Between the Lines: How Panic and Paranoia Kill.
The recent tragedy at a Chicago nightclub is an example of how paranoia can kill people. In a backdrop of heightened fears of terrorist attack and a lack of solid information regarding the nature of the threat. The question is: why is the terrorist paranoia angle not being reported on in the media?
The Epitome Nightclub in Chicago was the scene of a panic when pepper spray used by security personnel to break up a fight got circulated through the HVAC system. A panic ensued when people probably thought it was a chemical attack (well, it was sort of). In the ensuing panic, people stampeded for the one exit with 21 people killed and scores injured.
In the big game of trying to lay blame on the incident, some interesting connections have come into play. Longstanding champion of civil rights in the black community Jesse Jackson has been placed at odds with others who question his lack of outrage toward the club ownership for numerous safety code violations. Mr. Jackson shows poise in answering allegations that he might be partially responsible for putting things in place which contributed to this tragedy. This largely from his putting pressure on the city to keep the club open to more customers than the building could safely handle, in spite of a series of court orders to limit the number of people served in the building.
Oddly, what is still not mentioned is the level of fear that has permeated much of the public amid numerous threats and warnings of impending doom at the hands of toxin wielding terrorists.
Image credits to station WGN, Chicago.