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The Et Cetera

Three shot, one arrested: State Fair Security Sucks

Veronica Trejo

The State Fair of Texas’ safety measures are a joke, and just one week from closing three people were shot because of it.

Around 8 P.M., the Dallas Police Department responded to a shooter on the fairgrounds and worked to evacuate the area amidst the chaos that was taking place. Videos online show the madness of people trampling over each other in a panic, running aimlessly in search of safety. When I heard the news, I wasn’t as shocked as one might hope.

Earlier today I took out my phone, keys and wallet as I approached the security gate, but quickly realized that wasn’t necessary. None of the metal detectors were on and the security personnel weren’t using their wands to do anything more than guide the flow of traffic.

I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but as I sat on the phone tonight with my mother who was hiding in the back of the stand she works at, it was the first thing that flashed through my mind. After giving me the rundown of the situation, it was also the first thing she denounced. Tears started to well up in my eyes as I pictured her earlier that day, smiling and handing out sopapillas to happy customers as my friend and I ate the food she’d just hooked us up with.

A video from WFAA 8 posted Sept. 27 boasts the fairs’ newly implemented security protocols, including multiple stationed officers, both in uniform and in plain clothes, and metal detectors at the entrances that people must walk through. The devices seemed to work perfectly in the demonstration, but maybe that’s because they were actually plugged in.

Looking back I started to feel responsible; I should’ve seen this coming with those conditions. Watching my father pace back and forth and repeat things like, “I shouldn’t have let her go,” and, “it’s just too dangerous out there now,” it became evident that I wasn’t the only one.

That’s the thing though: it shouldn’t have to be something we think about as patrons of a large state-sponsored convention that’s taken place since before both World Wars, the Ford company’s founding and Teddy Roosevelt’s move to presidency (1886.) That falls on the shoulders of those in charge of setting up the event’s security measures and those tasked with enforcing them. 

The older I get, the more the fair loses its magic for me, but this year has really taken its toll in a way I never would’ve expected.

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SEAN STROUD, Editor in Chief
Veronica Trejo, Graphic Designer

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    Patricia StaleyOct 19, 2023 at 10:44 pm

    I am so impressed with your article Sean. You have a gift and you are using it. I am so very proud of you my Great Grand Son. Love you ❤️