Sunday, June 19, 2016

Orlando - Are you misreading it?

If we rationalize our reaction to what happened in Orlando and feel it does not affect us personally we do so at our own peril.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin
I spent a good deal of time last week watching and listening to the often-hyperbolic media coverage of the events at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

Like many I have talked to, there were moments that I just had to turn off the TV, log off the Internet and take a break.

I think the media coverage was excessive, exploitive, and sometimes vulgar and like a lot of media coverage of major events way to much got ya journalism.

None of that too in any way reduce the horror and misery that were inflicted early Sunday morning.

The real public awareness issue with the Orlando massacre is that responses to it are too easy to compartmentalize. There is the we need more gun control crowd, the 2nd amendment defender crowd, the immigration crowd the homophobic crowd and a few others.

The problem is the average person can easily put this event in the it doesn't affect me pigeon hole because they are not part of the lifestyle group affected, the demographic group affected and  are unlikely to be a similar establishment.

If we as individuals we rationalize, our reaction to what happened in Orlando and feel it does not affect us personally we do so at our own peril.

I saw many people, victims, public figures and average citizens saying we will not change our behavior because that is what these people want us to do. To react in fear.

Actually, we do need to change our behavior. As individuals, we need to think more carefully, about where we assemble, where we let our children go, where we go and evaluate the risks and rewards associated with those decisions.

Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, is author of the forthcoming book: Security Mom: An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland and Your Home.  She said, "The flow of people and things, the movement to and within cities, the congregation of the masses that makes our lives meaningful, whether at church or at Fenway Park, are inherently risky. Our system (a federal government with limited powers, mayors overseeing police departments, governors directing National Guards) wasn’t designed to produce a seamless shield against every conceivable threat."

If you find yourself feeling bad about what happened in Orlando but thinking, it really does not apply to you - you are wrong.

Like it or not, we are being changed by the events occurring around us. We always have been and always will be.

Those wonderful days of walking out of your home and feeling totally safe are just not part of our society anymore. Every public action and interaction in our society carries some degree of risk, and our best defense is not the government. It is common sense.

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