Dad Labeled a Terrorist for Taking Photos of Own Kid in a Mall

cellphone photographyForgive me, world, but I always thought the scariest thing lurking in a mall food court was the epically bad food prepared by pimply teenagers. That was until I heard that a dad was banned from a mall for taking photos of his own daughter eating ice cream. Chris White was treated like a terrorist for loving on his little girl with a cameraphone, leaving me with only one conclusion.

The scariest thing in the mall is a mall cop with a uniform but absolutely no common sense.

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Seriously. I'm not just picking on some Paul Blart types for the fun of it. This story out of Scotland has me completely confused.

Pops was taking photos with his phone, and the shopping center security wanted him to delete the pics under the guise of protecting people in the mall (he'd already put them on Facebook: classic Dad move!). Apparently there is a rule against taking photos in a mall, although White said none was posted in the mall. That's when things got really nutty, with the security guard threatening him in front of his little girl. In Scotland, apparently, the "Prevention of Terrorism Act" gives a mall cop permission to take someone's cameraphone away completely if they're taking photos in a public shopping center. At least that's what security told Chris White, who was eventually banned from the Braehead mall entirely.

Someone, please, can you explain to me how the shot of someone who may or may not have been walking behind little Hazel with her big cup of icy goodness is now at risk for having their picture snapped? What is the risk? Is it that someone, somewhere might actually see what they were wearing IN A PUBLIC PLACE? It's a mall, not a private country club! You walk out in public, and unless you have hooked up with J.K. Rowling for the secret to Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, people are going to see you.

If people are going to use a phone in a mall, I know I'd much rather they use it to take pictures of their little cuties eating ice cream than in the Target bathroom (yes, that really happened) or while in line at The Gap (also happened, and yes, it does make for a long wait when the person in front of you is so caught up in "oh no, he didn'ts," they don't notice there's a credit card receipt to be signed). If you've seen the commercial about the stupid things done with smartphones, you know it could get much worse than a dad snapping pics of his daughter sitting on a Vespa and eating something sweet.

Come to think of it, if you've watched the NEWS, you know it could actually venture into that terrorism territory they're talking about. Ever heard of a bomb detonated by cellphone? I'm a bit terrified of Googling the whole venture, actually (ahem, Patriot Act), but I've heard about them enough to be pretty darn grateful this dad was just taking some photos.

I could see room for banning all mobile devices if you REALLY want to fight cellphone-related terrorism. But I'm having a hard time believing Chris White was hurting the world with some pictures of his kid.

Does banning taking pictures of your kids in a mall seem like a logical way to fight terrorism? 


Image via Dan Zen/Flickr

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