This time needs to be the last time

Since our accountant joined a bigger firm, we can no longer just say hello to the ladies at the front desk and breeze into his office. We check in at a counter with sliding glass windows and are then buzzed in through a locked door.

The firm has security precautions because they house valuable personal and financial data.

We went to a concert at the beautiful, historic Chicago Theater not long ago.  We passed through two rounds of security before we were admitted. The theater is committed to protecting the performers, the audience and the venue.

We can’t go to a professional football, baseball or basketball game without going through security. Sports arenas have security to protect players, fans and the athletic complexes.

We allow a good 30 minutes to pass through security when we fly somewhere. Security measures are in place to protect passengers, pilots, crew, staff and the aircrafts.

We can’t report for jury duty or fill out an absentee ballot without going through security. Government buildings have scanners and armed officers to protect judges, jurors, employees and the inner-workings of local, state and federal government.

The husband and I attended several campaign rallies during the last presidential election. We both started our careers as photojournalists. Between the two of us, we have photographed every president since Nixon and wanted to keep the collection current. Every rally had security. Some of the security measures rivaled those of airports.

After the bank where we do business was robbed several years ago, they installed two sets of locked doors and scanners you must pass through to enter the bank. They’re wisely insuring there’s not a repeat of what happened before.

We have tight security for celebrities, entertainers and audiences, professional athletes and their fans, judges, jurors, government workers, corporate office buildings, pilots, planes, passengers, presidential candidates, our money and our tax records.

We have security in schools, too. It varies from school to school and, in many cases, it’s not particularly daunting.

Some schools have an armed officer, some don’t. Every school requires you sign-in at the front desk. Some buzz you in, some require picture ID, some have a camera that prints out a fuzzy picture of your face on a nametag that you slap on your chest.

But school shooters don’t check in at the front desk.

Our children are priceless—every bit worthy of the security we provide pilots, planes, airline passengers, professional athletes, celebrities, entertainers, our courts, our banks and our tax records.

We need immediate implementation of strengthened and uniform security measures at every school, just like we have implemented tightened and uniform security measures at every airport and government building.

We can’t wait for a next time. This needs to be the last time.