Fortified malls like Israel still no guarantee of safety

Published 3:54 pm Monday, December 10, 2007

By Staff
Now they're talking about intrusive airport-style security at shopping malls after a shooting spree by a 19-year-old who "just snapped," according to his three-page suicide note.
He gunned down eight people in Omaha, Neb., Dec. 5 at Von Maur's department store.
He doesn't deserve the fame he craved.
People are understandably edgy.
Dec. 6 at a shopping center near Muskegon, police were called when a man was spotted entering with a rifle he was taking to a sporting goods store for service.
Americans already feel like they've lost their freedom with all the screenings at courthouses, stadiums, theme parks and schools, as well as airports, yet safety remains an illusion at best.
After April's massacre at Virginia Tech, colleges and universities scrutinized their security precautions.
Fortunately, most schools focused on bettering emergency notification systems rather than cracking down on public building access.
College campuses need to be open places, even if that means imperfect security.
Theme parks have also grappled with finding a balance that doesn't suck out all the fun visitors seek.
Walt Disney World unobtrusively combines plainclothes officers with video surveillance.
Disney World checked bags and backpacks in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but today doesn't make guests file through metal detectors.
Security devices can't be employed in every feasible situation, such as the one-room Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., where a shooter killed five girls last year.
We don't think Americans are yet ready to live their lives in perpetual fear like Israelis, where terrorist checkpoints are as much a part of shopping as stores.