A “soft target” is “a person or thing that is relatively unprotected or vulnerable, especially to military or terrorist attack.” People may not realize that they are in a soft target area. Esteban Santiago, the man accused of fatally shooting five people and wounding six others at the airport in this South Florida city three days ago, made a brief appearance on Monday in a federal courtroom
When people go to an airport they see armed guards, metal detectors ,cameras and k-9 dogs all visible and interacting with the thousands of travelers at any given time. So it is only natural and maybe somewhat serine to let your guard down. But due to the size of an international airport not every corner can be protected. I am sure before the recent shooting most people did not know that it is perfectly legal to check in a handgun with your luggage thus giving the person total access to it in a baggage claim area which is a soft target. No metal detectors, maybe an armed guard but the heightened sense of security is not there. Unfortunately people do not just shut off a way of thinking going from the secured area of an airport down to the baggage claim.
So what can be done. A few simple things can go a long way. Keep your situational awareness working for you everywhere you are. Research the places you are going to visit. There are light weight Ballistic Panels you can insert into your Backpack, Laptop bag, carryon bag or any other personal bag. These Ballistic panels weigh only 20 ounces and stop every handgun caliber up to a 44 magnum multiple times. A little prior planning and mental vigilance can go a long way when it comes to your personal safety.