The Fort Lauderdale Airport Debacle
First, I very much appreciate those of you concerned about my personal welfare as a South Florida resident but I’m still up in Pennsylvania with by ex, far from the madness. I’ll be returning to Lauderdale the end of next week.
Personally witnessing 9/11 was one of the one hundred and one reasons why l left NYC for Fort Lauderdale in 2002. After all, l reasoned, what are they gonna do, blow up the beach?
Then came Pulse.
And now the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport shootings at the height of Season when millions of people flock to eighty degree South Florida to escape the cold that seems to be everywhere else. Especially where I am right now in NE PA where it’s 22 degrees.
So besides being the warmest place in the continental U.S. right now, Florida has achieved two other dubious firsts: site of the largest mass killings in our history which affected largely our people; and site of the first mass killing at a domestic airport in this country.
Authorities need to further tighten up transport of personal weapons on planes, period. The Lauderdale shooter had the gun and apparently ammunition in his checked luggage, and when he retrieved it following his flight on Air Canada, he simply opened his luggage while he was still in baggage claim, pulled out his gun and ammo, went to the john to load it and came out firing. Why was he able to shoot nine people, killing five at point gun range before the security in the area reacted?
Our entire current airport security is a PR sham, destined to make us feel safe like the Nazi’s did when they told their concentration camp arrivals that they were just going in to take a shower.
First anyone entering any airport terminal, whether to meet their party in baggage claim, check in for a flight or have a cafe latte at the terminal’s Starbucks MUST go through a security check at their point of entry. That means moving the entire Security check operation to the front of each terminal. And that includes all employees too.
Secondly, pick-ups should no longer be permitted to hang loose curbside, unless they have a special federally issued handicapped waiver which would involve those individuals undergoing a background check. Parties would be required to meet their pickups in some personal waiting areas within the parking garages. At least no one could wreak havoc in a terminal. The airport would maintain special assistants for the wheelchair bound.
Frankly, after Pulse, l expected Security at the bars in Wilton Manors, Lauderdale’s gay ghetto and playground for millions of tourists and locals, stepped up but nothing changed. Sadly we all must face up to the fact that any venue where large numbers of people may congregate, be it an airport, a supermarket, a big box store, a mall, school, college campus, office building, or an auditorium size bar or dance club will need to implement serious security measures at their points of entry including metal detectors.
Of course, such measures will only add to the cost of doing business and may be the last nail in the coffin for the malls and big box stores which are already suffering punishing competition against online. Macy’s, Kohl’s, Sears and many others have already announced that hundreds of their stores would be closing in 2017, wiping out thousands of jobs while online sales for the past holiday season rose seventeen percent from last year.
When the fuck are we going to wake up that the nightmare ain’t no HD 3D big screen digital fantasy?