pretty significant leap in my opinion.
I would argue that it's much more logical to conclude that someone with the personality and emotional shortcomings to shoot someone with a gun after an argument is not the type of person who would ponder the potential ramifications of approaching the gates with a gun. This is simply a guy who keeps a gun in his car no matter where he goes...you know...because it's his goddamn American right to protect himself against people with the audacity to argue with him at an amusement park.
Anyone who has 1) actually experienced Cedar Fair security and 2) actually wants to do something bad would be delighted at how pathetic it really is. That said, kudos to the police force(s) inside the park. I have had nothing but significantly positive experiences with how they deal with things.
For myself it can be simplified like this:
In places like the aforementioned 'Shoe, many concerts I have been to, and Disney, the message conveyed to me as a guest is "we take this seriously, so don't mess with us".
The message conveyed to me at Cedar Point is "we are doing this because a lawyer somewhere told us we had to and we don't really care so move along".
That's security theater.
Sounds to me like if there wasn't security at the gates, these types of people (the kind that would shoot someone in an argument, not your "responsible" types) would all be toting guns around the park as a form of posturing, no different than roaming their own neighborhood.
So ya... it worked.
So you are saying that if there was no gate security, the shooting would have happened inside the park? I think you are underestimating the amount of effort it would take to conceal carry in a amusement park. As someone who carries on a regular basis, I can assure you, there is no way I would sit on a large piece of steel while riding a roller coaster. You also seem to have forgotten that most parks have very efficient security roaming the park, which is very efficient in removing undesirables from the park, regardless of gate security.
Valid point. It's not like he's going to put it in a locker every time he wants to ride something. However, I'm sure it's been attempted. Perhaps they then realize just how hard it is and return it to their car. I'm not talking about legal, permit holding carriers, I'm talking your basic thug gangsta type who "conceals" illegally because it makes him/her feel tough.
*Speculation* - Had the shooter been carrying in the park, he most likely would have "flashed his piece" or whatever, and the other person would have stopped arguing and turned away, probably ending the argument long before it escalated far enough to make the shooter do what he did. Even someone with as little common sense as that knows better than to actually shoot someone in the middle of a crowded park.
But to your second point, the amount of marijuana smoke and line jumping I witness on a regular basis leads me to believe that most CF + SF parks have very lax security inside the gates.
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