MYRTLE, BEACH (WMBF) - In light of recent tragedies like the Charleston church shooting and now San Bernadino, South Carolina Representative Wendell Gilliard is sponsoring a bill which would require metal detectors at CCU's Brooks Stadium and even here at the movies. House Bill 4430 would require all movie theaters, sporting arenas, and concert venues to install metal detectors for security purposes.
Debbie Haller is out to see the new Star Wars movie. She says she would appreciate the added security at the theater, especially to protect our young people. She says, "It's probably a necessary evil.It' s a shame that we've reached this point in our society."
Representative Gilliard has a similar sentiment. He says House Bill 4430 is an effort to stop mass shootings, like the tragedy this past June at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, where Gilliard was raised and worked as a city councilman. He is also trying to pass several gun bills through the state general assembly, relating the need of tightened security to shootings in Aurora, Colorado. He told WMBF, "Here we are in the state of South Carolina. We're facing so many challenges, and I think the bill reflect that. All the gun violence that we have in this great state. We need more common sense gun bills."
In creating this bill, Gilliard surveyed movie theater goers over the course of several months...he says all would like the extra protection of metal detectors in theaters. He also met with movie theater owners, many who are concerned with costs. However, Gilliard argues that the movie industry is making, billions of dollars and that metal detectors are no more costly or less necessary than security alarms and cameras already installed.
City of Myrtle Beach Spokesperson Mark Kruea says another issue with bill is whether or not people would be willing to pay more at events to make up for the costs of metal detectors. In Myrtle Beach security is already a concern, especially at big events like Carolina Country Music Fest. That's why the city is installing more than 800 surveillance cameras. While the metal detector wands could be used at other places, walk through metal detectors would be required in movie theaters. Nestor Martinez say it's too much and would not be at the movies today if he had to go through a metal detector. Martinez argues, "You're allowing fear to take over our society, to take over what we do and how we do it. That's crazy."