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Unhappy Fourth

Unhappy Fourth

The Fourth of July is supposed to be a day of celebration of America’s independence from Great Britain. But on this particular July 4th, as America turned a young 246 years old, I really was not in any mood to partake in any patriotic festivities.

As my family was getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July with a barbecue at my sister-in-law’s house, and my wife was stirring up her famous homemade potato salad, I flipped on the local news and, much to my dismay and horror, witnessed footage of terrified people scurrying like rats after hearing gunshots while trying to enjoy an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Ill., just outside of Chicago.

Think about that for a second. Families just looking to celebrate America’s independence on a beautiful sunny day, decked out on lawn chairs, sitting on blankets on the grass, babies holding American flags while tucked in their strollers.  

And then chaos unfolded just like that, another chilling reminder of the unsettling times in which we are currently living here in the U.S. In Lee Harvey Oswald-like fashion, a gunman with a rifle atop a commercial building fired off round after round after round, killing seven people (as of press time) and wounding more than three dozen other innocent bystanders.

The images and videos that I witnessed on television, in the newspapers, and on the internet in the aftermath of yet another U.S. mass shooting were just disturbing. Those lawn chairs, blankets and strollers that were being used during the parade were left abandoned as parade goers scrambled for their lives. In one disturbing video from the parade, a band kept playing while horrified people ran off in terror in the opposite direction.

Buffalo, Uvalde, now Highland Park. Heck, you can go all the way back to Columbine, for all I care. I’m angry. I’m sure a lot of Americans share that feeling of anger today after this latest mass shooting.

But what now? Is passing gun legislation enough to prevent mass shootings from happening? Is enough active shooter and threat detection training taking place to curb this senseless violence taking place in the U.S.? Are stricter background checks needed to stop people who shouldn’t be buying guns, rifles and other assault weapons from purchasing them?

I wish I had the answers to these questions, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t think anyone does, and that’s the sad reality.

Right now, all I could ask of the security industry is to continue doing what you’re doing, whether it’s providing access control and video surveillance solutions, conducting active shooter and threat detection training, offering consulting and risk assessment services to design plans to fit your customers’ security needs, etc. There is no more urgent time than now that security products, services, and training are in demand.

Let’s be honest - Who really thinks that you’re going to a parade with your family and one of you might not come back home? I’m sure none of those seven parade goers in Highland Park had that thought in their mind on what turned out to be an unhappy Fourth.




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