Officer-Involved Shooting at GA Theme Park Raises Serious Questions

Skyline Attractions via AP

Six Flags over Georgia is one of a chain of theme parks across the nation. They're not exactly Disney in scale, but they're fun enough. I've hit both the Georgia one at Six Flags Great America in Illinois. It's a good time.


But Georgia's location wasn't all that much fun when a group of teens started fighting and, upon the police trying to eject them, opened fire on cops.

The police returned fire, injuring a 15-year-old kid.

Another opening day fiasco at Six Flags Over Georgia escalated. This year, a 15-year-old suspect was critically injured after Cobb County police said he allegedly fired at officers.


According to the GBI, Cobb County police fired shots after an attempt to remove the group from the property led some of the teens to shoot at police.

Some videos circulating online show parts of the violent encounters while others captured hundreds of park goers scattering for safety at the sound of gunfire.

Now, it's unclear if the 15-year-old was actually one of those shooting at police or just happened to have gotten shot during the gun battle.

However, one would imagine that a 15-year-old running around with his friends and getting into fights would be with people around his own age, none of which could have lawfully purchased a firearm in the first place, so this is clearly not a gun control issue.


Though I'm sure someone will try to make it one.

The incident highlights some serious questions, including how this group got guns.

Yet it's not the only issue.

Six Flags park officials responded saying: "A few years ago we moved from manual bag checks to Evolv, an advanced security screen system that represents hands off screening technology to detect metals or any other unauthorized objects."

Evolv is the same technology used by a number of school systems in metro Atlanta, and even bigger venues, like Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The statement from Six Flags officials also said, "it is crucial to emphasize that we prioritize safety."

Now, unless these guns were outside of the gate and somehow retrieved quickly enough to be fired at officers, we have a problem.

Six Flags doesn't allow guns on its property, much like Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the school systems in question.

Evolv is supposed to detect weapons without being nearly as invasive as a pat down and probably less involved than walking through a metal detector. It's supposed to work and it doesn't seem to have done its job very well.


That's something literally all of these places might want to consider, particularly in Georgia where a bill would make property owners liable for injuries suffered in a gun-free business. 

Evolv officials probably have some explaining to do, both to Six Flags and to the rest of their customers. Especially those in Georgia who are looking at the liability bill and the apparent failure of Evolv to catch a gun at Six Flags and are now wondering how screwed they'd be if it missed a gun at their place.

Of course, they could just skip the whole "gun-free" schtick and recognize that no system is foolproof, so the best course of action is to trust good guys with guns to be on hand to deal with threats to their own lives and thus, by extension, saving others.

But no, that's not politically palatable these days, now is it?

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