The deadly Las Vegas shooting has brought up more questions than answers, prompting security experts to speculate as to how law enforcement will adjust to the new safety threats we are now facing.
Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, shot a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas, Nevada, from the 32nd floor of a hotel, killing nearly 60 people and injuring more than 500 others.
Despite law enforcement’s insistence that Paddock was acting alone and that he wasn’t being labeled a terrorist, Brian Levin, a counter-terrorism expert, told the Los Angeles Times that this is a “new normal,” and that things aren’t getting any easier from now on.
“We are now seeing lone wolves being able to create war at our entertainment venues,” Levin said
Despite knowing law enforcement and security organizations have time and again envisioned this type of scenario, he said that it’s still “very hard to secure any large crowd from elevated positions in Las Vegas.”
In order to address the risk in a more effective way, many experts say that immediate changes will begin to be added to security protocols.
To Bruce McIndoe, the president of iJet International, an organization responsible for performing security audits on hundreds of hotels around the world, hotels will begin to train their security teams to look for guests carrying items such as skis, fishing gear, or any other items that could look like rifles.
Audrey Cronin, former director of the Center for Security Policy Studies at George Mason University, told CNBC that while the horrifying shooting in Las Vegas was the worst in modern history, it isn’t unprecedented. Thus, she added, major changes, such as the ones enacted after the 9/11 terrorist attack, including the creation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), won’t likely take place. Instead, she added, the shooting may lead to expanded security measures in certain kinds of gatherings.
Security organizations covering political events already act with mass shooting scenarios, such as the one we saw Sunday, in mind. Other gatherings may be getting the same scrutiny in the future.
“The question is whether that practice will have to be expanded to non-political situations. Yes, it may include changes to hotel security practices," she told reporters.
McIndoe agreed, saying that sweeping changes like the ones we saw after 9/11 are unlikely, and that the government may have a small role in changing guidelines or regulations for this type of security.
Still, Manuel Gomez, former FBI agent and president of MG Security Services, told CNBC that security organizations may have to reconsider organizing events at outside venues.
"The answer is to not put hundreds of people in an area where you have hotels or you have other venues that have not been screened or are not secure," he explained. "We learned a very hard way that these open-area events are not safe."
Despite the great deal of concern associated with what the future holds after this horrific attack, experts told the Los Angeles Times that before any changes are implemented, we must remember that now, what we need is more vigilance, especially during large outdoor events.
Security might not be changing in an incredibly drastic way, but the heightened fear and concern is certainly present. If seeing a movie or going to a concert is considered dangerous, what isn't anymore? Will elected officials finally see that now is the time to act?
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Steve Marcus