1,000 Words: The Florida shooting

This video and photo suggests to us that we’ve entered another era when people are running across the taxiway of a major American airport and onto the runway in search of safety from a gunman.

This is the sort of visual that is so shocking, it’s difficult to accept we’re actually seeing it.

By the way, judging by the timestamp on the video and cross-referencing it with tower audio from LiveATC.net, the airport was still open at the time this video was taken.

“At first we thought it was firecrackers,” Mark Lea, a financial advisor from Minneapolis, said. “Everyone started screaming and running. The shooter made his way down through baggage claim. He had what looked like a 9mm and emptied his entire clip. People were trying to run.”

“It was absolutely surreal,” he said. “People were scared and frantically running to avoid being shot. People were tripping over each other. They were trying to make a fast exit out of the door.”

  • BReynolds33

    So confused. How are people safer running out in the open than in the airplane?

    • No clue. I’m not even sure they came from an airplane. The Miami Herald had reported the shooting was in the baggage area.

      • Moffitt

        A little more than 20 years ago, we had a scare in our airport. In that case, the man with the gun seem more interested in committing suicide by cop than hurting others. We got lucky that day.

  • Gary F

    And I think baggage areas are on the open side of security. But no matter how many checks you do, people will get by. With a gun or a banner and climbing gear.

    • RBHolb

      Because disrupting the sanctity of a football game is equivalent to shooting up an airport.

      • Gary F

        No, but the idea that security checks will give us a risk free society makes them relevant. If someone can smuggle in a bunch of quality cliff climbing hardware thru the security check means they could get semi-auto pistol thru too. And almost everyone else is unarmed.

        • RBHolb

          CNN is reporting that he took the gun out of checked baggage.

          • Sam M

            Bah facts.

          • I don’t think the goal of security is to protect passengers. It’s to keep planes from being hijacked, presenting a much larger threat. They don’t tell you that, of course.

          • Sam M

            Security checks didn’t have anything to do with this incident. We were making comments on the relevancy of them but they aren’t in fact relevant to this particular story.

        • Rob

          Are you going down this road yet again? YAWN. The only result of having more people armed when there’s a whackoid running around shooting people would be more confusion and more dead and wounded.

        • >>And almost everyone else is unarmed.<<

          So the answer, of course, is "moar gunz!!1!"

          /So predictable…and so wrong.

    • Rob

      Gotta get in a dig at protesters even when the post is about someone committing carnage with a handgun. Classy.

    • Ralphy

      We disagree more often than not, but I do agree with you that the stadium/arena screening is not much more than kabuki theater.

      • jon

        Was the goal to search for climbing gear and banners, or was the goal to search for weapons, and (more realistically) outside food and drink?

  • Gary F

    Bob, where is the feel good Friday post? Kittens, panda bears, penguins, people doing good deeds? Come on.

    • Don’t think I didn’t look. So far, I’ve come up empty. It’s been that way — mostly — for weeks.

      • Al

        Well, that really stinks.

        • Jeff

          I had posted a cute picture of a baby elephant but it didn’t seem to mix well with a tragedy.

  • Check out the guy with the woman in the pink at :19 as he helps her along. Grabs something from her, then leaves her in the dust. Nice.

  • Another reason to keep that resolution about going to the gym: You never know when or where you’ll need to run for your life from a gunman!

  • Moffitt

    Now there is another local connection to this story besides Mark Lea. Saw one news source say suspect passed through MSP on trip from Alaska to Florida.

    • Rob

      I feel better now that I know there’s a local connection.

  • Anna

    I pray to God we never become so immured to violence of this magnitude that we ever think this is a normal everyday occurrence and just shrug it off and say, “Meh.”

    I’ve never worried about my safety or that of my family but my son files regularly to Florida and other states as well as overseas for his job. Am I going to get a call someday in the near future that my son or any other member of my family is the victim of a terrorist or mentally deranged killer opening fire at the airport, a train station, the subway in New York, a college football game, a restaurant?

    This is why knowing the neighbors in your block, your co-workers in your office building and the people you ride with on mass transit is so important. Knowing them well will allow you to take notice when a stranger cruises the neighborhood, gets on the bus or on the light rail.

    We can no longer expect that air marshals, plain clothes policemen or metal detectors are going to protect us.

    It’s time for the American public to increase their vigilance and start paying attention.

    If 2016 taught us anything it is that we are, indeed our brother’s keeper.

  • Postal Customer

    I was thinking the other day that it’s been quite a while since our last massacre.

  • Will

    The FBI knew and did nothing, we need a mental health watch list…no flying with guns for them…

    • kevins

      How about no flying with guns for anyone.

      • Will

        How about we stop the people who have been deemed mentally unstable by the FBI from going on aircraft with guns in their checked baggage first?

        • kevins

          By “we” do you mean that we need laws to prevent the transport of firearms on airplanes? Does the FBI deem people mentally unstable? Do you want to expand the powers of a federal law enforcement agency into mental health services?

          • Will

            Yes, I would like to see the list of people who are unable to buy a firearm or transport a firearm on aircraft be extended from felons to include people who are mentally unstable and could be a danger to others or themselves.

          • kevins

            Sure..but does the FBI make the decision about who is mentally unstable?

          • One guy tries to use a shoe bomb, now we all have to take off our shoes at a checkpoint.

            One guy tries to blow up his underwear, now we all stand for naked pictures of ourselves at the airport.

            One incident of a guy pulling a gun from checked baggage and now we’re going to have a new round of security theater (they would simply BAN all people from transporting guns, by the way, since I doubt there’s any system in place to identify one bag from the millions that pass through screening in a given day, and instantly connect it to a medical records database, an idea that is scary all its own )

            Sometimes stuff happens and it’s a terribly tragedy. But the kneejerk reaction in the fearful aftermath is usually how civil liberties get lost. I would also question whether restricting the rights and movement of people who’ve sought treatment for mental health also would discourage people from seeking help (similar to when airline pilots chose to fly drunk rather than seek help for alcoholism, for example. http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2009/08/flying_drunk/

            It’s a slippery slope that calls for people to think a little more about (a) whether this is a significant problem and (b) what the unintended consequences are and (c) what precedent is set to expand the restrictions in the future to another class of people.

            Oh, there’ll be more poorly-thought-out proposals. Some politician will most surely recommend that baggage claim also be behind security, for example, a logistical nightmare.

            If someone can’t travel with a gun and wants to kill people at an airport, the solution is pretty simple — just walk in off the street and shoot baggage claim up at your local airport instead.

            Like most elements of security theater, this one doesn’t really do anything other than give people a false sense that they’ve done something.

          • chris

            I have a hard time understanding how security is theater. Does anyone doubt that if we didn’t go through security to get on a plane, there would be more terrorism on planes?

            My understanding is the guy in Florida was apprehended by armed security. Were they actors in a theater?

          • The only terrorists the TSA has ever captured were already on the planes.

          • chris

            Which proves what? Terrorists aren’t getting through security with guns or knives so they’re trying novel explosives and failing. Would you rather we didn’t go through security to get on a plane?

          • We’ve had security since the ’70s , which were intended to stop hijacking. Nobody’s suggesting no security checkpoints. But the ban on more than 3 ounces of mouthwash, or a bigger can of shaving cream, or taking off our shoes and belts is just silly — TSA/PreCheck seems to confirm that.

            In fact, I’m flying today. I won’t have to take off my shoes. I won’t have to take off my belt, I won’t have to pull my laptop out of the bag and place it separately on the belt. Other people will. Unless, of course, they pay $80 for the privilege. Ridiculous.
            It’s a show to make you feel better; same as the Emergency Broadcast System in the event of a nuclear attack.

            But if patting down the crotches of little children and old ladies in wheelchairs makes a fearful public feel safe, well, go for it.

            The best security w.r.t. airlines was a simple one: Locking the cockpit door.

            // Terrorists aren’t getting through security with guns or knives so they’re trying novel explosives and failing.

            No they’re not . They’re not going after planes. They’re driving trucks into markets. They’re shooting up hotels . They’re going after soft targets. They’re not stupid.

            Meanwhile, be sure you finish that bottle of water before you try to get on a plane. And shut the barn door behind you, please.

            http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/01/tsa-business-security-theater-not-security/357599/

          • jon

            I’m thankful that terrorists are caught up on that whole blaze of glory thing that comes with explosives and mass shootings…

            I fear the reaction when we have another DC sniper situation and ISIS claims responsibility.

            A cheap gun, a cheap car, and two guys can create a lot of panic over the course of weeks instead of hours.

            A few cheap guns (preferably with matching ballistic characteristics) a few cheap cars, and a bunch of guys could cause havoc for days, even months, across and entire city, or even an entire region.

          • Rob

            I’m among the doubters. There’s a huge difference between actual security and security theatre, and almost all of the airport-related activities fall into the latter.