Orlando, Florida has had a horrific weekend. On Friday June 10th, Christina Grimmie, who was a musician that was best known for being a contestant on the popular TV show “The Voice”, was murdered during an aftershow meet-and-greet session at the Plaza Live Theater in Orlando.
And now, the worst shooting in U.S. history has taken place in Orlando, just a single day afterwards. At the nightclub Pulse, a popular LGBT venue, a gunman opened fire on clubgoers and killed 49 people and injured many more. The assailant, Omar Mateen, was a Muslim who had apparently made anti-gay comments recently. This is currently being investigated as a terrorist act.
At this point, the perpetual gun rights debate is in full swing. But the real conversation should be about proper security for musicians and entertainment venues. Many venues hire private security for low wages, and these security guards are invariably under-trained, underpaid, and under-armed. If I were a venue owner, I would gladly charge patrons extra in order to have the money to hire proper security. Proper security that is fully armed and defended, is aware of how to handle emergency situations such as gun shootings, and that works with artist management in order to provide the best security for entertainers.
The liability is too high. The potential cost in human lives is even higher. If a venue has a strong security presence at the door, is able to conduct proper pat-downs, and is able to monitor all areas of the venue including the stage, then that will help to deter shootings such as this.
My thoughts are with all of the families impacted by this senseless tragedy.