|Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 1:09 PM- -|
Yesterday I wrote a blog about my thoughts on security at Clemson sporting events in the wake of the Boston marathon tragedy from Monday. The blog created more responses through comments, emails, texts and personal conversations than most previous blogs.
On Friday I will publish the emails like we always do but I wanted to pass along some of the text and phone conversations I had from yesterday. I also wanted to clarify what I think about the subject and why.
First, it is important to note that I think opposing point of views are usually are productive. If we all felt the same then things would never change. Therefore, we always welcome opposing views. I am hopeful that yesterday led to each side educating the other on the issue. I know I certainly learned a lot yesterday.
From the personal conversations I had yesterday I think the biggest disagreement I heard was on the liberties that we would be giving up by changing the pass out policy at Clemson. My point is that we already give up liberties for the betterment all.
No one really wants to get to the airport an hour early but we do it for the safety of all. No one wants to go through TSA and their checkpoints but we all do it for the safety of others.
I heard the Ben Franklin quote a few times yesterday as well. In theory, Franklin was exactly correct but we are already giving up liberties every day. This is happening all around us every day.
I hate the fact that the world has changed. When I grew up we didn't lock the doors at my house. But the world has changed.
The question in a couple of conversations yesterday turned to moving the line. Where are we willing to go with where we draw the line? Some suggested that if we continued to give in then why even play the game because there is always a threat. But that is where I draw the line. I still want to go to the game but I am willing to stay in the game without leaving at halftime in an attempt to make it safer.
Some asked how the pass out policy was not safe? In my opinion it is easier to check someone once and not have to re-check them. There is a reason why you are confined to a certain area in an airport after you check in. Once is easier than twice.
I heard one argument that they would just stop going if they can't leave at halftime. That is his choice but my line is the game itself. I am not so attached to leaving at halftime that I would not go if that was taken away.
I also admitted to someone yesterday that I was being an opportunist by bringing up this point the day after the Boston tragedy. Personally I wish the stands were full at the start of the third quarter, so naturally I want the policy changed.
Another argument I heard yesterday was the concession prices. I mentioned in the blog yesterday that I know they are outrageous. I would also hope that we could see some relief there.
One friend argued that that the pre-game is the biggest threat. He said that there are less people coming back in at halftime and it is easier to police. Well if we are honest we all know that security is lacking when you re-enter at halftime. I have had to go out at half a couple of times since Ryan's accident to get something for him and the security was a joke upon re-entering.
I also agree with those that said we can never eliminate the threat. But I think the stadium is more secure with checking people once instead of twice.
Sure there other ways they can create terror if they chose at Clemson. Parking lots are a prime target but I am not willing to change the parking policy. That is a line I am not willing to move.
In the end the real liberty to me is the game. I am willing to be searched at the gate. I am willing to go through metal detectors at the gate. I am willing to pay a little more for more security personnel.
Finally I will ask why are we the only ones who allow pass outs? Why don't we do it for other sports here at Clemson? Why does every other major sporting event in the country have a different policy?
The odds of terror striking at a Clemson game are one in a million. So why have any security at all?
The reason is simple. We owe it to everyone involved to be the safest environment possible within reason. The new president of the university, the new athletic director, the board of trustees and those involved in a decision don't want to have to sit in a press conference and answers questions about their policy.
I have no idea if the policy will ever change and understand if I am in the minority but I do think it is time for a change.
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