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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Reaction Instead Of Action
Jimmy Moore
March 20, 2002

Tragic news was reported yesterday when a 13-year-old girl was killed by a hockey puck that flew over the plexiglass and hit her in the head at a National Hockey League game in Ohio. This was the first time a fan has ever died from being hit by a hockey puck in an NHL game.

The shock of this event has undoubtedly created a lot of conversation about the safety of fans at hockey arenas. The ensuing debate about what will be done to prevent this from happening again has almost assuredly begun.

I am concerned about what is going to happen over the next few months as a result of this sad situation, though.

America has become a nation of reaction instead of action.

It takes something drastic, such as death, to bring us to action. However, many times the actions that are taken as a result of such calamities are more reactive in nature.

Here are just a couple of recent examples:

- After the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center towers, what happened to the airports as a result?

There were tighter security measures, banning of knives, etc.

- After the “Shoe Bomber” was discovered on an airplane just weeks after the September 11th attacks, what happened to people going through security at airports?

They had to start taking off their shoes at security!

What do these two examples have in common? They both show how America responds to unpleasant events rather than taking action prior to them happening.

In the case of the September 11th attacks, the only reason why airports now have tighter security is because the hijackers were able to get past them. The only reason why all knives have been banned from airline passengers is because that is the weapon that was used by the hijackers on the planes that crashed.

As for the “Shoe Bomber” incident, the only reason why airline passengers had to start taking off their shoes at security is because one airline passenger made a bomb out of his.

If the September 11th hijackers had used bug spray and a lighter as their weapon of choice instead of knives, do you think that plastic knives would have been banned from airplanes? Would they have made bug spray and lighters illegal on airplanes?

If the “Shoe Bomber” had used his underwear to make the bomb out of instead of his shoe, do you think that people would have to take off their shoes when they go through security in airports? Would they have instead made people pull down their pants for inspection?

Some may think this is proposterous, but think about it! This is the point we have reached in America.

And it can very well happen in the case of this little girl who died at a hockey game.

Will there be an outcry to somehow make the hockey puck safer by making it lighter or softer?

Will there be a movement to raise the plexiglass even higher to prevent such accidents from happening in the future?

Maybe all hockey games should be played inside an entire bubble of plexiglass. That way, everyone is assured of their safety, right?

This might sound crazy, but don’t be surprised when you hear someone suggesting that the NHL mandates all of their franchises to adhere to a new plexiglass standard as a reaction to this incident.

We need intelligent people in every area of life thinking of creative ways to act as a preventative measure instead of waiting for the next unexpected catastrophe to cause us to react.

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