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Deadly Complacency

Deadly Complacency

I spend a lot of time digging through company PR emails, press releases, LinkedIn posts, tweets, and other corporate media. A lot of it sounds so familiar at this point I could recite it in my sleep, but today I paused for a moment. It was a throwaway line that roughly stated physical security was no longer enough of a deterrent and that clients should look to more electronic methods to be secure. Taking into consideration the last few weeks I’m disinclined to agree.

Security guards and a tight security detail might not be as shiny as a drone for monitoring purposes, but they provide a physical presence that I feel people have grown complacent about recently. Primary case in point, the recent near assassination of writer in exile Salman Rushdie. News reports confirm the author had both a sheriff’s deputy and state trooper assigned to him as security at the event, but considering the attacker was able to storm the stage at the venue and violently assault Mr. Rushdie it seems obvious that measures weren’t sufficient. 

That’s not the only recent example either. Weeks prior former Japanese Primer Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated in broad daylight while campaigning for a political ally. Regardless of how you might feel about him he was the longest serving prime minister in the country’s history and a central figure in both regional and world politics. He too had bodyguards and a security detail, but the care taken in structuring it allowed his assassin time to walk up behind him, fire once and miss, and then fire again killing Abe before he could be stopped.

It’s reminiscent of another event in Japanese history when in 1960 the chairman of the Japan Socialist Part, Inejiro Asanuma, was assassinated on stage by a dissident wielding a sword. Many blamed the lax attitudes regarding campaigning in Japan for the Abe incident, but Rushdie’s attack occurred in America and suffers from the same root problem.

How about one more less dire example? Before both incidents a casual joke and bad blood resulted in the slap heard round the world at the 94th Academy Awards when Will Smith Assaulted Chris Rock. I guess there might be an honor system in place that assumes guests won’t try to kill each other, but I can’t help but feel like some event venues are reconsidering that notion, in case of copycats (Dave Chappelle had a similar incident at a comedy club only days later).
So, I will not dispute the growing importance of automated and cybersecurity in protecting people and property, far from it. Failure to recognize the continued need for a trained and alert physical security presence, however, might be deadly.


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