Indiana made it legal to conceal carry without a permit, and there was a mass shooting at Greenwood Park Mall just yesterday. Will Gen Con be doing anything to ensure the safety of attendees this year? Metal detectors, increased police presence?
Surely since Covid is still being taken so seriously, this threat is also going to be taken seriously, right? The mask requirement is in place because this is the largest gathering of people in the state every year; it stands to reason it's also the biggest and easiest target for someone looking to commit a mass shooting.
The issue is the convention is so sprawling that GenCon can only control who goes into rooms themselves. Anyone can enter the convention building without a ticket or badge. Let alone all the hotel areas and outdoor spots.
Even if someone tried to get in, they could easily target people elsewhere. I'm not even sure GenCon could do metal detectors, that would likely be controlled by the convention center organization.
It's unfortunate our country has its priorities wrong and we need to even consider safety like this. I won't go into why such crime is occurring as this isn't the place for it, but I think GenCon has no control over who enters all the public areas controlled by businesses outside of the play and event areas.
Gen Con is far, far from the largest event in the state. Peak Gen Con attendance has been around 61,500 people.
Musical For All (Bands of America) was drawing around 80,000 people over three days in LOS during its pre-COVID peak. Last year the Big 10 football championship game had 67,813 attendees (in a year when Gen Con had approximately 35,000+.) The Indiana State Fair usually creeps up on a million people with daily attendance approaching or exceeding Gen Con's total.
Also, the logistics on magnetometers to gain entrance to the convention center would be hideous. People are already freaking out regarding wait times to get a vaccination wrist band, can you imagine standing in a massive line every single time you entered ICC/LOS and being required to take everything out of your pockets, have your bag scanned separately, worrying about your electronics going through yet another x-ray machine for the upteenth time during the convention, etc.
There is no doubt Gen Con has many seen and unseen security measures to keep everyone safe and there is equally no doubt they have people assessing threats and so forth given current events.
Oh noes, a few minutes of my time = less chance of death?
it might not be this year, but I got to plenty of events/locations where metal detectors and bag checks are the norm. They aren’t a guarantee, but every extra level of protection beyond a signature promising not to carry on site, is a good thing.
I would guarantee those events/locations are where you walk in and largely stay there for the event (i.e. concerts/sporting events/amusement parks/etc.) and not one where people are constantly going in and out. I also would guess those events don't have event organizers, attendees, vendors, carting around the amount of gear that gamers are notorious for and would require checking.
As also noted above, the mask policy this year clearly proves that Gen Con can only establish policies for spaces they directly control and common corridors in the ICC are not included in that.
I could be completely wrong, but "oh noes" aside, I don't see metal detectors in the cards for Gen Con this year or the foreseeable future. As with every activity in public life (and life in general) each person needs to assess their own threshold of acceptable risk. I believe Gen Con is doing just fine with what they're doing.
Looks like Indianas concealed weapon law worked. Pretty sure someone stopped said shooter and saved many lives. Bad people don't care about the law.
The law really didn't change much. If you were legally able to own a handgun before it took place before, you are still able to. If you are not able to legally own a handgun, you're still not. It did not change where you are able to carry a handgun. As Indiana is "shall-issue" state all it really did was eliminate some paperwork and licensing fees to carry that handgun concealed. 24 states now have essentially identical laws.
However, Gen Con can set its own policies and clearly prohibits firearms in its spaces. So, carrying one won't get you arrested, but I'm guessing it will get you ejected from the show and potentially banned. (Disclaimer... not at all offering a legal opinion!)
All of that said, Greenwood Police Chief James Ison heralded the legally armed citizen as a hero and said more people would have died without his actions.
As far as whether you can carry a gun inside a hotel, restaurant or other business in Indianapolis, that permission is up to the property owner. Gun owners should know that in Indiana, private businesses can prohibit the carrying of firearms on their premises.
Weapons and props:
Imagine the metal detectors when all the True Dungeon players lug their tokens through.
There are always threads on how to get them through airports.
Regarding other private businesses, posting a sign prohibiting concealed firearms does not have force of law unless otherwise prohibited by law (again not legal advice.)
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Posts about the rights or wrongs of guns and laws about them won't be tolerated.
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Metal detectors are only a good as their operators, and I've seen trained police officers muck them up by not having them properly calibrated. And they're 100% ineffective for someone not coming in through a main entrance.
It's a sad sign of the times this is even a topic of discussion, but now more than ever people need to pay attention to their surroundings. If something feels "wrong," better to report it and have it be nothing than ignoring it and having it be something....
I think Gen Con is as safe as any large gathering can reasonably be and though the chance of something happening isn't zero, it's still very small.
My quick mental count logs at least 15 attendee entrances to the ICC, including various doors and skywalks. I don't think metal detectors are at all feasible.
I also don't think gamers are a particularly juicy target for either hate or notoriety purposes. We're mostly pretty benign, but also kind of a weird subculture, so people don't really want us dead nor would we garner exceptional attention/sympathy.
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I was in a car wreck late JAN of 2011. As a result, I've got 2 small Metal brackets in my left forearm, and a steel rod the length of my left thigh, plus Metal screws in the brackets and rod both. I've got a card from my doctor, for in case I need to fly (so far only 1 round-trip flying since the wreck), so the people working the metal detector know What Exactly is setting off their equipment.
I usually leave my car/house keys in my hotel room, but I always carry a pocketknife. I carry/wear a backpack at GC, but I've no idea if that has any metal in it or not, aside from the zippers. I've got some metal in my belt buckle, not sure if it's enough to set off a detector or not though. I also wear a wristwatch and have a "Smart" phone. I've also got metal-framed eyeglasses, but again I've NO idea if those would set off a Detector or not.
But I'm only ONE person. I'm also not a Cosplayer, or someone bringing in equipment to run a game.
Figure 5 minutes to run me through the Detector. My Friend/Brother also has a backpack, phone, watch, belt, maybe his keys. Not sure if he has a knife. He'll probably only take a minute or two.
And there will be HOW many Attendees PER DAY to "run though" a Metal Detector? That will find . . . nothing. All to make 3-5 children "Feel Safe"?
If you're afraid of large gatherings, Gen Con may not be the place for you.