In Wake of Shootings, Malls Rethink Security

Omaha incident gives new urgency to debate over accessibility
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2007 2:45 PM CST
The Von Maur store, lit for the holiday season, is seen in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007. 20-year-old Robert A. Hawkins of Bellevue, Neb., opened fire with a rifle at the busy department store,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – This week's shootings at an Omaha mall have revived the debate over security at shopping centers, Their openness and popularity make them dream targets for terrorists and disturbed individuals looking for attention, experts say, and some argue for Israeli-style screening of patrons, with metal detectors and car searches. USA Today looks at the battle to reconcile openness and security.

"You have belt buckles, change in pockets" says a criminal justice professor. "Going through a checkpoint could be the kind of thing that drives people to QVC." FBI director Robert Mueller agrees. "We are an open and free country, and we don't want guards at every doorway," he says.