Keep the series from airing.
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Being from Macomb, Illinois, I remember the incident at the local sporting goods store referenced in the excerpt. The day that this occurred, the sporting goods store had previously been evacuated after they were made aware that there was a gunman in the building. On top of that, the gunman that was referred to had gone in with one purpose. This purpose was ultimately successful, as he ended up passing away from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The story in the excerpt states that the manager had to “choose whether to flee the scene or stay on the line in order to save those around him”. To me that is extremely interesting when those around him had already left the building and been led to a safe location nearby.
This series has the potential of impacting many peoples’ lives, and in a very negative manner. The gunman may no longer be here to have a voice for himself, but his friends and family still have to live with the events that occurred on that day.
In regards to every situation that will be portrayed on this show in the episodes following the pilot, which is set to air November 29, 2012, what is the potential impact that could be made by this television series? Is it really worth the risk of our livelihoods?
To start, put yourself in the shoes of a family member, friend, or even a community member of someone that may be portrayed in this series. Keep in mind that these are real 9-1-1 conversations being aired. How would you feel having to relive the situation over and over again, and hear the 9-1-1 call that contained that last sounds surrounding a loved one who passed away? What if you heard the gunshot in the background of that 9-1-1 call that was the one that took the life away from the one you loved? How would you react to hearing this after everything was said and done? This television show is a hazard to many people, and communities across the country.
I for one will not stand for this. As a leader of an organization that deals with mental health issues on a college campus it is my responsibility to watch out for my community. For me, this is personal. This affects not only the livelihood of those around me, but also, those in many other communities as well. The advisor of To Write Love On Her Arms-WIU Chapter, is the mother of the gunman portrayed in the Macomb, Illinois story. The gunman was also a personal friend to the president of that chapter as well. The idea that this nightmare be brought to the forefront for them and their entire community is absurd.
This is not the only situation in which people are directly impacted though. All of these stories are real. All of these stories come from communities just like yours and mine. The effects of this television series could cause what I’m willing to refer to as an epidemic of mental health issues. The reoccurring thoughts and the reality of the events could affect entire communities. Having this happen could trigger the onset of depression, or it could lead to the abuse of addictive substances such as drugs or alcohol. We cannot allow our livelihoods to be effected by a simple television show. The realities of it are much too personal, and much too real to be a focal point for a television series. These are real life and death situations. These situations are much too real and much too triggering, not only for adolescents, but for adults as well.
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