During the coverage of the Paris attacks you may have heard the term “soft target” bandied about. Literally, soft target is the location of a gathering of many people, grouped together, with little or no security. Hearken back if you will to July 20, 2012, the night of the midnight showing in Aurora, Colorado of the movie “Dark Knight Rising.” There was a large gathering in a rather confined area, with little or no security. Consequently, James Holmes stood at the ticket window with guns and ammunition in tow. Mid-way through the movie he opened fire in the direction of a packed movie house, killing 12 and wounding 70.
Pause for a moment. Think, pause. When was the last time you were searched by the ticket taker at your local theatre? Have you ever smuggled your own candy or popcorn into the theatre to avoid the inflated prices at the theatre concession stand? I digress. The Islamic Terrorists, there Hillary, I said it, the Islamist Terrorists who masterminded the massacre that took upwards of 150 lives in Paris, and wounded countless more, have vowed to make the United States their nest target on their death list.
Now back to soft targets. A rock concert in Paris. A Parisian cafe on a crowded boulevard denizened not only by locals but thousands of tourists as well, just out for a fun evening in the city of love, that is Paris. In an instant the city of love became a holocaust of hate and death at the hands of Islamic radical terrorists, indiscriminately killing innocent people in the name of Allah and Sharia. And these ISIS converts, according to the appellation given them by President Obama, are the Junior Varsity of radical Islam. Columnist Cal Thomas mused, and I agree, that if this is the JV wing of ISIS, I shudder to think what carnage is in store for us when the Varsity team takes the field.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, is set to open in theatres across the nation on December 12, 2015. It is expected to become the daddy in terms of gross revenue of any previous Star Wars episodes, and concomitantly, attendance. In other words the theatre will be filled with giddy teens as well as seasoned Star Wars groupies. Georgia’s Gun Carry Law (HB 60, July, 2014) is one the most liberal among gun carry states, however it does restrict the carrying of a weapon in to any establishment that publicly states that no weapons are allowed on the premises, e.g., it is legal for a licensed gun carrier to take a weapon to, say, a theatre, unless otherwise prohibited from doing so by the theatre manager or owner.
Having said that, do you really think it matters to a committed terrorist, that a particular business prohibits by word of mouth, public signing, or otherwise, the bringing of a weapon onto the property. Absent a search comparable to an airport or other security conscious facility, what assurance does a movie-goer have that the person sitting next to him is not carrying, say, an AR-15, a hand grenade to two, or maybe an empty milk dud box full of C4?
Being an avid Star Wars fan myself, I am as excited as anyone to see the latest of the Star Wars saga, but I have to admit that I would enjoy the movie more if I knew that the person sitting next to me had been thoroughly searched, as I was, before entering the theatre. It is usually a bit chilly in Georgia in December, so most folks out for the evening at the movies will be wearing coats and jackets. Enjoy the show.
James Studdard is an attorney and an occasional columnist for this publication and others. Any comments may be sent to him at firstname.lastname@example.org