Yet Another Mall Shooting Spree: Is It Time to Put Metal Detectors in Malls?

Today’s attack in a Portland, Oregon shopping mall, which left two shoppers and the gunman dead, was the fourth such incident this year alone (see list)

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24 Responses to Yet Another Mall Shooting Spree: Is It Time to Put Metal Detectors in Malls?

  1. Kilby Kilby says:

    Using a metal detector to weed out the idiots carrying guns at the door of every potential shooting location is futile. It would be much more sensible to put an idiot detector at the door of each gun shop. Unfortunately, the people who insist on free access to weaponry are against any sort of sensible regulation, including idiot prevention.

  2. Kilby Kilby says:

    P.S. Besides this latest shooting spree, this week also saw the death of a seven-year-old whose father attempted to place a supposedly unloaded firearm into the glove compartment of their car (the clip had been removed, but there was still one bullet left in the chamber). This kind of irresponsible handling is impossible to prevent, but requiring potential gun purchasers to complete a basic course in firearm safety would be a good first step.

  3. Jeff S. Jeff S. says:

    I live in what is now an “open carry” state. You can’t take away these killers’ guns without taking away EVERYBODY’s guns. The hunters, the rednecks, and the right wingers will revolt.

  4. Powers Powers says:

    I am disgusted that you would feed into the hype. Events like this are still ridiculously rare. It’s like all the parents who start driving their kids to school every time they hear about an abduction five states away.

    Modern media amplify the apparent occurrence rate of these rare events, making people feel paranoid. Even asking this question feeds that paranoia.

    • billbickel Bill Bickel says:

      I don’t think there’s ever a downside to asking a question. I didn’t even offer an answer, let alone try to force one on anybody.

      • James Pollock James Pollock says:

        He’s right, even asking the question feeds the paranoia. Unless all the answers are variations on “no, that would be stupid and ineffective.”

        Put metal detectors at the doors of all the malls in America, and you get the joy of A) having to hear the buzzer go off every time someone buys something made of metal, and B) reading about all those shootings in the parking lots of malls.

        • billbickel Bill Bickel says:

          “A” is a non-issue: of all the places that have metal detectors, I can’t think of a single one that scans you when you’re leaving the building.

          • James Pollock James Pollock says:

            I’ve never been in a mall that had separate doors for entering and leaving. Things must be different at your end of the country. Or has metal detector technology advanced to the point that the detectors know if you’re entering or leaving?

          • billbickel Bill Bickel says:

            James, seriously, anywhere there’s a pair of doors, designating one for access and one for egress probably isn’t beyond the scope of 21st century technology. And I’ve never been in an airport where you had to pass through security when you leave a plane.

          • Pinny Pinny says:

            Now that you have me thinking about it, the buildings I have seen with metal detectors have only one set of doors for both entering and leaving. They divide the area just inside the entrance into two paths, one for for those entering — manned by a metal detector — and another for those exiting — with no detector.

          • James Pollock James Pollock says:

            Seriously? You’re comparing a trip to the mall with a trip to the airport?

            OK. TSA can afford to get testy when people decide not to follow the rules. What, exactly, is the mall cop going to do when people start going “in” through the “out” door? Will it be the same when someone ignores the “keep off the grass sign” (which, no doubt, is the same thing that happens when people at the airport ignore the “keep off the tarmac” signs).

            Seriously. Mall customers cannot reliably be counted on to successfully distinguish between “push” and “pull”, and you expect anyone to believe that malls could implement reliable “in” and “out” doors?

            America’s malls are having a tough enough time surviving the competition from Wal-Mart Superstores (where you can buy your gun RIGHT IN THE STORE). They’re not going to start treating their customers like children.

            There’s the bottom line test: If I walk up to a mall and they want me to walk through a metal detector, I’m getting back in the car.

            Note: I used to work across the street from Clackamas Town Center, and sometimes ate lunch in or near the mall.

    • S.P Charles S.P Charles says:

      How is it paranoia to consider metal detectors at malls when we already have them at most government buildings (even at the county level), and many schools and museums?

      • James Pollock James Pollock says:

        Hmm. There’s metal detectors at the courthouse. I don’t recall seeing any at any other government building I’ve been in lately. There definitely isn’t one at any of the local schools (although the high school I went to has sprouted an enclosing fence since I went there, it isn’t entirely clear if it’s to keep something out or something in.) I’ll have to confess to not having been in a museum lately. Oh, and there’s a detector at the library, but it only detects things going out, which I’m told is a completely different thing.

  5. ShadZ ShadZ says:

    Where are you getting four this year? I only see three..

    Eaton Centre, Toronto
    Brookfield Square Mall, Brookfield, Wis.
    The new one.

    HUB Mall, Edmonton, Alberta doesn’t count because the mall was closed at the time. Aurora CO doesn’t count because the movie theater is a freestanding building outside the mall (in the parking lot) and no amount of metal detectors at the doors of the mall would have helped.

  6. Mark in Boston Mark in Boston says:

    A few years ago the mall in Burlington, Massachusetts (one of the largest malls in the state) was evacuated because a shopper had an umbrella in his backpack that looked to someone like a rifle. The mall was searched but the “gunman” was not found, because he had already left. When he got home he turned on the TV, watched the news, and saw himself on security camera footage, he took his umbrella to the police station and turned himself in. No charges.

    • Proginoskes Proginoskes says:

      And earlier this year, the idiots running a school in Grand Island, NE, wanted a student named Hunter to change his name. (Hunter is deaf and uses a pantomime gun to represent his name in ASL.)

  7. RyanE RyanE says:

    It’s not likely that a mall metal detector would be staffed like the ones at the airport. Mall cops haven’t been known to stop the shooters after the fact, why would they do any better finding them out at the beginning.

    Seems to me that a metal detector at the entrance will only cause the shooter to expend another couple of bullets at the beginning of his/her spree.

    • James Pollock James Pollock says:

      Since mall cops aren’t generally armed, what, exactly, are they going to do when the heavily-armed person shows up at the entrance, sets off the metal detectors, and proceeds to enter the building?

      Odds are, there’s no POINT in expending a couple of rounds to take out the metal detector operators.

  8. Proginoskes Proginoskes says:

    At least the douchebag saved the taxpayers the cost of a lengthy trial.

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