Editor's note: Today's post has been expanded to comment on other stories in today's paper besides the attack that killed 14 in San Bernardino, Calif.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Would metal detectors or armed guards have prevented the worse mass shooting since the 2012 attack that killed 20 first-graders and six adults in Newtown, Conn.?
Would better security at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus have prevented a man with a rifle from invading the mall and firing random shots that panicked hundreds of shopper and store employees in November 2013?
After the mall rampage and the murder of 14 in San Bernardino, Calif., the police response was immediate -- and on Wednesday, massive -- but the damage had already been done.
Why aren't those police resources devoted to providing better security at malls and public buildings?
The United States sees a mass shooting -- the death of four or more people -- every day on average, according to the news media.
Yet, the tens of millions of dollars spent on equipping local, county and state police with tactical weapons and armored vehicles after 9/11 have rarely gone to preventing mass shootings or protecting our schools and shopping centers from gunmen.
After the Paramus rampage and suicide of the rifleman, The Record didn't question security provided by Westfield Garden State Plaza, because the mall is one of North Jersey Media Group's biggest advertisers.
Today, The Record's front page is dominated by wire-service stories from California that are sadly out of date, when compared to this morning's radio and TV reports.
With fast-moving events, The Record and other print media are useless, especially when they cover mass shootings in the same old way.
For example, none of the stories say whether there is any security at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, where the killings occurred during a holiday party of county employees.
You would have to watch TV news this morning to find out the masked, heavily armed gunman was Muslim and the woman who was killed with him in a shootout with police was his wife. They had a child.
They were identified as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, a San Bernardino County employee, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, according the news reports.
Real estate news
Road Warrior John Cichowski put on his Realtor's hat today, going to bat again for three homeowners along a 1,000-foot stretch of Route 17 south in Waldwick (A-1).
That's where an out-of-control tractor-trailer crushed a patrol car on radar duty and killed Police Officer Chris Goodell in July 2014.
Cichowski criticizes state officials for not installing "horizontal steel and concrete barriers," such as those on the northbound side, to protect homes on the edge of the southbound roadway.
But the addled columnist doesn't question the wisdom of putting an officer in harm's way, when speed cameras could do the job just as well, nor the sanity of people who buy homes next to Route 17.
Basically, homeowners Jenny Ramirez Ayala, Allyson Cobin and Ed Tavitan saved tens of thousands of dollars when they bought homes no one in their right mind wanted.
Now, they couldn't give them away, so they're crying to Cichowski, the so-called commuting columnist.
Bergen County readers find Passaic County news on every page of today's Local section, making them wonder why Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza couldn't find more stories relevant to the lives (L-1, L-2, L-3 and L-6).
Three Paterson stories appear on L-3 alone.
What did the owners of American Cut Bar & Grill do to get Staff Writer Elisa Ung, the paper's chief restaurant critic, to write an upbeat story about their Englewood Cliffs restaurant, which is "slated to open in March" (BL-3)?
The silly headline:
The story is accompanied by a photo of rare "pastrami hanger steak," but Ung doesn't say whether the expensive restaurant will be serving naturally raised beef and other red meat.
As the chief restaurant reviewer, Ung betrays her readers by essentially rewriting a glowing press release months before she has had a chance to sample the fare and rate the service.