I thought about whether to post this or not, security-wise, but with tens of thousands of people attending each Obama event, it’s not exactly a great secret whether or not they use metal detectors or otherwise search people, assuming someone wanted to know for nefarious reasons. Still, I find this troubling enough that I’m publishing it. From our readers:
SEATTLE: There was no security check in Seattle, as well. I remember being somewhat nervous about that at the time and mentioning it to my friend. I thought at the time that it would be hard to check 18,000 people in a timely fashion…but geez, they do it all the time for basketball and baseball games…and I think Obama is a heckuva more important figure than Ichiro.
NJ: I went to an event in Newark, NJ in January and the same thing happened. Everyone in line was commenting on the lack of security as well!
ALABAMA: This has been going on for a while. Early this month my family went to see him speak in Birmingham, AL. The line to get in was 3-4 people wide and circled an entire city block. It was moving very slowly at 1st, with people stationed every 100ft or so telling you “no bags were allowed of any type, have all camera’s and anything else metallic in your hands before going through security”. As we got closer to the 2:00 start time the pace picked up. When we got up to the doors of Bartow Arena there was no security evident. We walked through the turned off metal detectors and it seemed at least 50% of all women had bags. We thought it was strange at the time and other people were talking about it before Obama came out and started speaking. I have quite a few pictures of the event and it’s obvious that it was possible to get very close to the Senator.
MORE ALABAMA: This happened in Birmingham, AL also. It appears to be mostly because of time constraints. We waited in line for quite a long time and they stopped searching by the time I got up to the front of the line. There was only a half hour to go and the auditorium was less than half full because of the slowness of the searching.
SF: They did the same thing when I went to see him in San Francisco a few months ago. The lines were miles long and it was just taking too long to run everyone through the two metal detectors they had set up.
After the jump, Vegas, St. Louis and Boston too…
VEGAS: I went to one of the early debates, here in Las Vegas, when there was a full slate of candidates. I found it bizarre that there was basically no security at all. I suppose it’s possible that there are metal detectors at the entrance to the Thomas & Mack center, I didn’t see them. Nobody checked our IDs against our tickets, and when my friend’s name did not appear on the list, they let him in anyway. And he’s covered with scary tattoos! Heh. Still, it was disturbingly easy to get in.
ST. LOUIS: My son went to an Obama rally at our football stadium in St. Louis. He said there were NO metal detecters or searches. I was really surprised. They search purses when we go to football games.
MORE ST. LOUIS: I went to the St. Louis rally and there was reportedly 20,000 people there (I’m not sure it was that many, but close). Anyway, we were in a long line, but it was moving quickly because they were just letting people walk right in. Some of our friends that got there early said they were checked, but I guess they gave up because we were surprised to walk right in the door and onto the floor of the stadium. Even at the RAMS games they pat down everybody and check women’s purses.
BOSTON: The same thing happened at an Obama campaign event in Boston last April, and it was just after he had been assigned Secret Service protection. He appeared at the new Agganis Arena at Boston University, and we went. There were no metal detectors, only a prohibition against bags. There were so many students, and lots and lots of book bags.