NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The feelings of concern from Thursday’s movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, shocked the nation.
A man with a gun and bad intentions entered the theater and later opened fire, killing two people and injuring nine others before turning the gun on himself.READ MORE: Family Members: Woman Originally From Long Island Among The Missing In Florida Condo Collapse
Americans have seen it before — in 2012 Aurora, Colorado, when a gunman gained access to a theater full of people, killing 12. There was no bag check or metal detector to deter him.
A series of mall shootings — in June in Iowa, in February in Pennsylvania and in 2012 in Portland, Oregon — has only exacerbated the feeling of vulnerability among some who frequent public places without security checks.
“It’s very scary,” Debbie Hamberger, of North Valley Stream, Long Island, told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.
“It’s insane,” said Maureen Marsala, of Westbury, Long Island. “It’s insane.”
“I think it’s become part of our reality,” Elizabeth Andrew, of Westbury.
David Boehm, a security expert and chief operating officer of Security USA, called theaters and malls “soft targets.”READ MORE: Woman Struck And Killed While Pushing Baby In Stroller In Queens
“Security has to be tightened,” he said. “That starts with bag checks, metal detectors.”
Such a move would not be unprecedented. There are bag checks and scans, for example, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home to the Jets and Giants.
In places such as Israel, someone cannot enter a mall, theater or public building without going through a metal detector of having his or her bags checked.
But not in the United States. Boehm said some movie theaters do employ security personnel as do malls — some seen, some not — but that metal detectors and bag checks there are nonexistent.
He said he expects that to change eventually.
“It has to,” he said. “We have to be proactive. You can’t just watch what’s happening without taking proactive measures.”MORE NEWS: See It: Woman Steals Dog From Valley Stream Home
The National Association of Theatre Owners would not comment Friday on any additional security measures cinemas are taking in response to the Lafayette shooting, a spokesman explaining the group does not want to jeopardize security plans.