The Price of Admission

Gosh, I feel so much safer now that teenage ticket takers at the Regal chain of movie theaters have been directed by corporate chieftains to search the purses of their female customers.

Responding to that horrible mass murder in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, the Regalites say they’ve begun rummaging through movie-goers’ purses to protect us from…well, from what?

DaysofThunder46/Flickr

DaysofThunder46/Flickr

The Dark Knight Rises shooter had an armory of weapons that wouldn’t fit in any purse. And need I point out that he was a he? Yet, Regal’s rummaging is apparently reserved for women, even though practically all mass shootings have been committed by male specimens of our species.

Why should anyone surrender their privacy just to see a movie? Yes, we essentially get strip searched to board an airplane these days — but even that’s of very dubious value, and at least it’s done by trained security personnel. What’s a 17-year-old, low-wage, untrained corporate hiree going to do if he or she pokes into a purse and finds a Ruger Semiautomatic? Shriek? Wrestle the owner to the floor?

Also, if customers packing heat have a concealed handgun permit, won’t they have to be waved through — and maybe even given a free popcorn for being “authorized” gun toters?

Has our “Land of the Free” become such a scaredy-cat nation that we’ll succumb to the authoritarian nonsense of a corporate state that feels entitled to rifle through our personal belongings as the price of entry into a movie? The good news is “no.” All across our country, women are walking away from Regal’s pretentious abrogation of our Fourth Amendment rights.

“I don’t think we should be searched, not without a cause,” said a spunky Austin movie-goer, putting the Constitution over Regal — and putting a smile on the faces of Jefferson, Madison, and the other Founders. They never saw a movie, but they established our right to be free of such ridiculous searches.

Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.
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