Yesterday our local news announced that two town hall meetings would be held to discuss disbursement of the 23 million dollars donated to help victims of the Pulse Night Club shootings.
According to this report, four groups of people can apply for a payout:
- Those who lost someone in the attack.
- Those who were injured and spent at least a day in the hospital.
- Those who were injured in the attack, treated at the hospital, and then released the same day.
- Those who were in the night club during the attack but were able to escape uninjured.
As I listened to this story I began to think about tragedies in general and their affects. I began to think about why and when donations from the general public are appropriate. I began to think about the absolute absurdity of the last group to be mentioned and what I believe making an allowance for them to receive a payout of any kind implies. And I began to realize how changes to the current donating habits of the American public following alleged terror attacks could change the actual frequency of alleged terror attacks.
As I write this, I know some may think me harsh. My intent is not to be hurtful or unfeeling but to wake people up. The sad truth is that almost everything in this world is all about the money. After what I heard on the news concerning the Pulse donations, I realize that terror attacks are no exception.
When a tragedy happens, we must begin to take a deep breath, pause, and put the checkbook and credit cards aside for awhile. The instinct to donate to the Go Fund Me accounts that spring up like weeds in summer, many with exorbitant goal amounts, must be ignored – at least at first.
Not every loss requires outlandish financial compensation. When a group of young and otherwise healthy, employable Americans are injured in a shooting, the medical insurance they are required to have by The Affordable Care Act will pay for their care according to the limits of their coverage. If they need help with the monthly bills for a period of time while unable to work, this is the time for their church, family and friends to step up. Assuming they are expected to make a full recovery, and I have not heard of anyone who was injured in the Pulse shooting who isn’t, I fail to see why the public feels compelled to fill donation coffers with millions upon millions of dollars.
Much of what the victims suffered is emotional. In legal terms this is called punitive damages: a monetary award for pain and suffering that is the sole responsibility of the one who caused that pain and suffering.
In terror attacks the party responsible for the pain and suffering is not you and me… We need to remember that and begin to act accordingly.
And let’s not forget established charities like the Red Cross, United Way and church benevolence funds. It’s time we give these entities time to do what they do best before we rush in.
I have become more than a little suspicious of the millions being so quickly amassed for “victims” of so-called “terror attacks.” A formula seems to have been established and I believe it is time the American people take action to interrupt it.
When natural disasters happen and whole communities are displaced and it’s obvious conditions will not return to anything resembling normal life anytime soon, donations from the general public are easy to justify. Think Katrina. Think California wildfires. Think Haiti. Think Tsunami.
When your own eyes tell you the need is so great and so immediate that victims’ relatives can’t possibly fill the gap and insurance payouts will arrive too late, then it is time for those of the general public who can afford to act to do so.
However, when people escape unharmed from a night club and are still allowed to receive a payout from a 23 million dollar fund comprised of public donations, we must notice this and realize what it means.
Crisis actors should be paid for their performance and participation, but not by donations. And crisis actors who are promised large payouts to stay quiet following participation in a staged event should not expect those payouts to come from donations made by you and me.
We need to stop cooperating. Let’s end the kneejerk reaction by which we compensate those who participate in staged terror events. It may be our only leverage to prevent these events from occurring in the first place and the best way to send a clear message to those who plan them.