Are we safe in wake of recent mass killings?

Paul Murphy talks about how people feel in the wake of mass shootings in the country.

Are we safe anywhere?

That's a question a lot of people are asking themselves, following three mass murder events in the last month.

Whether it's Sunday's church shooting in Texas, the terror attack on a New York City bike path or the shooting rampage at a country music concert in Las Vegas, many people are now more aware in public spaces.

George Mahadi is a civic activist in New Orleans.

"It's kind of dreadful," Mahadi said. "It's foreboding. It's apocalyptic in a lot of instances. We're witnessing the apocalypse right now."

Phillip Cunningham is a university librarian.

"It kind of feels like we're in the middle of a war that we don't know about and the battlefield is not on a battlefield," Cunningham said. "The battlefield is anywhere you can imagine."

Nicole Ralston works at Tulane University.

"I think what's most disturbing is how often it seems to be happening in this country, in particular, and how quickly we forget that these things happened," Ralston said. "It definitely reveals something systemically has been and continues to happen in this country around violence and guns in particular."

Jim Boyle is a former football coach from Cincinnati.

"I'm very concerned with myself, walking into big stadiums anymore, big events like downtown, things like that, it's tough," Boyle said. "It does give you pause. It's happening like every other day it seems like. What do you do about it?"

LSU Health Clinical Psychologist Amy Dickson says those feelings are normal, particularly with three mass killings in about a month.

"When you have so many tragedies, so close together, it really makes people feel unsafe and it really makes people more anxious," Dickson said. "These settings are varied and diverse and they're not places where people would have previously felt unsafe or need to be on guard. So it's alarming to individuals."

For most people the feeling of dread is fleeting, but always in the back of their minds.

"I really don't know where to go as far as stopping these kinds of actions from happening," Cunningham said. "It almost feels like it's something we have to accept as a reality."

"You have a clash of an immovable object which is the people and irresistible force which is violence and it's going to continue," Mahadi said. "The fear of the unknown. You never know when it's going to strike."

"We can't lock everybody up," Boyle said. "We can't stay in our rooms. We got to live our lives still too, but you always got that looking around, when you're at big time events."

Dr. Dickson said while you can never reassure people nothing bad will happen, listen to your thoughts before giving into your fears about going out in public.

"Really weigh out what is the likelihood that that's going to happen and how many times has that happened in this area before and how will I feel if I never see my friends again or I don't ever go out?"

© 2017 WWL-TV


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