Metal Detectors at Ballparks

Posted by Kurt Smith on Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Recently it was announced that all of the MLB venues will be requiring fans to go through security screenings to get into the ballpark starting in 2015. Fans must either walk through a magnetometer or have someone use a wand on them.

My first thought, which would surprise no one who knows me, is the scene from the movie “The Naked Gun”. Leslie Nielsen is attempting to provide security for the queen, and at one point takes one of the metal wands and noisily and forcefully runs it all over an elderly woman’s body, jabbing the antenna into her behind as she is walking away in disgust.

OK, now I’ve had a much needed good laugh for my morning. Anyway, not having yet experienced an overly intrusive search at a ballgame, the thought of going through a metal detector doesn’t yet bother me. I usually take a bag into the ballpark with peanuts or a sandwich I’ve bought outside, and I expect it to be searched, so that won’t be anything new to me.

The only thing that somewhat troubles me about this is the same thing that troubles me when I’m dropping my keys into a box at an airport so that I can go through a metal detector. It’s the thought that I am about to step into a place that is a target of people who set off bombs. Whether or not these measures are necessary for the security of the thousands attending a sporting event doesn’t really matter to me; it’s still troubling to think about.

Sports are an outlet for many of us to escape reading the sadness of the world that saturates the rest of the newspaper. For most of my life my only concern going to a ballgame was being clocked in the head by a foul ball. Now I feel like I need to know where the two nearest exits are.

Such concern, I know, should not be a factor in the decisions made to protect fans. I would rather feel uneasy for a few moments if it meant I was protected from some armed lunatic who’s been playing too many videogames and doesn’t know reality anymore. And if we had a few Boston Marathon type incidents at Fenway Park in the World Series, I’m sure I wouldn’t be feeling any better about the modern world.

Hopefully it works.

Tags: all parks 
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