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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

DYSART: The need to secure our gatherings

With my first apartment lease signed and summer internship secured, the thought of experiencing my first ever Milwaukee summer consumes my every day with excitement.

Imagining lazy afternoons at Bradford Beach, indulging in the atmosphere of Summerfest and cheering on the Brewers — my mind paints a vibrant picture of how I’ll spend my time when I am off the clock.

Amidst the anticipation, a rather harsh reality also fills my mind: exercising caution and the unfortunate truth of having to worry if the events that I will attend are as safe as possible.

Ten years ago, last Monday, I recall driving into Boston to watch my uncle run the 2013 Boston Marathon.

I didn’t know it then, but this marathon would be different — one that would not only shock the world but change the way I and many other people look at public events. Nobody expected two pressure cooker bombs to explode within 12 seconds of each other at the finish line of the world’s oldest and most elite marathon. But here is where the problem lies, nobody expected it.

As I look back to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, I am reminded that tragedies can strike at any moment, even at the most elite and historic events. Sadly, this is a reality that still holds true today, as we have seen an alarming increase in mass shootings in just the first few months of this year. It’s clear that we need to take proactive steps to ensure the safety of our public gatherings.

For Milwaukee, the city has certainly taken it seriously after last year’s shooting at the Milwaukee Bucks’ Deer District. The city is now enacting extra patrol units around the area and hiring safety ambassadors who will be in charge of being extra observant and reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement.

It is this kind of proactive action that can inspire other organizations and event organizers to follow suit.

Nevertheless, these actions need to be preventative measures as opposed to reactions to the past. It is not enough to wait until a tragedy occurs to go above and beyond in terms of safety preventative measures.

It is time for all of us to prioritize safety and security in our public spaces, and work together to ensure that everyone can enjoy the events and activities we love without fear.

However, it takes the work of citizens and government leaders to collaborate to continue to enact efforts that can prevent situations like the Boston Bombing and the Deer District shooting.

Looking back at the Boston Marathon, CCTV cameras and facial recognition software were key in helping locate the two bombers. Technology shows time and time again that it can assist in not only identifying someone who has already carried out a violent attack but also giving the opportunity for people to watch events live and look for any suspicious activity.

On top of that, the technology of metal detectors should continuously be used at more events.

While some may make the argument that additional efforts could create a sense of hyperawareness and overprotective measures, we have to come together and prove that a safe mindset is better than an unsafe mindset.

It is adapting efforts like these that will allow both myself and others to enjoy our summers and be safe at the same time.

While some may argue that increased safety measures can instill fear in people, the reality is that we must prioritize safety over convenience. We cannot afford to wait until a tragedy occurs before taking action. It’s time to continue enacting tighter restrictions, more rules, and more preventative measures to ensure that we can continue to enjoy events without fear, not just today, but for years to come. Together we can create a safer and more secure future for our communities.

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About the Contributor
TJ Dysart
TJ Dysart, Content Coach
TJ Dysart is a junior from Boston, Massachusetts studying journalism and criminology and law and is the content coach of the Marquette Wire. Last year, he also served in this role. Prior to this position he served as a new multimedia journalist as well as a news reporter. He is also currently the 2023-2024 Foley Fellow for The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation. Outside the Wire, TJ enjoys playing basketball, cooking and hanging out with friends.

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