I detest security theater. The security measures that have been put in place at various public venues have not done a thing to actually make us safer, and actually make us less safe. All these measures have done is make people FEEL safe, while providing no real safety. There is a lot of crime on the property of the theme parks, even being perpetrated by the very employees of the parks themselves, and not just a few times, either.
A few years ago, I took a class on terrorism at a local college in pursuit of my degree in Public Safety. One of the things that I did for the class was plan a terrorist attack on a soft target in the area, and then see what steps should have been taken to prevent it. As a result, I saw that the security at these locations was there only for show. I continued to check other locations and saw how flimsy the security was, and used some of these checks as the basis for a post or two.
These parks are all what is called a “non permissive” environment for people with concealed weapons. That is, no one is permitted to have weapons on property, but this is only a corporate policy, not the law. It is perfectly legal to have a concealed weapon on your person, but if you are caught with one, they will ask you to leave. As far as I know, this includes police officers who are not on duty. To enforce this policy, security has a mandatory bag inspection and randomly runs those entering through a magnetometer. For some events, ALL persons entering are required to pass through the magnetometer.
The latest theme park to be tested is Sea World. This park announced that they are tightening security, with multiple police officers working off duty, in uniform, as Sea World screeners. Supposedly, all guests entering the park must pass through magnetometers. It seems like it would be difficult for a terrorist, deranged criminal, or other person with ill intent to get into the park. I decided to try.
It turned out to be trivially easy. I signed up to dine at SeaWorld’s “Dine with Sharks” restaurant. We were told to meet the employees at a side entrance of the park, where we had our bags checked before boarding a shuttle bus. Since I didn’t have a bag, I got right on the bus while carrying a Smith & Wesson Shield in 9mm with a spare magazine, and a can of pepper spray.
The bus drove through a back gate, where we were released into the theme park itself in order to eat dinner and then explore the park. We didn’t have to circumvent security, the theme park’s employees did it for us.
Even though a man with a gun entered the park, nothing happened.
Keep this in mind: