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Old August 1, 2005, 01:47 PM   #11
Join Date: July 9, 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 36
This is my first post to TFL on this type of topic, but I am responding because this is something I think about quite often. Maybe more than I should, but the last few years have forced us to consider things that in the past that would have sounded crazy.

We live minutes from one of the largest malls in New England, a real shopping Mecca. (bad pun intended). Two levels of upscale shopping with four huge anchor stores. My wife loves the mall, and loves to go with our 3 1/2 year old girl. They don't live there by any stretch of the imagination. We believe in good old fashioned outdoor fun, but there is a time and a place for what my wife calls "retail therapy".

I am not paranoid. I am a realist. And I am very worried about Bad Things happening at a major American Mall. Since 9/11 I have discussed with my wife about limiting her trips to the mall around the holidays, and she has been good about it. As recently as last month we discussed her plans if something like an active shooting began at the mall. Such as not nessecarily running in the complete opposite direction from a shooter, which may lead to other shooters waiting to corral the fleeing public. We have talked about lateral exits and the careful use of the mall's back corridors, along with other things.

I do not go to the mall without a sidearm. I'm no Mall Ninja, but I will not set foot in that place unarmed. And when I'm there I'm usually not enjoying myself much. I worked my way through college as a security guard/special police officer at one of the largest indoor/outdoor mall tourist attractions in the northeast. I've dealt with every manner of protestor, nutjob, and criminal you can imagine. As a result I spend most of my time in public places just watching those around us. I resent that this is what its come to, but its the cards that we've all been dealt.

Lets face it, most of us are not tactical operators. Despite my background in criminal justice and private security I have no illusions about my abilities. Claiming that we know what we would do if a shooting scenario unfolded around us is fantasy. Every situation is different. My primary concern is my wife and little girl. I wish it were practical to just say "no more mall", but it just isn't realistic.

So no, I don't have a plan, per se, but I am glad to see this topic being discussed here.

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