Safety: April 2007 Archives

Man Kills Hostage, Self at NASA Building, AP

"The gunman was able to take a snub-nosed revolver past NASA security and barricade himself in the building, which houses communications and tracking systems for the space shuttle, authorities said."

Editor's note: The more I think about this, the more I can't fight the urge to comment. Someone drove onto JSC property with A LOADED GUN and KILLED SOMEONE. This happened days after the Virginia Tech slaughter and NASA is now going to re-evalute its security polices? Gee, it's about damn time, Mr. Saleeba. Something sure ain't working properly. The word incompetence (on someone's part) comes to mind. Metal detectors have been known to detect guns. Car searches have been known to find prohibited items. More importantly, people are under enormous stress at NASA these days with programs being shut down and many people certain to loose their jobs. Someone needs to be paying much more attention to this as well. Treating the symptoms is not enough. NASA to needs to recognize - and threat - the cause(s) as well.

Comments? Send them to nasawatch@reston.com.

One note: for those of you who are utterly convinced that additional screening and metal detectors could never work at NASA, I invite you to come up to Washington DC. Everywhere you go there are security scans and detectors. It has been like this for years - even before 9-11. Indeed, everyday every single visitor to the National Air and Space Museum goes through a metal detector and has their bags searched. That's tens of thousands of people every day - and most of these visitors are novices in terms of being scanned and searched. Alas, even though there are metal detectors at NASA HQ entrances, regular (badged) employees are not required to go through them. Only visitors are. NASA has the tools in place but only uses them to partial effect.

As for all of you who are dumping on me for suggesting that every person entering JSC be screened and and their car searched every day, guess what? I never said that! Read this post again. But since you folks seem to want to discuss that topic, I wonder what would be easier to do: screen every one entering a facility - with one landlord - a facility with vast amounts of land, large parking lots, and a small number of controlled campus entrances (JSC) -- or -- scan the same number of people entering hundreds of government offices and buildings every day in Washington, DC. It is not impossible, folks. You just do not want to be inconvenienced in the same way that we are up here in Washington every day - and that is certainly understandable. Alas, everyone seems to be trying to out do the previous person in saying how impossible enhanced screening would be at NASA. I am also rather startled that so many responses suggest that nothing can be done and that it should simply be assumed - and accepted - that people can - and will - carry guns to work at JSC.

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This page is an archive of entries in the Safety category from April 2007.

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