Other proposed solutions
There’s no shortage of solutions out there for the theater-shooter guy. Just ask anyone, and stand well back.
Some theaters will be banning costumes. The sheer stupidity, the amazing obtuseness of this “solution” just staggers me. First of all, define “costume”. Then kick out everyone with an overcoat, a shoulder bag, or a purse. Or any theme-related makeup. Wait – that kid has green hair and The Hulk has green hair – kick him out! That woman looks is wearing black and Catwoman wears black… it’s a costume!
Also, are people who wear costumes a danger? How much ordinary-fun behavior are we willing to restrict because of whatever monster is hiding in our maybe-closet?
Then there are people who want to put security guards at every entrance to every theater. By my count that would be about a bazillion security guards, and if the TSA has taught us anything, it’s that effective security guards are not so easy to find.
What should they watch for? “Suspicious people?” Anyone with a cane? Should we start frisking people?
One way to kill a lot of people in theaters is to raise the portion sizes at the snack bar. Sell enormous candy bars, sodas, and popcorns, with lots of salt and hydrogenated imitation butter. Results guaranteed, though the actual drama takes place in hospital rooms much later.
Really? maybe we should just reproduce the whole airport experience in theaters. And while we’re at it, schools and stores and shopping malls. And churches – there have been more church shootings by far than theater shootings.
More mental health funding
OK, I kinda like this one. Not to say that it would have any effect on the frequency of shootings. But it might reduce suicides. Actually anti-bullying measures in schools would probably do more good in the long run.
There may be some merit to this one. The problem is that while there are people who propose a wide range of sensible limitations on gun traffic and ownership, there are also people who won’t even discuss it. All they can talk about is their Dirty-Harry fantasies. I covered them in the previous post.
This theater shooting, well it’s happened one time in the whole history of theaters. There’s nothing you can do to prevent something that happens that rarely. Which means, first of all, don’t worry when you go to the theater. But it also means, despite the part of our brains that insist there must be a solution, there probably isn’t. You can regularize solutions for regular events – not for extreme outliers. The somewhat (but not unusually) unpleasant grad student who turns out to be a total psycho and shoots up a theater? You can’t prevent what you can’t predict. Mourn the dead, comfort the living, and spend your energy on solving problems that kill people wholesale, like texting and driving (about six thousand people per year).