A veritable army stood guard outside of Dolby Theatre Sunday night during the 90th Annual Academy Awards.
There was enough firepower, training and experience to overthrow a small country.
There were concentric rings of security provided by more than 500 Los Angeles Police officers, including members of their elite SWAT Team, bomb squad and air units.
LAPD’s blue-steel wall was buttressed by Los Angeles Sheriff’s’ deputies, firefighters and emergency medical personnel, as well as federal agents from Homeland Security and the FBI.
Of course, many of the agents and officers had access to AR-15s — not the California-legal versions available for the state’s subjects, but the real-deal rifles available in other states — rifles which have become red meat for many of the celebrities gathered inside.
The lawmen were joined by dozens of private security details — a far cry from the rent-a-cops used in shopping malls. These expensive teams are comprised of former military special operators — including Tier One guys — and retired Secret Service agents.
Inside the theater, the crowd was further protected by private security officers from Innovative Security Solutions & Services. SIS operatives are among the best in the private-security world.
Not even the White House can boast such a massive security detail.
Of course the celebrities were oblivious of the well-armed phalanx that protected them and their event, or at least they acted like there weren’t hundreds of guns just outside the door.
Guns, and, of course, pro-gun groups, were topics to be chided and derided.
“Tell the NRA they’re in God’s way/and to the people of Parkland we say asé [or amen],” Common, the Oscar-winning rapper, told the crowd.
Many of the celebs wore small enameled flag pins, part of the “Wear Orange to Prevent Gun Violence” campaign from Everytown for “Gun Safety.”
We’re all still grieving about the massacre at Parkland. The horrible mass shooting can be blamed on a complete breakdown of the system, from school resources to mental health care. The shooter himself, and those who dismissed the dozens of red flags he was waving, are also culpable. But for the Oscar-goers, of course, it’s all the gun’s fault, especially when the cameras are rolling.
In my humble opinion, if the Academy wants to make a strong, less hypocritical political statement about guns during next year’s 91st Annual Academy Awards, it would be an easy process.
All they need to do is ban the private security teams, both inside and outside the theater, and then tell the officers, deputies and agents that their services are no longer needed.
They won’t, of course.
After all, for most celebrities, guns are fine — a total non-issue — if they’re in the hands of their personal protection details.
If anyone else outside the Hollywood bubble — who can’t afford expensive bodyguards — uses a firearm for personal security, it’s suddenly controversial and should be prohibited — the Constitution be damned.