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It’s time for the State Fair to implement a shooting/stabbing refund policy…

12:44 PM EDT on September 25, 2023

After a relatively peaceful nine-day run, the Oklahoma State Fair’s final weekend ended with a shooting that left one teen in critical condition, and thousands of fairgoers scared, confused, and wondering if they’ll get a refund. 

KFOR’s Kaylee Olivas – a loyal adherent to the new media trend of starting every tweet with an ALL CAPS tease – was literally on the scene when the shooting took place, and filed this frantic breaking news report.

That’s some terrifying stuff! Our thoughts are with the victim and hope he makes a full recovery. You can read more about what went down here.

Kaylee’s tweets immediately took me back to when I watched a guy bleed out on the Midway pavement after getting his throat slashed in front of O’Brien’s karaoke booth in 2002. 

I documented the murder a few years ago in my 5 Most Memorable State Fair Moments. Just like Saturday night’s shooting was for many people, it was a frantic, chaotic, and traumatic event that I’ll never forget. 

It’s also why – outside of meeting a future president or judging a food contest – I stopped going to the fair 20+ years ago. There’s just something about the haunting memory of a guy convulsing on the ground as a pool of blood rapidly expands around his body that makes washing down a butter-drenched ear of corn with a watered-down beer less fun.

After the commotion of the shooting died down, Kaylee turned her journalistic (and personal) attention towards the questions many fairgoers were asking – How did guns get into the fair, and do I get a refund?

To make sure all fights are fair fights, the Oklahoma State Fair is supposed to use metal detectors to keep guns, machetes, and other dangerous weapons outside the gates and in the dimly lit parking lot where they belong.

If they’re dropping the ball and letting those weapons inside the fair, then people should expect a refund when the weapons force them to leave the fair before getting maximum usage out of their ride bracelet… Right?

Yikes. She was on hold for 45 minutes? You could make three runs through the cinnamon roll stand line in that amount of time. Did the Fair outsource their customer service to Cox? 

You can't blame Kaylee for waiting on hold that long. She was out $50 due to the shooting.

Yep. Instead of offering people a refund, the Fair decided to let people use their tickets from the night before on Sunday, which would kind of be like a restaurant offering you a free meal after they gave you food poisoning.

If you ask me, the Oklahoma State Fair should institute a policy that allows customers to get a full refund (or at least a free corndog) if their visit is marred by either a shooting, stabbing, or projectile cell phone. Doing this will not only offer peace of mind to consumers but also perhaps motivate the fair to invest in better metal detectors. 

On that note, doesn't the fair have metal detectors? Kaylee looked into this, too:

I don't know about Kaylee, but I have some questions:

1. How many people with guns does the fair turn away each year? I think that would be an interesting fun fact people may want to know before clogging their arteries with fried food.

2. Are we sure those metal detectors really work? Considering there were two guns in use at the fair on Saturday night, it seems pretty easy to sneak one in.

Those are pretty valid follow-up questions, but with the Oklahoma City version of the fair concluded and moving up to Tulsa, they probably won’t be answered. 

Instead, we’ll probably get the typical media fluff piece about how overzealous cops are beefing up security, and ready on and stand-by to flaunt their authority in case another shooting happens.

Once again, I haven’t been to the Oklahoma State Fair in a while, but I don’t think a lack of a visual police presence has ever been the issue. Based on how many uniformed cops you see, I’d say police love the Fair more than any other professional demographic... 

Anyway, I guess we’ll continue to monitor this story to see if the Oklahoma State Fair implements an official shooting/stabbing refund policy. Until then, stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised. 

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