When 9/11 went down, now sixteen years back, I wrote an Op/Ed about the potential for terrorists strikes at home that might occur at extremely soft targets.
Those targets had the ability, if hit, to stop much of America’s commerce.
Those targets, the way I saw it from my CIA and world travel experience, could be judiciously chosen around the country, devices set off and shopping in America brought to its knees because America’s women would no longer go and they sure would not take their children if they did go. Now, so many years later, there have been a couple of mass shootings at shopping centers. Those sprawling centers strewn across this nation lack the protections natural to schools, colleges or other gathering places where walls, doors and limited access can be assured.
How is America responding to this budding ‘new’ opportunity for terrorists? Millions of dollars are being committed to educating shoppers about what to do if there is an ‘active’ shooter in a shopping center. Say what? For one thing, what exactly is an inactive shooter? Aside from language idiocy, what is being done to harden these potential targets?
Getting aboard the SS Badger to cross Lake Michigan last week, where only about a hundred passengers accompanied me, the security was so tough it was unbelievable. My trunks and bags were searched. I was questioned about my trip. My I.D. was run. A dog was used to sniff everything. Over the top? Yes. But what of shopping centers all over this country? Nothing. I am not encouraging that type of enforced security for shopping centers but something lighter needs to be designed and implemented immediately.
Before. Not after. I did not change the times but we must all change with them.