After Orlando Dread Runs Amok

June 15, 2016 Off By Michael
Friends and family members of victims of the Orlando massacre wait outside an Orlando Medical Center for word on their love ones. Photo: CNN

Scene outside an Orlando Medical Center Photo: CNN

Following the massacre in Orlando dread runs amok. This century began with the dread of the Y2K bug. On first blush, the worst Y2K fears were unfounded. However, dread is taking over the collective sense of order in America. Orlando, as did Charleston a year ago, has shaken the fabric of our national conscious.

This dread is as full of apprehension as that which plagued mid twentieth century America following the discovery of the atom bomb.  During the “Cold War” Americans never knew from one day to the next if there would be another day. Dread hung over the world like an ominous storm cloud gathering from the west.

Today, Orlando has taught us the dread we fell can strike at any place without any rhyme or reason. Dreadfully, it is not safe anywhere. Fear has run through the hallways of our schools, movie theaters, our shopping malls, our churches and now in gay nightclubs.

Our unwillingness to tackle gun control is the number one cause of the dread Americans feel. It is no longer safe to venture outside of the home in pursuit of work, school and play.

Perhaps, the terrorists have messed with the wrong group this time. The gay lobby is a powerful  political action group. Their influence in the media and entertainment might be what the doctor ordered. Could common sense gun control legislation be in our future?

Let us hope that congress gets the message this time. If they do not, our last hope to defeat this 21st century dread lies at the ballot box in November.

Voters should make passage of gun control legislation a litmus test for any person running for congress this year. A new congress or at a bare minimum, congressional members who are willing to eliminate assault rifles from public sale.

The terror did not begin in Orlando, but it can end there.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at