Opinion: Clear Bag Policy Protects Revenue, Not You and Me
Friday night my family went to see Monster Jam at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. As I walked up I was a little disappointed when the "Terminus Lady" was no longer giving the prerecorded apocalyptic sounding announcements as you walked in. She was replaced by The Life of the Party telling us all about how safe we will be with clear bags.
"As a part of our continued commitment to provide for your safety and security, a clear bag policy is in effect," he said.
I have a theory about the clear bags. Their requirement and excluding all other unclear bags at venues is sold as a safety measure to protect us against dastardly acts that could be perpetrated by a terrorist or crazed mass shooter. While a clear bag would certainly provide one less place for a criminal to hide a weapon or destructive device, they are equally effective at providing one less place for someone to smuggle in beverages or snacks. This helps preserve revenue at the concession stands since outside food and beverage is not allowed.
What really strengthened this theory for me on Friday was that there were no metal detectors in use. No one was patting down patrons sneaking in contraband. I could have easily carried a pistol, pocket knife, and a couple of beers into the building and no one would have known. I almost forgot to leave my pocket knife in the car, but I did. Guess I didn't have to. If safety is the priority why weren't the metal detectors out? Metallica and Garth Brooks need metal detectors but Monster Jam doesn't?
Saturday night I went to the Minnesota/Oklahoma basketball game at the Pentagon. I walked through a metal detector there. I failed to walk through because I forgot to put my keys in the tub.
The only thing that keeps a weapon or destructive device out of the building is people actively looking for those things.
I really don't care if the Premier Center has a clear bag policy or not. Those who manage the facility can institute any restrictions they want to. But don't tell me they are committed to my safety and security when they don't use the metal detectors but still require the clear bags. Run the clear bag policy and quit selling it as safety. Just tell the life of the party to say "The Denny Sanford Premier Center has a clear bag policy."