Editor’s Message – July 2016
By Tricia Cable
I moved to Orlando in 1981 after graduating from high school, got a job at Sea World, registered for classes at Valencia College; met new people, and put down roots. We had been regular visitors to the area since the 1940s when my dad’s family traded in their upstate New York winter wool for the year ‘round shorts and sandals. I had always been drawn to this area, even as a kid; the smell of orange blossoms, the slower pace and the friendly faces. We are the small town melting pot. People relocate here from all over the country and the world. We have Brits, Scots, Germans, Northeasterners, Midwesterners, and some from the deep south in our immediate circle. Our community may very well be made up of a wide assortment of folks from various cultures, nationalities, religions, and geographies, but when hate presents itself in the ugliest form possible, we band together and lift each other up like family.
I may have started life as an Air Force brat, constantly on the move, but for the past 35 years Orlando has been my home. I have never been more proud of this city and its residents during the events of the past few weeks. “Whatever it takes” became the motto of most, and donation centers were packed with concerned citizens looking to ease the pain and help in any way that they could. Fundraisers at local area restaurants with 100% of the proceeds going to the victims’ families, contributions from airlines, florists, churches, pet rescues; I have never seen a more compassionate and overwhelming show of support in all of my life. We should be incredibly proud of ourselves and our community. In the midst of an act of hate, came love…one million times over.
I am a fairly confrontational person. When I see wrong, I question it. If I don’t understand someone’s actions or words, I ask for clarification as to not misunderstand. I am not afraid to fight for what I believe in at almost any cost and I certainly would not shy away from standing up for someone who may not have the ability to stand up for themselves. I also believe in your right to disagree with me. I know that my path defers from yours and you may have experiences in your lifetime that cause you to lean one way on a topic and I may lean the other. But let’s be clear, violence is never the answer and love will always prevail. Orlando was evidence of that these past few weeks. We trumped one incredibly horrid act of hate with millions and millions and millions of acts of love, kindness, and compassion.
We have brilliantly come together as a unified force. The challenge now is what’s next? How do we use the power of the people to evoke change in processes to ensure that our citizens are protected and safe to go to school, see a movie, or go dancing at a club? I think we can all agree that the systems and procedures (or lack thereof) that we have in place today are sadly, fatally flawed.
I support the right to bear arms. I support your right to hunt. I support your right to protect yourself, your family, and your property. However, I do not support the right for a person with a criminal history or verified reports of mental instability to attain weapons and an insane amount of ammunition. It’s not all or nothing. When terrorists used our own airplanes against us, we made changes in regulations. When a whack job in Oklahoma used fertilizer to bomb a federal building, we made changes in regulations. Yes, I support the right to bear arms, but I also support the freedom of speech, so speak up people!